Iowa Parent Partner Approach

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

Currently in Summary View
View Detailed Report

About This Program

Target Population: Parents involved with Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Brief Description

Iowa Parent Partner Approach is an approach designed to provide better outcomes around re-abuse and reunification. The Iowa Parent Partner Approach celebrates parents who have been in the child welfare system and achieved reunification or resolved issues around termination of parental rights as individuals that have overcome obstacles through change, recovery, and accountability. This approach utilizes their skills, once they are trained as Parent Partners, to mentor families whose children are in foster or kinship care as they navigate through the Department of Human Services (DHS) system. Parent Partners, who are independent contractors of Children & Families of Iowa, receive training on a variety of topics including Domestic Violence, Mandatory Reporting, Boundaries and Safety Issues, Building a Better Future, Ethics, Substance Abuse, DHS 101, and Mental Health Overview. Once trained, they provide one-on-one mentoring by providing advice, support, and encouragement to families whose children are currently involved with DHS in efforts to enhance their capacity to provide for and guide their children’s healthy development. Parent Partners meet with families face-to-face as well as contact by phone. Parent Partners offer to be present as a support at Family Team Decision Making Meetings, staffings, and court appearances. All activities and contacts the Parent Partner has with the family are documented on a monthly activity form.

Parent Partners receive oversight by local Coordinators to discuss ongoing issues and case concerns. Coordinators also offer growth opportunities in professional interaction skills, as this may be a Parent Partner’s first professional role. Mental health support sessions are provided to Parent Partners by a licensed master’s-level clinician skilled in trauma/attachment and substance abuse. These support sessions are utilized to discuss issues and challenges that result from mentoring parents with similar mental health problems and recovery triggers.

Program Goals:

The goals of the Iowa Parent Partner Approach are:

  • Provide better outcomes around reabuse
  • Provide better outcomes around reunification

Contact Information

Sandy Lint
Agency/Affiliation: Iowa Department of Human Services
Phone: (515) 281-7269

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2010