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217.12 Council duties.

The family development and self-sufficiency council shall:

1. Identify the factors and conditions that place Iowa families at risk of long-term dependency upon the family investment program. The council shall seek to use relevant research findings and national and Iowa specific data on the family investment program.

2. Identify the factors and conditions that place Iowa families at risk of family instability and foster care place- ment. The council shall seek to use relevant research findings and national and Iowa specific data on the foster care system.

3. Subject to the availability of funds for this purpose, award grants to public or private organizations for provision of family development services to families at risk of long-term welfare dependency. Grant proposals for the family development and self-sufficiency grant program shall include the following elements:

a. Designation of families to be served that meet some criteria of being at risk of long-term welfare dependency, and agreement to serve clients that are referred by the department of human services from the family investment program which meet the criteria. The criteria may include, but are not limited to, factors such as educational level, work history, family structure, age of the youngest child in the family, previous length of stay on the family investment program, and participation in the family investment program or the foster care program while the head of a household was a child. Grant proposals shall also establish the number of families to be served under the grant.

b. Designation of the services to be provided for the families served, including assistance regarding job-seeking skills, family budgeting, nutrition, self-esteem, health and hygiene, child rearing, child education preparation, and goal setting. Grant proposals shall indicate the support groups and support systems to be developed for the families served during the transition between the need for assistance and self-sufficiency.

c. Designation of the manner in which other needs of the families will be provided including, but not limited to, day care assistance, transportation, substance abuse treatment, support group counseling, food, clothing, and housing.

d. Designation of the training and recruitment of the staff which provides services, and the appropriateness of the training for the purposes of meeting family development and self-sufficiency goals of the families being served.

e. Designation of the support available within the com- munity for the program and for meeting subsequent needs of the clients, and the manner in which community resources will be made available to the families being served.

f. Designation of the manner in which the program will be subject to audit and to evaluation.

Not more than five percent of any funds appropriated by the general assembly for the purposes of this subsection may be used for staffing and administration of the grants.

4. In cooperation with the legislative fiscal bureau, develop measures to independently evaluate the effectiveness of any grant funded under the program, that include measurement of the grantee's effectiveness in meeting its goals in a quantitative sense through reduction in length of stay on welfare programs or a reduced need for other state child and family welfare services. Families referred to the program shall be selected from those meeting the criteria established in the program as being at risk.

5. Seek to enlist research support from the Iowa research community in meeting the duties outlined in subsections 1 through 4.

6. Seek additional support for the funding of grants under the program, including but not limited to funds available through the federal government in serving families at risk of long-term welfare dependency, and private foundation grants.

7. Make recommendations to the governor and the general assembly on the effectiveness of early intervention programs in Iowa and throughout the country that provide family development services that lead to self-sufficiency for families at risk of long-term welfare dependency.

8. Evaluate and make recommendations regarding the costs and benefits of the expansion of the services provided under the special needs program of the family investment program to include tuition for parenting skills programs, family support and counseling services, child development services, and transportation and child care expenses associated with the programs and services.

Section History: Recent form

88 Acts, ch 1253, §2; 92 Acts, ch 1229, § 1; 93 Acts, ch 97, § 26; 94 Acts, ch 1114, §4--;7

Internal References

Referred to in § 217.11

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