Family Support Specialist & Group Facilitator

Mount Pleasant
Base County
Counties Served

The Family Support Specialist uses the Parents as Teachers curriculum which includes the components of parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting and family well-being in their work with families. The Family Support Specialist partners, facilitates and reflects with families in a
respectful, culturally sensitive manner.

Additionally, this role will coordinate and facilitate parent education and support groups across Henry County that support the Family Connection mission to educate, support, and connect parents to resources in order to create safe, stable families. 

Family Support Specialist:
  • Engage in recruitment activities
  • Collaborate with community providers
  • Use the Parents as Teachers curriculum to share research-based information with families
  • Provide personal visits focused on parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting and family well-being (including planning, delivering and documenting the visit)
  • Provide services in a culturally competent manner
  • Educate families about child development, child rearing, and positive personal development
  • Observe and understand child, individual, and family functioning
  • Engage, establish trust, develop relationships, and collaborate effectively with individuals and families from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives
  • Complete an initial and annual family-centered assessment with each family
  • Identify and build on strengths and family priorities; assess needs, risks, and safety
  • Develop, monitor and review goals with each family
  • Recognize and address problems related to substance use, mental health, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect
  • Promote respect and encourage independence; use appropriate methods of support and establish professional boundaries with families
  • Connect families to resources that help them reach their goals and address their needs
  • Assist with group connections to give families an opportunity to build social connections with each other, engage in parent-child interaction activities, and increase their knowledge of ways to support children's development
  • Complete at least an initial and annual developmental screening and health review for each enrolled
  • Help parents and children transition to other services as needed
  • Maintain and submit all required family and program documentation in required timeframes
  • Sanitize and maintain inventory supplies used in home visits
  • Participate in regular reflective supervision and staff meetings
  • Obtain competency-based professional development and renew Parents as Teachers annually
  • Participate in continuous quality improvement
Parent Development Group Coordination/Facilitation:
  • Develop groups with the purpose of:
    • supplementing home visitation services that are available for families with children five and under by providing a group experience
    • supporting parents with children ten and under who have specific risk factors (parents of children with special needs, Hispanic parents, grandparents raising grandchildren)
    • educating parents about child development and effective parenting strategies and practices
    • improving skills in parents that increase protective factors within their families
    • providing an opportunity to develop relationships that offer peer support and connection to informal supports reducing social isolation
    • identifying needs or missing supports/services within families and linking them to the appropriate services, organizations and information to meet those needs
  • Parent Education/Support Groups will:
    • be offered ongoing throughout the year, some weekly and some bi-weekly.
    • be developed and offered in outlying communities as well as Mt. Pleasant and at varying times of day (including evenings) making services wide-spread and more accessible to those for whom transportation, childcare and work schedules are an issue.
    • offer a meal to incentivize attendance based on the make-up of the group, budget,
      practicality, and need.
  • Complete and model the following trainings:
    • Parents as Teachers
    • ACT Raising Safe Kids
    • ASQ-3
    • Mandatory Reporter
    • ICAPP
    • And other applicable training pertaining to Domestic Violence, Cultural Competence, Ethics, Legal Issues, etc. 
  • Upon Completion of the required trainings, responsibilities will include:
    • Connecting to identified populations and referral/resource partners to market specifically to identified audiences in order to build and implement specific Groups around the County.
    • Planning, organizing, and coordinating group scheduling, communications, location management, technology needs, and other needs for each Group session.
    • Facilitating Group sessions.
    • Building relationships with and knowledge of local resources to share/link with participants in need.
    • Managing volunteers, an interpreter as needed for the Hispanic Group, and coordinating guest speakers/service providers.
    • Communicating with supervisor to provide reporting information for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa as required by the grant.
    • Quarterly reporting to the Henry County Child Advocacy Council and regular attendance at monthly CPPC/Interagency Meetings.
  • Bachelor's degree in early childhood education, social work, health, psychology, or a related Human Sciences field
  • Experience Working with Children and families.
  • Engagement and interpersonal skills to develop strong and collaborative relationships with a wide variety of individuals including The Family Connection co-workers and Extension staff, community partners, and especially Group participants
  • A deep commitment to manage oneself in The Family Connection environment that cares for and can act as an advocate for each child and family
  • Effective Group management and facilitation abilities including an empathetic, consistent, honest, positive, humble, and assertive leadership approach when working with individual personalities and group dynamics
  • Ability to establish rapport with families and empower them by building on their strengths
  • Strong organizational and record keeping skills
  • Effective Marketing and Presentation skills/abilities
  • Well-established communication and listening skills and the ability to share information and resources as appropriate
  • A self-starter who can work independently
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and a high degree of diplomacy in responding to and resolving any conflict issues and problems in a highly professional manner
  • Flexibility to meet changes in work needs and demands
  • Highly organized, timely, and able to maintain confidentiality
  • Dedicated to the use and promotion of evidence-based information and practices
  • Computer skills; including web browsing, e-mail, Internet, and word-processing/data entry
  • Must earn Family Support Certification within one year of hire
Additional Information

To apply, please submit a completed application, cover letter, resume, and three professional references to

Please include "Family Support Specialist" in the subject line. 

Job Type
Full Time
40 hrs/wk. Actual hours will vary based on family availability and group programming. Will include some evenings. 
Wages (type)

Paid time off and holidays, IPERS, health insurance package, professional development opportunities, and work-related travel reimbursement.

This position will remain open until filled

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status and will not be discriminated against.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to