(As of December 31, 2016)
For more information regarding the Indiana Family Development Certification click below.
Family Development Certification Handbook December 2014
What is Family Development?
Many Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and non-profit agencies have adopted a family development model in working with low-income families and individuals. When people face economic insecurity, Family Development Programs offer them strategies to reclaim their self-sufficiency. Family Development Specialists open doors to independence by offering participants practical and proven solutions. Through home and office visits, assessments and goal setting, participants are able to earn their GEDs, get job training, are better able to provide for their families and contribute to their local economy.
The Family Development Certification Program collaborates with these agencies and provides training to teach Family Development Specialists how to coach families to set and reach their goals of healthy self-reliance.
What is a Family Development Specialist?
An Indiana Family Development Specialist has the ability to support and empower families through skillfully building a collaborative relationship.
Family Development Specialists help families identify their goals and barriers, identify strengths, develop a plan and coordinate a network of resources, in partnership with families, to help them achieve their goals, including skillful application of family assessment tools (eco-map, genogram, timeline, matrix, balance wheel).
Family Development Specialists are trained on intervention strategies for dealing with challenging family issues (including psychological, emotional, and interpersonal) and skillful application of core coping skills within a systemic understanding of families and their context. Family Development Specialists are also skilled advocates who advocate for families within communities through application of community organizational knowledge and group facilitation skills.
The Family Development Certification Program (FDCP) provides access to appropriate resources for professional growth and allows Family Development Specialists the ability to utilize self-awareness skills and ongoing self-care resources while they are providing Family Development services.
CAAs and non-profit agencies that would like to provide a Family Development Program should have staff complete the required trainings to obtain individual state certification as outlined in this manual.
Indiana Training Curriculum
Since 1997, IN-CAA has offered Family Development Training through a national provider. Due to length of training, cost, accessibility, and not having the ability to have Indiana trainers, IN-CAA decided to create a state specific curriculum.
In 2010, IN-CAA hired a consultant, Bob Swanson, to develop a more Indiana specific curriculum that met CAAs’ needs. Bob has vast experience in community action and case management and has certified more than 2,400 people as Family Development Specialists in fifteen states. With this change, also came the change of who administers the certification program and process. IN-CAA will issue the certifications and administratively oversee the training program and certification process.
The new Family Development Certification Program (FDCP) collaborates with agencies to teach family workers how to coach families to set and reach their goals for healthy self-reliance. Based on case management and counseling research and best practices, the FDCP program is available in communities across Indiana to frontline workers from public, private and non-profit service systems (e.g., home visitors, case managers, family resource center workers, community health workers).
As the FDCP expands training, credentialing, curriculum development, and research, we look forward to working with continuing and new Family Development Specialists, Family Development programs, and other partners. When families and communities face profound challenges, the FDCP’s highly skilled workers and leaders are ready to help.