To investigate the family support needs of Iowa citizens, the Iowa Fatherhood, Marriage and Family Supports Advisory Group conducted 25 focus groups involving over 250 adults. This resulting report discusses themes that were prevalent during these focus groups and presents the following recommendations for family support services: (1) lift up the importance of the family; (2) act before a family faces crises and is harmed; (3) improve the relationship skills of all Iowans; (4) bolster families through economic stability and employer support; (5) surround families with a comprehensive array of services; and (6) utilize best practices and pilot initiatives to produce measurable outcomes. For each of these recommendations, specific action steps are provided. The report then lists ways that different entities can support families, including strategies for parents and families, local community leadership, schools and educators, employers, courts and correctional systems, community-based and faith-based organizations, legislators and State and local government, and the media. Appendices include information on the members of the advisory group, the focus groups, the focus group questions and answers, and family statistics.
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