Please join us in congratulating Whitney McLaughlin and Jennifer Fleener. Both met the requirements for the Family Development Specialist Certification Training! Their achievement is a testament to their hard work and values. They’ve shown by achieving their certification a desire to grow in knowledge and understanding. As well as show their dedication to those they serve and to meet responsibilities.

 Whitney McLaughlin is a Family Development and Self Sufficiency (FaDSS) Specialist in the Economic & Family Support Services (EFSS) unit. Jennifer Fleener is the Director of the Economic & Family Support Services (EFSS) unit. The new Unit was created by merging our Housing Stabilization and Family Support Services to form EFSS.

Family Development Specialist Certification Training covers seven core skill sets. All FaDSS staff must be trained and certified in this area, including directors. It is a 26-hour training course with a 100 question exam at the end.

  1. The ability to support and empower families through skillfully building collaborative relationships.
  2. The ability to help families identify their goals and barriers and develop a plan to achieve their goals.
  3. The awareness and intervention strategies for dealing with challenging family issues include psychological, emotional, and interpersonal.
  4. The skillful application of core coping skills for families with a systemic understanding of families and their context.
  5. The ability to identify strengths, develop a plan, and coordinate a network of resources in partnership with families to help them achieve their goals, including the skillful application of family assessment tools (eco-map, genogram, timeline, matrix).
  6. The ability to advocate for families within communities through the application of community organizations and group facilitation skills.
  7. The ability to access appropriate sources of professional growth, utilize self-awareness skills, and ongoing self-care resources while providing Family Development services.

Furthermore, this training teaches frontline workers to facilitate improved family functioning and economic independence.

Applause for Whitney and Jennifer for their achieving this milestone!

Whitney McLaughlin

FaDSS Specialist
Wapello County

Jennifer Fleener

Director of Economic &
Family Support Services