Family and Community Support (FCS) Providers are trained professionals on staff here at Life Connections who are making a difference in the community with their clients! FCS services provide the unique opportunity for clients to be present and interact with their communities in order to develop social skills and participate in skill-building in the moment with their provider outside of the home.


Children must be on the Iowa Children’s Mental Health Waiver in order to be eligible for FCS services with Life Connections.


FCS includes a variety of activities and interventions, such as modeling and practicing effective coping strategies, building resilience to the stigma of serious emotional disturbance, developing positive relationships with peers and community members, modeling and practicing interventions in the crisis plan, developing medication management skills, developing personal hygiene and grooming skills, and practicing appropriate and positive socialization in the community. FCS does not include vocational services, prevocational services, supported employment services, room and board, academic services or general supervision and care.


IHFT supports the family through skilled therapeutic services provided to the child and family in their home, in developing coping strategies from the effects of serious emotional disturbance on the family relationships. This service will enable the youth to continue living within the family environment. The goal of IHFT is to maintain a cohesive family unit. IHFT is exclusive of individual, family or other mental health therapy that the youth may receive.


The state of Iowa offers 7 waiver programs throughout the state

Life Connections only covers 1 of the 7 waivers-CMH at this time


  1. Health and Disability (HD) Waiver

  2. AIDS/HIV (AH) Waiver

  3. Elderly (E) Waiver

  4. Intellectual Disability (ID) Waiver

  5. Brain Injury (BI) Waiver

  6. Physical Disability (PD) Waiver

  7. Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Waiver


The CMHW exists to meet the need of children under 18 years with serious emotional disturbance (SED).  Many children with SED must leave their homes to seek support in a medical institution.  The parents of eligible children “waive” using services in an institution and choose instead to use services and individual supports to keep their children in their own home.  The child, his or her family, chosen providers, the targeted case manager, and others come together to form an interdisciplinary team  (IDT), which meets to plan the interventions and supports a child and family needs to safely maintain the child’s physical and mental health in her or his family’s home.  They guide the overall implementation of CMHW services.

  • The intent of the CMHW is to identify services and supports that are not available through other mental health programs/services.  CMHW services can be utilized in conjunction with traditional mental health services to develop a comprehensive support system  for children with SED.

  • The CMHW seeks to enable children in this population to remain in their own homes and communities.There are three services available under the Children’s Mental Health Waiver

1) Respite Services

  • children go into the care of another individual, typically in their home, for a duration of time such as a weekend to allow a break for parents and siblings. Life Connections does not provide this service.

2) In-home Family Therapy

  • A therapist goes into the home of the children and families to address mental health root causes and issues, incorporating the family into goal progression. Life Connections DOES provide this service.

3) Family and Community Support

  • Providers, work with children on identified goals in the home or community setting in order to develop skill deficits that will allow for a child to maintain in their home and school setting long-term. Life Connections DOES provide this service.|


    If you are interested in learning more about the CMHW or have questions on how to get your child enrolled contact your case manager through your local integrated health home or an