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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Take a look at Families First Counseling Services' FAQs below or contact us if you need help.

Q. Does Families First give my information to anyone without my permission?

A. Families First maintains a strict confidentiality policy. For details, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Q. Why should I choose Families First over another provider in my area?

A. Families First has a reputation for providing excellent service to its customers. Families First has many highly trained and experienced Family Care Coordinators to meet your needs.

Q. Are there payment options for services such as insurance or private pay?

A. Most of our services are funded through Title 19 Insurance but we also accept private pay, which is based on a sliding-fee scale.

Q. Who would I call If I have a question about any of your services?

A. You can call our toll-free number 1-888-316-3025 and ask to speak to any one of our administrative staff.

Q. Do I have to be in the “system” to get services or can I get help voluntarily?

A. You do not have to be involved with a formal system such as the Department of Human Services or Juvenile Court Services to receive help. In fact, many of our services are completely voluntary and are designed with input from you. In other words, you help determine the goals you'd like to work towards and we develop a treatment plan based on those goals.

Q. Do you work with children who are adopted?

A. We are able to work with children who have been adopted as long as they meet the criteria for BHIS services, insurance payment or private funding.

Q. Do you work with special needs children?

A. We have many Family Care Coordinators with varying areas of professional expertise including children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) and clients who fall on the autism spectrum. However, in order for us to determine if we could help with your particular child, we would want to assess with you what those specific needs are and who we think could help meet your needs.

Q. How would I find out about internships or doing volunteer work for your organization?

A. You can either call 1-888-316-3025 or the Waterloo office number 319-433-0395 and ask to speak with one of the two Managing Partners or apply on our website.

Q. How do I apply for a position with Families First Counseling Services?

A. You can either send a resume to 111 Plaza Circle, Waterloo, Iowa 50701 or apply online on our Careers page.

Q. If I want help, do I have to come to your office or will someone be able to come to my home?

A. Except for Title 19 in-office therapy services, all services can be conducted in your home or in another place that you are comfortable with.

Q. What type of things do counselors work on with children and families?

A. During BHIS service sessions, Family Care Coordinators will work with your family on building skills such as communication, problem-solving, decision making, conflict resolution and coping skills.

Q. Are you required to report child abuse if you see it?

A. All Families First employees are Mandatory Child Abuse Reporters as mandated by the State of Iowa. If there is suspected abuse, we are required to fill out a written report and submit it to the Department of Human Services for further investigation.

Q. Are your services monitored to make sure you are doing a good job working with families?

A. We are monitored in several ways.

Our services are monitored by the State of Iowa, Department of Human Services, through formal client and Social Worker evaluations and feedback from Regional Contract Monitors.

We are evaluated by Magellan Health Services to ensure that we are meeting their standards for providing the appropriate services to families in Iowa.

We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation which is a national accrediting body for agencies like ours whose job is to make sure that we are applying standards of best practice to our work with families.

Q. How do I know if Families First provides services in my area?

A. You can view our locations for the towns nearest to you that have a Families First office, and if you live in a rural area, you can call 1-888-316-3025 to see if we cover your area.

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