Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF)

Where does PAF come from?

The Office of Adolescent Health administers the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) program, a competitive grant program funded by the Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), with the aim of improving the health, educational, social and economic outcomes of expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers and their families. The PAF grant program funds states to provide a seamless network of support services to the expectant and parenting population.

For more information check out the Office of Adolescent Health PAF Website.


The Iowa Department of Public Health will partner with the Des Moines Area, Indian Hills and Kirkwood community colleges, which will serve as the initial primary care settings to deliver core services to expectant and parenting students and their families. Also, funding will help expand and strengthen the holistic and integrated approach to serving the expectant and parenting population by developing strong linkages and referrals in five core service domains within the community. 

If funding continues, the community colleges will engage both high schools and community service centers to expand their reach to expectant and parenting teens. The project will provide Iowa’s young parents with the support they need to achieve academic success, maintain employment and provide for their families.

Infographics: Pregnancy Assistance Fund Plan- July 2017

Pregnancy Assistance Fund Plan- August 2017


Project Goals

1. Increase needs-driven support services for expectant and parenting students in institutions of higher education, high schools and community service centers.

2. Increase awareness and knowledge of services available for expectant and parenting students, young adults, women, fathers and their families.

Contracted Service Areas

Iowa Department of Public Health is contracting with three local community colleges; Des Moines Area Community College (blue), Indian Hills Community College (purple) and Kirkwood Community College (green). The colors are highlighted to represent the majority of students in each county that attend the specific community college. 

Student Services WebsitesDes Moines Area Community College

Indian Hills Community College

 Kirkwood Community College



Needs and Resource Assessment

Iowa Department of Public Health contracted with University of Iowa Public Policy Center for the creation, dissemination and evaluation of a needs and resource assessment. The assessment was sent out in November 2017 to expectant or parenting students at DMACC, Indian Hills and Kirkwood Community College. Between the three community colleges over 600 expectant or parenting students completed the assessment. 

Needs and Resource Assessment 2017-2018


Core Service Domains

Iowa Department of Public Health expects the three community colleges to implement a comprehensive, integrated approach to fulfill the needs of the expectant and parenting population through the five core service domains (shown below). These services are expected to target not only health outcomes but also social, educational, and economic outcomes that factor the health of the expectant and parenting population. In addition, all of these services are for the purpose of assisting expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families.

Domain 1: Personal Health  

Supports and access expectant and parenting teens and young adults require to manage their healthcare needs and responsibilities.


Domain 2: Child Health

Supports and resources expectant and parenting teens and young adults need to take care of the health and well-being of their children.


Domain 3: Education & Employment

Supports and resources expectant and parenting teens and young adults need to complete school and move toward attaining a livable wage and becoming self-sufficient adults.


Domain 4: Concrete Supports

Basic necessities that all expectant and parenting teens and young adults need and deserve that have an impact on their ability to take care of themselves and their children.


Domain 5: Parenting Supports

Supports and resources aimed at increasing the effectiveness of parenting through careful planning, learning, and practice.



Other Useful Websites:

Personal Health:

Iowa Women's Health Information Center is to provide FREE objective, medically accurate health information for women in Iowa. Browse our database for great resources or take a look at the Health A to Z section for topics such as breast and cervical cancer, osteoporosis, pregnancy and heart disease.

Maternal Health clinics provide prenatal and postpartum care to Medicaid eligible and other low income women. All of Iowa’s 99 counties have access to publicly funded maternal health services. Medical services provided by maternal health centers follow the standards of the American College of OB/GYN for ambulatory obstetric care.

Quitline Iowa can help you with each step of the way. Quitline Iowa is a free phone cessation resource and is free and convenient.  Individuals can easily enroll either by calling 1.800.Quit.Now (1.800.784.8669) or by visiting www.quitlineiowa.org. Anyone with commercial insurance, uninsured, on Medicare or Medicaid Fee for Service can use Quitline Iowa.  Additionally, Quitline Iowa offers a free program for those who are currently pregnant or post-partum


Child Health:

1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative builds partnerships between physician practices and public service providers to enhance high quality well-child care. 1st Five promotes the use of developmental tools that support healthy mental development for young children during the first five years. By using a tool for all children that includes social-emotional development and family risk factors, providers are able to identify children at risk for developmental concerns that, if left untreated, would play out later in life.

The Well-Visit Planner was developed to improve well-child visits for children 4 months to 6 years old. The information is based on recommendations established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The tool helps parents to customize the well-child visit to their family's needs by helping them identify and prioritize their health risks and concerns before their well-child appointment.


Education and Employment:

Iowa TRIO is a group of colleges and universities (26 at last count) in the state of Iowa that embody our nation's commitment to the dream of education for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances.

Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is to help prepare students for future success. ICAN's mission is to empower Iowans to achieve their educational and career goals through statewide comprehensive outreach, initiatives and partnerships with schools, groups and businesses.


Concrete Supports:

Iowa 211: 2-1- 1 is a three-digit helpline that connects anyone with local support and resources. Professionals are trained to quickly assess a caller’s needs and identify the best solution. 2-1- 1 is free, confidential, and available any time.


Parenting Supports:

Parentivity is an IDPH initiative, is a web-based community that provides “just right” information when parents need it most. Understanding there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to parenting, we offer personalized content proven to reduce family risks and optimize parenting resourcefulness, family resilience, child growth, and school readiness.

The Iowa Family Support Network (IFSN) is a new website which includes information and referral for Early ACCESS, IDEA Part C services, along with Family Support Services and Group Based Parenting Programs. The IFSN website contains a statewide Resource Directory, Statewide Events, National Resources, and Projects and Research related to early childhood including early intervention. Early ACCESS early intervention service system partnered with the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) system to create a single, coordinated website. 





For more information contact:

Mary Greene

Community Health Consultant 


Use the "Contact Us" page to submit questions online

Amy Buckert

Adolescent Health Planner