Community Empowerment Showcase Reports

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					                  Community Empowerment Showcase Reports

Familes and Communities Together (Adair County                    3
Adams County Empowerment Area                                     5
ADLM Empowerment Area                                             7
Partnerships 4 Families Empowerment Area (Audubon, Carroll,       9
Greene, and Guthrie)
Benton County Empowerment                                         11
Cedar Valley's Promise (Black Hawk)                               13
Boone County Community Empowerment Project                        15
Communities Empowerment Families Collaborative (Bremer, Butler,   17
Franklin, and Grundy)
Buchanan, Delaware and Fayette                                    19
Buena Vista, Crawford & Sac                                       21
Linking Families And Communities (Calhoun, Pocahontas And         23
Boost 4 families (Cass, Mills, Montgomery)                        25
Cedar County Empowerment                                          27
Cerro Goro, Hancock & Worth                                       29
Northwest Iowa Community Empowerment                              31
Family First Empowerment Area (Clarke)                            33
Lakes Area Decategorization/Empowerment (Clay, Dickinson,         35
Osceola & O’Brien)
Clinton/Jackson Empowerment Area                                  37
Dallas County Community Empowerment                               39
Decatur County Empowerment                                        41
Caring CommUNITY (Des Moines, Louisa)                             43
Emmet County Community Empowerment                                45
FMC Empowerment (Floyd-Mitchell-Chicasaw Counties)                47
Corner Counties Empowerment Area (Fremont and Page)               49
Building Families Empowerment/Decategorization Area (Hamilton,    51
Humboldt and Wright)
Hardin County Empowerment Area                                    53
Harrison-Monona-Shelby Community Empowerment                      55
HAWC Empowerment/Decat (Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek, and        57

Healthy Henry County Communities                        59
Iowa County Empowerment Area                            61
Jasper County Empowerment Area                          63
Jefferson-Keokuk Empowerment “Building Blocks”          65
Johnson County Empowerment Area                         67
Jones County Decat/Empowerment Area                     69
Lee/Van Buren Empowerment Area                          71
Linn County Empowerment Area                            73
Madison County Empowerment                              75
Marion County Empowerment Area                          77
Marshall County Community Empowerment                   79
Muscatine Empowerment Area                              81
PAK Empowerment Area (Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties)   83
Polk County Empowerment Area                            85
Pottawattamie County Empowerment Area                   87
Poweshiek County Empowerment Area                       89
Ringgold County Empowerment Area                        91
Scott County Empowerment Area                           93
Story County Empowerment Area                           95
Taylor County Empowerment Area                          97
Warren County Empowerment                               99
Washington County Empowerment                           101
Winnebago County Empowerment                            103
Woodbury County Empowerment                             105

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Families and Communities Together

Adair-Casey School District
Bridgewater-Fontanelle School District
Nodaway Valley School District
Orient-Macksburg School District
Stuart-Menlo School District

VISION: Families and Communities Together (FACT) will achieve a productive and
sustainable future.

MISSION: The goal of FACT is to enhance the education opportunities of children ages 0-5
years, to educate and support parents in the parenting role, enhance quality education at home
and in the preschool setting, and provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.

The FACT Board plans to provide Parents as Teachers, Crisis Child Care, and give preschool
and day care providers the opportunity to enhance the educational opportunities for the children
through trainer education, and availability of equipment.

Parents as Teachers:
        1. 60 of 60 slots available for PAT will be filled
        2. 60 children participating in PAT will demonstrate age appropriate development
        3. The number of adult role model contacts will be increased by providing 600 PAT
This is meeting the State Indicator #3 Motivation and support for parents seeking education to
become positive role models in secure and nurturing families.

Preschool Participation:
        1. There will be 8 accredited preschools
        2. All preschool slots will be full
        3. 100% of the children will be reading at a proficient level by 4th grade
These are meeting the State Indicator #5, Age-appropriate cognitive stimulation for a secure and
nurturing child care environment, and State Indicator #2, children ready to succeed in school.

Crisis Child Care:
        1. There will be 0 founded cases of child abuse and neglect.
        2. Crisis Child Care providers will receive 6 hours of educational training.
        3. the number of provider homes will increase to 25 this year.
These meet the State Indicator, children will have a safe and nurturing family, or a safe and
nurturing childcare environment when the family unit is at risk

  Ø Crisis Child Care
  Ø Parents as Teachers
  Ø Preschool Participation

The FACT Empowerment Board collaborate with other boards to educate the community of the
local efforts. These Boards include:
    Ø Community Health Coalition
    Ø Assisted in forming a Child Abuse Prevention Council in Adair County and remain an
        active member of the board.
    Ø Board of Health
    Ø Board of Supervisors
    Ø Decat Board
    Ø Interagency Monthly Meetings
The struggle to obtain funding for the needed programs continues. The collaboration of the
communities assists in finding funding and eliminates the duplication of programming.

      Name:         Linda Warriner, RN
      Address:      117 NW Hayes, Suite A
                    Greenfield, Iowa 50849
      Phone:        641-743-6173
      Fax:          641-743-6157

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Adams County Empowerment Area


The vision of the Adams County Empowerment Area (ACEA) is to enhance the quality of life in Adams County by
promoting strong, healthy families. Barriers continue to be overcome, and programs and services coordinated
through community collaboration. Our focus is on the possibilities rather than the problems, providing clarity to
efforts, avoiding duplication of services, and visionary planning for the future.

Every family faces its own set of challenges. Parents must work to provide for the material requirements of their
children. They need to be able to give their children both guidance and “stuff,” but time and money are both
factors in addressing these needs. Work cuts into family time, and if parents can’t work or have not gained the
necessary skills to budget and plan for the future they may enter into a cycle of despair. Demands placed on the
family by society may not take into consideration the family’s shortfalls in education, socialization, support
networks, and income. Service providers, schools, and citizens must be sensitive to the individual and unique
qualities of each family when planning programs with them. Since children are always learning, our community
plan addresses the wide spectrum of children’s first schoolhouse, their home and community, while providing
individual and unique supports to families.
♦     Number of families participating in Parents as Teachers (PAT), accessing the Early Childhood Resource
      Library(ECRL), or receiving Iowa State University (ISU) newsletter services
♦     Number of families accessing preschool scholarship services/enrollment levels at the area preschools
♦     Family usage of the Crisis Child Care system
♦     Number of available slots in registered/licensed day care, providers with Child Development Associate(CDA)
      Accreditation or higher training degrees, providers accessing Child Resource and Referral training events, and
      unregistered providers able to meet registration requirements

SCHOOL READY PROGRAMS: Early Childhood Resource Library, Parents as Teachers, ISU Newsletter, Preschool
Enhancement Program (funded jointly by Decat and ACEA), Crisis Child Care

EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS: CDA Accreditation Scholarships, Child Care Provider Training Scholarships

The Early Childhood Resource Library houses materials including developmental toys, puzzles, books for both children and
adults, and parenting videos. The library boasts that these items are adult/ child interactive, “no batteries allowed.” The library
serves as a “one-stop shop” to connect parents with needed services and agencies. Families or providers may “drop in” and play
during regular library hours, borrow items for extended use, or participate in scheduled community play events. Activities
promoting children’s physical, intellectual, social-emotional, and language skills are available. Focus, again, is on modeling
effective care-giver interaction and teaching appropriate developmental levels and expectations.

The ECRL served 103 families as well as seven child care providers during the period. Forty-eight individuals attended ECRL
sponsored community activities and 2161 items were on loan to families and providers. ECRL collaborated with the public
library to make board books available at that location. Board books were checked out 130 times by families through this

Parents as Teachers, housed with the Early Childhood Resource Library, began serving children prenatal through age 3 in April
1999, and extended PAT services to include children ages 3-5 in April 2000. Through home visits, families receive timely
information concerning their child’s developmental stages. The parent educator acts a facilitator, making observations about the
child’s individual learning style and stage of development, modeling effective communication and discipline skills, and
supporting the family in their efforts to incorporate these methods into their own parenting style and ideas. Parents are
encouraged to become observers of their children, establish routines that will benefit learning, and know their child’s needs
better than anyone else can. By becoming their child’s best observer, parents are prepared to form a partnership with educators
once their child enters formal educational settings. Parents as Teachers links parents with health care, employment, crisis
intervention, and other service agencies as needed.

ACEA utilizes one parent educator to conduct home visits. During this time frame, PAT conducted 393 visits serving 36
families. Current enrollment stands at 51 children from 33 families. Only one family has dropped from the program for a reason
other than moving from the service area.

Iowa State University Extension newsletter services were used to reach families not participating in PAT or utilizing the ECRL.
Newsletters, sent directly to the family’s home, contain timely information concerning their child’s development. Depending
upon the age of the child, families receive a newsletter least quarterly. Normally, newsletters carry a $2 to $3 charge to the
family, but this fee is paid for with ACEA funds. Families were enrolled through the collaborative efforts involving the WIC
and Immunization Clinics, Parents as Teachers, Child Health Fairs, preschools, home and day care facilities, and new baby

hospital visits. Ninety-five families have received newsletters for one or more of their children since January 2000.

The Preschool Enhancement Program provides scholarships for families to one of the county’s private preschools.
Children qualifying for WIC, HAWK I Health, or free and reduced lunches, but who cannot secure a slot in Head
Start or free access to Positive Approach Preschool, (funded through Shared Visions), are eligible for the
scholarships. The project is jointly funded, with ACEA dollars supplying materials for administration and Decat
funds providing scholarship money.

Nine children will use funds from the Preschool Enhancement Program to attend the preschool of their choice in the
upcoming year. Another gain of the program has been enhancement of preschool collaboration and services. Head
Start and Positive Approach report families applied earlier than normal, and the programs were full at the start of the
school year. Privately funded preschools in the county report an increase in enrollment this year over the past two
years, with one preschool enrolling enough children to offer separate three- and four-year-old programs.

Crisis Child Care received ACEA support beginning in August 2000. Despite the best efforts of any community, families may
find themselves in crisis situations due to stress, health emergencies, employment or family disfunction, or lack of natural
supports. As part of the ACEA efforts, families have the opportunity to resolve crisis and emergencies while their children
receive quality care in the homes of registered day care providers. Families utilizing Crisis Child Care services are further
encouraged to reevaluate their natural support systems and are linked with service providers that can help them successfully cope
with future emergency situations.

Child Development Associate Accreditation and health and safety workshops are provided in collaboration with Southwestern
Community College and Child Resource and Referral services. The majority of the home providers in the area are unregistered
and unregulated; however, the county houses one registered day care facility and has several home providers who have assumed
the lead in child care over the years. In response to a recent survey, providers have expressed an interest in expanding their
knowledge of health and safety practices. Through the CDA funding and other sponsored workshops, all area day care providers
have the opportunity to improve the quality of their services, the children in their care are exposed to appropriate routines, and
parents are better able to meet the demands of employers.

One priority identified by the community plan involved recruitment and retention of quality child care professionals.
When ACEA began offering CDA reimbursement in 1999, only three day care or preschool providers possessed a
CDA or higher early childhood degree. Currently, six providers meet this standard and four more providers are
attending CDA training with ACEA funding.
Marnie Cline, Chairperson
P.O. Box 25, Corning, IA 50841
Phone: 641/322-4131
Fax: 641/322-4734


Appanoose County
Davis County
Lucas County
Monroe County

VISION AND MISSION: All families living within the A.D.L.M. Empowerment Area will have an
opportunity to live in a healthy, nurturing, safe environment. This will allow for all individuals to grow to
their fullest potential and become productive and contributing members of society. It is the vision of this
Empowerment Area that through community partnering unnecessary barriers will be reduced to improve the
efficiency and effectiveness of local education, health, and human services programs.

By fostering collaboration among agencies and communities within the four county area communications will
be improved, unnecessary barriers to community efforts will be reduced, and resources utilized more
efficiently and effectively.

The School Ready Component of the original community plan was concentrated in implementing the Parents
As Teachers program. The original plan was to serve only children from birth to age three. We have recently
expanded the services on a limited basis to children ages four and five.

The Early Childhood Component of the community plan strives to improve the availability and quality of
childcare and preschool resources in the four county area. We have provided funding assistance to existing
providers to update equipment and facilities to improve the quality of childcare and preschool. Funded
increased contact hours and availability of preschool. Newly implemented programs involve health
consultations and enhanced recruiting and training efforts.

Current activities have been implemented to address the following local indicators:

    Ø   Percentage of children identified for special education will decline.
    Ø   Average skill levels of children entering school in kindergarten or first grade will improve.
    Ø   Average skill levels of third grade students will improve.
    Ø   Average daily attendance rate of children, grades K-3 will improve.
    Ø   Number of student contact hours of low income three and four-year-old children in Head Start will
    Ø   Percentage of kindergarten students that attend preschool will improve.
    Ø   Number of licensed/registered childcare slots will increase.
    Ø   Number of hours of licensed/registered/non-regulated provider participation in training will increase.
    Ø   Number of accredited or licensed preschool slots will increase.
    Ø   Percentage of registered/licensed childcare providers/childcare slots shall grow relative to the number
        of unregistered.

   Ø Parents As Teachers -- Home visitor program designed to empower all parents to give their children
     the best possible start in life. Provides assistance in designing and implementing programs of
     developmentally appropriate activities for all children. Also provides the system of network support
     for participating parents.
   Ø Enhancement of existing services -- Supporting existing childcare providers, integrated day-care and
     preschool providers, private preschool providers, and Head Start programs and expanding and
     updating their services. Provide funding to update equipment used by the providers to make available
     safe developmentally appropriate activities for children they served. Provide funding to assist with
     staff training needs. Provided funding to increase class contact hours for Head Start four-year old
     classes. Provide funding for private preschool providers to make available tuition scholarships and
     increase the number of children they serve.
   Ø Health Consultations -- Projects that involve Public Health Nursing in all four counties offering health
     consultation to existing childcare providers and the A.D.L.M. Environmental Health Office providing
     environmental health and safety consultation to childcare providers.
   Ø Childcare Recruitment and Training -- In collaboration with two community action programs and two
     Childcare Resource and Referral regions we are providing a childcare recruiter in Lucas and Monroe
     counties and a childcare recruiter and trainer in Appanoose and Davis counties. This collaboration
     also involves an in-depth survey of the communities to determine childcare needs.

Our Parents As Teachers program has been providing in-home visits since April of 1999. Each county is
served by an educator with an average caseload of 30 families. During the last year the program served an
average of 117 families and 145 children per month. The families took advantage of approximately 75% of the
available in home visits, averaging approximately 93 per month. Bimonthly group activities provide the
participating families with social interaction with other families, insight on development, creative play with
their children and adult support. Each family is afforded the opportunity to have their children participate in
developmental screening designed to provide early detection of developmental problems and referral for
appropriate services. Families are also provided with community resource guides to help them identify and
utilize other services provided in their communities that meet their needs.

Our efforts to improve the availability and quality of childcare and private preschool services in our four
county area have affected the lives of approximately 330 children in approximately 220 families. These
children enjoyed healthier environments and more modern and developmentally appropriate activities.
Approximately 70 children received scholarships to attend private preschools. These children, in all
likelihood, would not have attended preschool without the scholarships. In addition, the number of class
contact hours was increased for Head Start four-year old classes serving 84 children.

In collaboration with public health services we are providing programs to make our childcare facilities
healthier places. The Public Health Nursing services in each county will provide health consultations for
childcare providers. The A.D.L.M. Environmental Health Office will also make available environmental
health and safety consultations for any childcare provider.

In an effort to increase the availability of childcare we are collaborating with Child Care Resource and Referral
and the community action programs serving our area to recruit and train new childcare providers. This also
involves collaboration with a community task force in Centerville to develop and administer an in-depth
community survey to provide reliable data concerning childcare needs and resources. This survey will be
administered in and data compiled for each of the four counties.

Jack Maletta                                             Phone (641) 437-4450
Coordinator Centerville Cluster Decat Project            Fax (641) 437-4089
P.O. Box 488                                             e-mail
Centerville, IA 52544

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Partnerships 4 Families Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Audubon, Carroll, Greene, and Guthrie Counties

VISION: All families living within the Partnerships 4 Families Empowerment Area will be physically
and emotionally healthy, having access to quality child care and intellectual stimulation in their children’s
early years. These strong families will in turn demonstrate intra-familial interaction and assertive
parenting skills, contributing to the success and well-being of their communities.

MISSION: Our mission is to utilize communities, parents, local government, health and human service
agencies, child care providers, and schools to better organize existing collaborative efforts, delivering
services that promote early childhood education, improve health status and decrease the rate of
occurrence of child abuse and neglect, while increasing parental involvement and support.

Developed and implemented Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success (HOPES) and
Early Head Start in January 1999; continue to increase service capacity in these programs.

Increase preschool programming through the expansion of Early Head Start.

Provide training and home consultant services to encourage the development of needed services and
encourage provider registration. To have developmentally appropriate play equipment offered to day care
providers who seek registration or initiate needed infant, special needs, or alternate hours of day care
services. Partnering with Public Health for immunization and health services at all day care homes. Hired
a child care social worker to increase the number of day care spot checks using DHS criteria.

Development of an innovative Family Financial Educator project to restructure household budgets and
spending to meet basic financial needs, as well as to plan for financial goals.

Development of Collaboration 4 Families, a collaboration of home visiting service agencies to discuss
how to more effectively use scarce resources through collaboration and the prevention of duplication of
services. Development of county based case management team meetings on a monthly basis. Agencies
come together with families to staff their services to help families best meet their needs. The forums
allow for agencies to prevent duplication of services.

Develop shared coordinator for DHS Decategorization/ Juvenile Justice and Empowerment Area
leadership. Combine Decat/JJ and Empowerment Advisory Board and pool resources for community
development. Assist parents with child care and transportation to allow their participate in local planning

  1. Quality and Accessibility of Child Care
        a. # licensed/registered daycare slots and providers
        b. # children served in alternative hours, spec. needs and infant care settings
        c. # daycare providers attending training
        d. % of day care providers within compliance with DHS checklist

    2. Basic Skill level of Children
           a. # children identified for special education
           b. K-3 attendance
           c. 3rd grade Iowa Tests of Basic Skills scores
           d. % children attending preschool
           e. School readiness as measured by the Denver II Developmental test

    3. Health Status (emotional, social, physical intellectual)
          a. Mothers seeking prenatal care in the first trimester
          b. Prenatal tobacco use and substance abuse
          c. Low birth weight, teen birth rate and infant mortality rate
          d. # founded child abuse and Children in Need of Assistance (CINA)
          e. Two year old immunization rates
          f. % children served by a medical home
          g. % families screened at birth for assets and risk factors
          h. Poverty rate in children< 5 years
          i. Domestic violence rate

    4. Safe and Stable Families
           a. Parent access to parent support resources at the time of birth
           b. Enrollment of high risk families into HOPES and Early Head Start
           c. Ability to prevent out-of-home placements
           d. % of parents completing parenting education
           e. Parent attendance at the pre-school/school conferences

Success stories have been numerous; the collaboration within the Empowerment Programs has been
enhanced by the birth of “Collaborations 4 Families” which brings together providers of in-home services
to discuss treatment plans and goals for the families. This has helped in avoiding duplication and is
giving insight to the families needs for all participating agencies. The local case management teams that
meet in a specific county are able to include family members to better identify their strengths and build
trust, and support with the families they serve.

In-home provider registrations have increased with the implementation of the Child Care Social Worker
and the Child Care Home Consultant. This team has given support, provided a wealth of information,
education and encouragement to in-home providers. This has resulted in safer homes, with quality child

HOPES and Early Head Start have cooperated in serving children 0-5 using the Denver Developmental
Screening tool and have collaborated with many outside agencies to address the needs of families they
serve. Both programs have been very successful with full case loads and slots.

Regina Lloyd
Area Administrator
Region XII Council of Governments
1009 E. Anthony Street, PO Box 768
Carroll, Iowa 54104-0768

Phone: 712-792-9914 FAX: 712-792-1751



VISION AND MISSION : The vision of the Benton County Empowerment Board is to provide
families with the resources and services necessary to successfully raise their children in a safe
and nurturing environment. It is our intent that families will recognize the need for support
services and utilize these services appropriately. To strengthen families, schools, communities
and providers is our mission.

The Benton County Empowerment Board has identified four major goals in development of the
overall plan. The first goal is that all children have access to affordable, quality daycare and
preschool programming. The second goal is to assure that Benton County families have current,
accurate knowledge about the variety of health, education, and human service resources available
to them. In addition, families will know how and when to access the appropriate resource. Goal
three is to assure that all parents will have access to the education/training/resources necessary to
appropriately prepare their children for kindergarten. The last goal included in our plan is to
assure that transportation barriers are removed for parents and children 0-5 so they can access the
appropriate health, education, or human service resource in a timely manner.

Goal one: Access to daycare and preschool
       a. number of children served with scholarship funds from the local Empowerment
       b. number of licensed/registered daycare slots
       c. number of slots not filled by licensed/registered providers
       d. number of daycare providers attending training

Goal two: Family Resource knowledge
       a. number of families receiving a resource packet
       b. number of contacts to childcare providers by the Childcare Resource Coordinator
       c. number of referrals to service providers from the CCC
       d. number of phone calls to the 800 phone number

Goal three: Family support
       a. number of families attending support group activities
       b. number of families receiving home visitation services
       c. number of children entering kindergarten assessed as ready to learn

Goal four: Transportation issues:
       a. number of centers assisting with carpooling lists
       b. establishment of linkages with public and private transportation services

The Benton County Empowerment Board has provided for the enhancement of childcare services
by offering educational opportunities at local sites for childcare providers. The opportunity to
meet at a local site for educational information also has provided the opportunity for networking

among providers. This networking opportunity has received unanimous praise from the
participating providers. In addition to the educational sessions, registered and licensed providers
now have access to educational materials and equipment for the purpose of enhancing the
environment for the children age 0-5 that they serve.

Plans for current year funding include the hiring of a Child Care Resource Coordinator, a call for
proposals to provide home visitation using either the Parents as Teachers or HOPES Healthy
Families model, and development of a Parent Education Program.

The first educational session for childcare providers was held in February, 2000 and the
Empowerment Board received high praise for their efforts from the providers in attendance. The
opportunity to network with other providers received high praise to the extent that the group now
meets ½ hour before the session begins and they provide snacks to share. Educational sessions
are held once per month and are free to the participants. All childcare providers in Benton
County are invited to attend.

Nancy Farmer
VGH Home Health Agency
502 N 9th Ave.
Vinton, IA 52349

                               Cedar Valley's Promise
                                      “Uniting for the Love of Our Children”
Mentor Protect Nurture Teach Serve

VISION AND MISSION: “Parents, families, and communities, united for the love of our
children, will be informed and wholly involved in nurturing our children to ensure access to
resources needed for optimal development.”

To make this vision a reality the community must:
   1. Provide safe and developmentally enriching care giving and environments, which
      promote the physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth of young children and
      prepare them for future growth and development.
   2. Support parents, both mothers and fathers, in their role as primary care givers and
      educators of their children, and families in meeting personal goals and achieving self-
      sufficiency in a wide variety of domains.
   3. Mobilize to provide the resources and environment necessary to ensure a comprehensive,
      integrated array of services and supports for families, and to foster the systems change
      necessary to summon forth the guiding vision of this initiative.

Expanded services for at-risk families and improved access to them:
      Expand Early Head Start Home-based services to an additional 120 families. The local
      Early Head Start program is called Project Hand-in-Hand. It is a family-centered
      program which provides early continuous intensive and comprehensive child
      development and family support services on a weekly basis year round to low-income
      families with children under age three and to pregnant women. It links programs for
      children and parenting support with adult-oriented services such as job training or adult
      education for parents, and promotes positive outcomes for both children and parents
      within the context of a family-centered approach to services delivery. Tri-County Child
      and Family Development Council, Inc. oversees this collaborative project. This project is
      funded by the School Ready Empowerment funding.

1. Improvement and expansion of accessible, high quality child care:

       Through this initiative CVP will:
    Ø Improve existing child care
    Ø Attract additional care providers into the field and train them
    Ø Assist child care providers in obtaining registration
    Ø Assist child care providers in starting or expanding their services
    Ø Encourage child care providers to seek accreditation.
This project is targeted toward the 797 existing child care providers (266 registered and 531
unregistered) and to potential new providers in Black Hawk County. Child Care Resource and
Referral of Northeast Iowa (CCR&R) oversees this collaborative project. This project is funded
by the Early Childhood Services funding.

  1.   Raise the basic skill level of our children.
  2.   Improve the quality and accessibility of child care.
  3.   Improve the health of children in Black Hawk County.
  4.   Decrease incidence of child abuse and neglect.
  5.   Increase parent involvement with their children.
  6.   Increase early intellectual stimulation of very young children.
  7.   Increase the access of children and families to an adult mentor.

Due to report length constraints, we are only highlighting the School Ready Funded portion at
this time:

   ü 175 children, ages pre-natal to 3 years old, received some services during this calendar
   ü 105 families currently are actively participating on a weekly basis.
   ü Weekly Home Visits for each family, approximately 90 minutes in duration
             t Bi-weekly home visits and bi-weekly child care visits are an option for
                 working parents – 6 families choosing this configuration
   ü Curriculum:
             t Child’s individual development and interests as well as the goals of the
   ü Ages and Stages Screening tool used regularly
             t Follow-up on developmental concerns through referrals to Early Access and,
                 if necessary, assessment process.
   ü Socialization Experiences (Parent and Tot Time, PATT)
             t Three opportunities to meet with other parents and children are offered per
                 month (encouraging parents and children to attend two monthly)
             t Children have opportunity to play with other children and participate in a
                 variety of educational activity centers.
             t Parents have opportunity to observe their children interacting with other
                 children and participate in play with their children.
             t Parents meet with other parents to share experiences, hear speakers, and
                 provide input into the program.
   ü Parents are encouraged and assisted in providing for their child’s health needs through
     well-baby checks, immunizations, and dental screenings.
   ü Parent education of healthy nutrition and safe home practices is also provided.
   ü Family Goals developed in Family Partnership Agreements


COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Boone County Community Empowerment Project

VISION AND MISSION: Through the creation of the Boone County Empowerment Board, we are
better able to enhance our county’s ability to develop and sustain a nurturing and supportive community
culture that is committed to all citizens, especially our children. Our mission is to provide outreach to all
families in the Boone County Empowerment Area in order to improve their access to opportunities,
resources, and supports needed to build strong and healthy families. We strive to create and sustain a
unified system of education, health, and social services. Our long range goal is to support all families in
meeting their children’s emotional, physical, and social needs which are essential stepping stones to
maximizing each child’s learning potential.

The program initiatives are designed to maximize and build on the resources already present in the
county. This will ensure a collaborative and efficient service system to avoid any potential duplication. In
long term, a full service community family center where all services, supports and programs could be
accessed by any family in Boone County, is envisioned. Currently, the vision has been in planning stages
and the Board has contracted with a professional consultant to assess the community’s support for the
project and pre-applied for a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant. With positive results from
both, the envisioned center will become a reality in the next two years.

Lack of outreach and screening for pregnant and post-partum women and their families
A high teen birth rate - In 1995, the teen birth rate was higher than the state average of 10.9%.
Child abuse rates - In 1994, there were 64 documented, founded cases of child abuse, resulting in a rate
higher than the state average. In 1995, there were another 65 founded cases.
Percentage of low birth weight infants – The percentage of infants who are born at a low birth weight has
increased steadily from 4.2% in 1994, to 5.2% in 1995, and most recently, 9.7% in 1996.
Immunization rates at age 2 – The percentage of fully immunized two year olds has increased steadily
during the 1900’s, to a reported coverage of 98% for 1996.
Incidence of infants born affected by drugs, alcohol and tobacco – Close to 17% of all infants born in
Boone County in 1996 were exposed pre-natally to maternal smoking. In the nine months (9/97-6/98)
that the Healthy Futures Program was screening pregnant women, 26% reported having used drugs,
alcohol, or cigarettes in the past month.
Percentage of mothers not receiving prenatal care in the first trimester – In Boone County, there are
approximately 35-40 infants born each year without the benefit of the early screening.
Need for programs and day care options which provide safe environments and quality
On-going waiting list for entrance into Head Start
Percentage of kindergarten students identified as not “school-ready” on social, cognitive, and emotional
development assessments – In two school districts, this percentage was greater than 25%, meaning more
than one quarter of kindergartners were not “school ready”.
A general shortage of available/affordable day care options, especially for children ages 0-2 from working
Children ages 0-5 with both parents in the labor force – For 70% of preschool children who live with both
parents, both parents are in the labor force; for 67% of preschool children living in single parent families,
their single parent is in the labor force.
Support needed for Infant Care Providers and a need for professionalization/increase in status of child
care workers – A provider survey reported a need for more training about infants and specialized care and
assistance with acquiring needed equipment. Technical assistance in financial management and problem
solving as well as better pay were also recommended.

Center for Child Care Resources – The Provider Services/Infant Care Coordinator provides professional
support to in-home child care providers and recruits new persons willing to provide in-home infant and
toddler care. The Coordinator assists the providers to better the quality of their business through
professional development classes and conferences. Recently, the Infant Network was established as a
method of motivating in-home providers to become registered with the State of Iowa and open more
infant slots.
Healthy Futures –Every pregnant woman in Boone County is eligible to participate in by responding to a
questionnaire at her doctor’s prenatal appointment. The mothers have the opportunity to receive home
visits from a nurse who is able to address the new mother’s concerns regarding the baby’s development
and nutrition. The Family Development Specialist provides additional support to the family to provide
on-going home visitation, goal-setting assistance, parent education, and connecting them with existing
resources in the community.
Building Blocks Preschool – “Building a firm foundation for future success” is the motto of the Building
Blocks Preschool. The Teacher and the Teacher Associate address important areas such as social skills,
academics, nutrition, dental health, family and arts. A Family Advocate provides support through home
visits twenty (20) hours per week. A family would qualify if their income falls at or below 185% of the
poverty level.
“Wrap-around” Child Care Services – The Building Blocks Preschool works closely with New Horizons
Child Care Center in order to accommodate parents who work full time. The parents are able to drop off
their children at the child care center as early as 6 A.M. The children are then transported to preschool
from 8:15 A.M. to 2:15 P.M. The children are transported back to the child care center where they can
stay until 6 P.M.

Center for Child Care Resources: During the first six months of implementation (11/99-6/00) the
number of identified child care slots in Boone County increased by 111 slots. The number of group
training sessions offered in Boone County to providers increased from 4 to 17. The increased number of
group training options reflects a significant increase in Sate Training funds during FY 2000 and a
collaborative training effort between ISU Extension and CCR.
Healthy Futures: Over a one year time period, there was 151 screens of pregnant women in Boone
County that were assessed a risk. Only 14 of the 151 were assessed “no risk”, 105 were assessed as “low
risk” and the remaining 32 were considered “moderate to high risk”. The year-to-date total staff contacts
from Healthy Futures, Home Health Care of Boone County Hospital, and HOMEWARD have made 420
contacts, completed 503.75 hours of direct contact and spent 168.5 hours on the phone with participants.
Building Blocks: During the school year 1999-2000, there were 18 children enrolled in Building Blocks
Pre-school from 16 families. This number remained constant as no children moved or dropped out from
the program. All of the children were four years of age as of September 15, 1999. Sixteen of the
children live in the Boone School District and two live in the Ogden School District. Eight of the
children live in single-parent homes and eight live in two-parent homes. Eight of the children participated
in the “wrap-around” care provided by Empowerment and New Horizons Child Care Center.
Family Resource Center: The project has been in the planning stage over the past year and currently is
under-going a feasibility study to assess the level of community support.

Sara Klute, Coordinator
Department of Human Services
900 West Mamie Eisenhower Avenue
Boone, IA 50036
(515) 433-0593 Ext. 233

NAME OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA:                          Communities Empowering Families

COUNTIES IN AREA: Bremer, Butler, Franklin, and Grundy Counties

VISION AND MISSION: The vision of the Bremer, Butler, Franklin and Grundy County
Empowerment Area is to create communities that recognize the value of collaboration in regard
to providing an environment for children that is safe, healthy, nurturing and intellectually
stimulating. The vision is based on the beliefs that each child has a right to be safe, healthy,
nurtured and educated; families/parents are primarily responsible for ensuring that their
children's needs are met and rights fulfilled; all members of the community can and should play
a role in promoting the overall well-being of families and children by being inclusive and
providing opportunities for families to meet their basic needs; each family and community in the
area has strengths that can be built upon.

The Communities Empowering Families Collaborative hosts annual forums and monthly
planning meetings to identify priority issues for families with children and programs/services
that are likely to result in positive outcomes for those families. (Identified FY 2001 priorities are
as follows: ADD/ADHD, child care, coordination, domestic violence, early intervention &
parent education, individual services, innovative programs, mentoring, school programming, and
substance abuse.) The collaborative then utilizes funding from a variety of sources
(Decategorization, Empowerment, Juvenile Justice) to implement/provide the needed
services/programs. The funding sources identify the goals or desired results to be achieved with
the funding. The Communities Empowering Families Collaborative then matches the
programs/services that were identified as being needed with the most appropriate funding source.

    Need – Program/Service                       Indicator                 Timeline
 Child Care: Resource             10% increase in the number of            3-5 Years
 Development Coordinator &        licensed/registered child care providers
 Mini Grants (The full-time       5% increase in the number of
 Resource Development             unregistered, referable child care       3-5 Years
 Coordinator's role is to provide providers listed with child care
 outreach and support to child    resource and referral
 care providers. The mini-grant 5% increase in the number of
 program that the coordinator     licensed/registered/non-regulated
 administers is intended to serve providers participating in training
 as an incentive for child care   5% increase in the number of parents
 providers to become registered, utilizing Child Care Resource and
 while promoting infant care and Referral's consultation service when
 age appropriate brain            selecting child care
                                                                           3-5 Years

     Need – Program/Service                         Indicator                  Timeline
 Early Intervention: HOPES            20% increase in parenting skills          Annual
 (HOPES is a home visitor             3% decrease in low birth weight
 program for the parents of           3% decrease in child abuse               3-5 Years
 newborns that promotes healthy       3% increase in immunization
 child development and parental                                                3-5 Years
 nurturing skills.)                                                            3-5 Years
 Parent Education:                    200% increase in the number of            Annual
 Newsletters (Parenting               newsletters distributed
 newsletters will be distributed      50% of parents utilizing the
 to all parents of children ages 0-   newsletters will report an increase in    Annual
 5. Parenting newsletters are a       positive parent-child interaction
 proven way to improve                3% decrease in child abuse
 parenting skills, reduce child       3% decrease in CINA
 abuse, and strengthen early                                                   3-5 Years
 childhood development.)                                                       3-5 Years
 School Readiness: PAT                100% of children who participate in       Annual
 (Parents As Teachers is a home       PAT will be school ready and
 visitor program that enhances        successfully transition into
 children's language, intellectual,   kindergarten
 social, and motor skills.)
 School Readiness: Preschool          100% of children who attend preschool     Annual
 Scholarships (Children who           will be school ready and successfully
 are not eligible for Head Start      transition into kindergarten
 and can not afford to pay for
 other preschool opportunities        10% increase in the number of children
 would be eligible for tuition        attending preschool
 scholarships.)                                                                 Annual

The Communities Empowering Families Collaborative serves the entire four-county area, but
each county and some of the communities also have their own "grass roots" level collaboratives.
All of the collaboratives have broad based community representation and are focused on meeting
the needs of families with children. Open communication exists among all of the collaborative
groups, which has made it possible to maximize the resources for families with children that are
currently available in the area. The collaboratives have been successful in creating and
implementing domestic violence, early intervention, parent education, school and substance
abuse programs.

Shawna Lebeck
Community Coordinator
Butler County D.H.S.
315 N. Main – P.O. Box 306
Allison, Iowa 50602
Phone: 319-267-2594
Fax: 319-267-9678

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Decategorization Project/Community Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Buchanan, Delaware & Fayette

VISION AND MISSION: Families are at the heart of our communities. We envision communities that promote
family self-esteem, self-sufficiency and self-determination

In 1996, the Buchanan, Delaware and Fayette County Decategorization Project promoted a new way of doing
business by allowing communities to help make decisions on the state’s child welfare budget. The project started
with approximately 20 – 30 participants and $40,000 for various community-based services.

The project grew as area agencies, public health, public schools and citizens came to the table to work together on
identifying family strengths and needs in our area. Through the community empowerment initiative, additional
creative services for children 0-5 years old and their families were added. Other funds were sought and other
services were added. In the last two years, the community-planning project has grown to one administrative Board
with 3 county advisory councils and several work groups that allow over 100 participants to work toward
community results. They utilize over half a million dollars through Decategorization, School Ready, TANF,
Juvenile Justice, and other grants.

     Result                        Indicators                                       Program
 Healthy            Area rate of immunization by               Lead Screening Tests
 Children           age 2                                      Hawk-I Outreach
                    Area rate of prenatal care                 Immunization Follow-up
                    Low birth rate                             Teen Prenatal Classes - Prenatal Classes
                                                               Balanced Health.BDF Project
 Children           Capacity of area preschools                Preschool
 Ready to           % of children entering kdg. who            Preschool Teacher Training
 Succeed in         have attended preschool                    Preschool Equipment/Materials Mini-grants
 School             % of children with 7< readiness
                    skills (as determined by kdg. teachers)
 Safe and           Domestic abuse rate                        BDF Community Resource System Web Site
 Supportive         Juvenile arrest rate                                        With other funding -
 Communities        High school drop out rate                  Before /After school programs
                    Poverty level                              School Detention Programs
                    Employment rate                            Substance abuse group
                                                               Juvenile Justice Communication Enhancement
                                                               Mentoring programs
                                                               Summer school programs
                                                               Juvenile Detention services
                                                               “Managing Pressures” pregnancy prevention
                                                               School-based substance abuse counselor
                                                               Home detention/monitoring program
 Secure and         Child abuse rate                           Parents As Teachers
 Nurturing          Divorce rate                               Healthy Families (HOPES)
 Families           Teen birth rate                            Kindermusik
                                                               New Born Packets
 Secure and         Child abuse rate in a child care setting   2nd Shift Child Care
 Nurturing          Registered day care providers              Child Care Scholarships
 Child Care                                                    Child Care Provider Mini-grants
 Environments                                                  Resource Development Coordinator

In the summer of 1999, the 11 area superintendents, 3 public health programs, community members and
various human service agencies of the area met to discuss the system providing services to children and their

families. The community school districts stated that they have become the hubs of family life in their small
rural communities. They have been overwhelmed with the non-academic problems of children and families
that cause low attendance, low attention spans and low grades. Each year, hundreds of children and their
families fall through the cracks in the system of traditional services. This causes many to receive limited
services or no services at all.

The areas of concern were broken down into the 5 result areas. It was decided to begin by addressing the area
of health care access, so the Balanced Health.BDF Project was formed. This network will actively help
struggling families with children, ages 0-18, find the resources they need to send happy, healthy children to
school, ready to learn.

The 16 partners have submitted a federal grant to obtain funds for data collection and case management. This
will give the partners accurate data to develop a more responsive system of care and ensure that no children
will be left behind.
Ø Accomplishments:
         In fiscal year 1999,
    °   Over 88 children have been able to attend preschool
    °   Kindermusik has grown to 4 trained instructors who have provided classes to 160 parents and their children
    °   Each of the eleven school district areas has various after school activities designed to improve social, anger
        management and decision making skills with parental involvement
    °    The Parents As Teachers and HOPES programs have provided in-home parent support services to the
        families of 131 children
    °    These families have shown a significant decrease in inappropriate parental expectations, inability to be
        empathetic, belief in corporal punishment and reversed family roles.
    °   The number of child care slots has increased by 18%
    °   22 child care providers received 616 hours of training
    °   76 families remained employed due expansion of 2nd shift child care
    °   Second shift child are is now available in two counties
    °   Child care scholarships provided 6,495 hours of child care to working parents
    °   Each county has detention services available to safely hold juvenile offenders
    °   Immunization rates have increased an average of 4% in all three counties
    °  Outreach services are available to help uninsured families obtain health insurance through the HAWK-I
Community Planning – An evolving process
The Decategorization Project and the Buchanan, Delaware and Fayette Community Empowerment Area have
combined their organizational structures to promote:
    °   better collaboration between the families, the community, area agencies and the state agencies,
    °   reduction of duplicated/fragmented services to children and families, and
    °   development of joint strategic plans.
This partnership will only support projects that support community planning and show multi-agency
collaboration in response to community needs. The BDF Decategorization Project/Community Empowerment
Area has developed a combined structure that allows over 100 people to work on various work groups,
advisory councils and the Board to coordinate community planning and ensure results for our communities.
They volunteer more than 210 hours of service per month.

Janet Freeman, Project Director
212 First Street Independence Iowa 50644
(319 334 – 5105     Fax (319) 334 – 5106
Web site coming soon:

                          BUENA VISTA, CRAWFORD & SAC COUNTIES
                             EMPOWERMENT AREA SHOWCASE

                                         •   HEALTHY CHILDREN
                                         •   SAFE AND NURTURING FAMILIES
                                         •   CHILDREN READY TO SUCCEED IN SCHOOL
                                         •   SAFE & SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITIES
                                         •   SAFE & NURTURING CHILDCARE ENVIRONMENTS

NAME: Buena Vista, Crawford, & Sac Counties Community Empowerment Area
      % Community Empowerment Director (currently vacant)
      1710 West Main
      Sac City, IA. 50583
      Phone: 712-662-7604       Fax: 712-662-4979
      Email: Interim contact: Diane Briest (712) 732-2257

BOARD CHAIRPERSON:                                 FISCAL AGENT:
     Rhonda Christensen                                  Buena Vista County
     824 Flindt Drive, Suite 101                         % Karen Strawn, Auditor
     Storm Lake, IA. 50588                               Courthouse
     Phone: 712-732-5056                                 Storm Lake, IA. 50588
     Fax: 712-732-5006                                   Phone: 712-749-2542
     Email:                           Fax: 712-732-2603

Counties:        Buena Vista County Crawford County                Sac County
School           Storm Lake/St. Mary’s            Denison                   Sac City
Districts:       Alta                             Schleswig                 Wall Lake View Auburn
                 Sioux Central                    ArWeVa                    Odebolt-Arthur
                 Newell-Fonda                     Charter Oak-Ute           Schaller-Crestland
                 Albert City-Truesdale            Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla

VISION: It is the vision of the Buena Vista, Crawford, and Sac Counties Community Empowerment
Area that families, schools, communities, and providers share in the responsibility for ensuring the
social, emotional, and behavioral success of all children. Children are able to live in safe and
nurturing families, in supportive communities, and able to succeed in school preparing them to be
responsible adults, parents, and citizens.

                                                  GUIDING PRINCIPLES:
                                                         §  Develop partnerships
                                                         §  Provide opportunities
                  MISSION:                               §  Take risks
          To energize communities,                       §  Be innovative and creative
           families, and individuals                     §  Enhance quality
           and enable them to take                       §  Be culturally sensitive
                                                         §  Eliminate barriers
             responsibility for their                    §  Improve communication, cooperation &
                     future.                                collaboration
                                                         §  Utilize best practices
                                                         §  Be future oriented
                                                         §  Make it happen

Linking Local Activities to Sate Indicators
State Desired Results      Local                 Local Desired Results                                Local Indicators
Healthy Children                        The health, safety, and development of       §   % of babies born who weigh under 5 lbs 5 oz
                           Family       children will improve with access to pre-    §   Rate of children immunized at a public clinic by
                           STEPS        natal services that are available to all         age 2
Safe and Nurturing         Early        Children will live in families that are      §   Children ages 0-18 whose abuse has been
Families                 Childhood      safe, secure and nurturing, with families        founded by DHS
                        “Mini-Grants”   having access to parent education and        §   Birth rate for females aged 17 and younger
                                        support programs.
Safe and Supportive                     Families will live in communities that       §   Total arrests of children 18 years and under for
Communities                             are safe and supportive of children and          any offense
                                        families.                                    §   % of Iowans age 18 and under whose income is at
                                                                                         or below the federal poverty level
Children Ready To                       Children will enter school ready to          §   %PreSchools receiving mini-grants that are
Succeed In School                       learn.                                           accredited or working towards accreditation
Secure and Nurturing                    Children will have access to safe and        §   # “slots” or “spaces” potentially available for a
Childcare                               nurturing child care environments within         child in a registered setting
Environments                            the communities of their choice.             §   % child care settings receiving mini-grants that
                                                                                         hve expanded capacity with mini-grants
                                                                                     §   % child care settings receiving mini-grants that
                                                                                         hve or receive training in Early Brain research

          Family STEPS: Support To Experience Parenting Success
What is Family STEPS?
Family STEPS is a family support program. We believe that a child’s first and best teacher is his or her parent. Family STEPS
offers support and education for all families with a child ages 0-5 or expecting a child in Buena Vista, Crawford, or Sac counties.
Family STEPS offers home visits to parents to help provide a healthy start in life, and also to reduce the stress associated with
the birth of a baby. A family support worker can give the parent(s) and child(ren) the most valuable gift of all-loving and
nurturing parent(s). The family support worker will become a friend the family can count on to help parent(s) decide what
they want for their children, and then help them get it. There is no charge for any family.

What can Family STEPS assist
parents with?
§   Preparing for your baby
§   Prenatal support                                                                Who do I contact?
§   Caring for your baby’s needs and still taking                                   Diane Briest, Early Childhood
    care of yourself
§   What to expect as your baby grows
                                                                                    Case Manager
§   Locating quality child care                                                     824 Flindt Drive, Suite 105
§   Building parenting skills and confidences as a                                  Storm Lake, IA. 50588
§   Linkage to a medical provider; transportation
                                                                                    (712) 732-2257, Ext. 17
    when needed                                                                     e-mail
§   Referrals to community resources

Parenting in our changing society can be stressful, especially for new parents. Family STEPS will provide Support To
Experience Parenting Success.

Family STEPS is funded by the Buena Vista, Crawford, and Sac Counties Community Empowerment
Area School Ready grant funding.
        Early Childhood (TANF) Mini-Grants Mini-grants provide local communities with financial
assistance to address the “unique” needs for the early childhood environments within their communities.
Mini Grants are funded by the Buena Vista, Crawford, and Sac Counties Community Empowerment Area
Early Childhood grant funding.

                 Community Empowerment Area
                 Calhoun, Pocahontas, and Webster Counties

Decategorization project

COUNTIES IN AREA: Calhoun, Pocahontas and Webster Counties,

LINKING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES is proud to have received Early Childhood funds in
January 2000. The Early Childhood funds support Child Care Consultants in each of the counties.
The Area, through local planning meetings, has continued to collaborate, plan and work on the
School Ready programs and application. Local planning meetings are held monthly with
representation from over 450 community member and service agencies. Through collaborative
efforts the Empowerment Area remains committed to its vision, mission and philosophy.

VISION: LINKING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES will engage communities and families
collaboratively in building a system and environment in which families and communities are
strengthened and empowered through choices and opportunities. Our vision capitalizes on strengths
and leads to healthy and resilient families and children.

MISSION: LINKING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES' mission is to improve the well being of
children and families through collaboration, creation and implementation of a client-driven service
system. Implementation of a client-driven service system will focus on reducing barriers to families
and reduction in the duplication of services.

PHILOSOPHY: A family is a unit of interdependent and interacting person, related together over
time by strong social and emotional bonds and/or ties of marriage, birth and adoption. The family’s
central purpose is to create, maintain and promote the social, mental, physical and emotional
development and well being of each of its members. LINKING FAMILIES AND COMMUNTIES
Empowerment Area holds the philosophy that to support our families we believe that prevention of
factors, which cause children to be at risk, will help assure that the health, shelter, social/emotional
and intellectual needs of every child will be met. This prevention philosophy is built upon these

•   Each family has strengths and is responsible for a child’s well-being and development
•   Each family has a right to access quality services that support self-sufficiency
•   Early intellectual stimulation of children is critical
•   Each child has the right to be safe, healthy, educated and nurtured
•   Every child has the right to quality, accessible and affordable child care
•   All adults in the community have the responsibility of nurturing children

LINKING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES Empowerment Area has submitted a School Ready
application to support the following programs in each of the three counties:

Family Foundations Parent Visition Program (Based on HOPES/HFI Model)
Research has demonstrated that home visitation programs can be successful in addressing a host of
family issues such as health and development, school readiness, socialization, parent child
interaction, and family coping skills. HOPES/HFI recommends critical elements or practice standards

for effective home visitation programs as a result of repeated evaluation of early intervention and
prevention programs with integration into a wide range of community systems. Communities
identifying a need for building strong families by implementing or improving home visitation
services for prenatal women and new parents can use the criteria to systematically identify at risk
families, to identify gaps in services and to service families comprehensively.

The Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success (HOPES/HFI) prevention program is
unique with the emphasis on a systems based approach to:
1. Promote optimal child health and development;
2. Improve family coping skills and functioning;
3. Promote positive parenting skills and interfamilial interaction; and
4. Prevent child abuse/neglect, infant mortality and morbidity

The overall approach is to offer pregnant women and all new parents appropriate supportive services
and to offer those at risk families an intensive home visitation service. The level of appropriate
supportive services is identified from a universal risk screening of all families with newborns and/or
prenatal women. The program then assists families in designing an Individual Family Support Plan
based on strengths and goals and works with families over an extended period to achieve these goals.

Preschool Opportunities Expansion Program
Each county and community experiences diverse needs in regard to preschool opportunities for
children ages 3-5. Preschools can apply for funds from the Empowerment Area in the following
categories to allow for the diversity of each county and expand current preschool opportunities:

1. Support to Parents
   a. Scholarships for tuition
   b. Scholarships for transportation reimbursement
2. Support to Preschools
   a. Funds for educational materials and/or supplies.

With this plan, scholarships will be made available in each county using the 3-5 year old population
for allocation. The project will reach children that do not have an opportunity for a preschool
experience due to lack of money for transportation and/or tuition. It will also provide existing
preschools with an opportunity to apply, through an Request for Proposal (RFP) process, for funds to
develop or improve opportunities for school readiness.

Elizabeth Stanek, Decategorization-Empowerment Coordinator
P.O. Box 837,
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
Fax: 515-573-1678



COUNTIES IN AREA: Cass, Mills, Montgomery

VISION: The vision of Cass/Mills/Montgomery Boost4Families is to support quality services that are
integrated, comprehensive, and family centered, resulting in nurtured, resilient, healthy, and responsible

Cass, Mills, and Montgomery Counties were designated an Empowerment Area in January 1999. The three
counties include a population of approximately 40,000, with 3,770 children ages 0-5. Prior to January 1999,
the three counties worked together as a child welfare decategorized area, and as an Innovation Zone. Decat
and Empowerment are completely integrated in this area, sharing governance structures, personnel, and other
resources. In May 1999, the area was designated by the National Partnership for Re-Inventing Government as
a “Boost4Kids” site, further strengthening the focus on achieving positive results for children.

Although the focus of Empowerment activity has been on services to 0-5 year old children and their families,
Boost4Families also maintains an active involvement in services for older children, including projects related
to school attendance, after-school activities, support groups for youth, teen pregnancy prevention, etc.

Empowerment Goals
The following are Boost4Families Empowerment goals:
        • Ensure access to pre-school services for at-risk children ages 3-5;
        • Ensure a comprehensive program for child development education for parents of children ages 0-
            5; and
        • Increase the availability and quality of child care.

The following indicators will measure the success of Empowerment activities achieving Boost4Families’
        1. Measurement of skill level/readiness of children entering kindergarten
        2. Percentage of kindergarten students who have attended pre-school
        3. Number of available pre-school spaces
        4. Teen birth rate and percentage of births to mothers age 20 or older
        5. Low birth weight rate
        6. Immunization rate at age 2
        7. Child abuse rate
        8. Percentage of parents accessing parenting/community resources before leaving the hospital after
            the birth of a child
        9. Number of licensed/registered child care slots
        10. Number of center-based infant care, sick child care, and night care slots


                                 PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Since Empowerment designation, Montgomery County Parents As Teachers has served 120 children, and
Mills County Parents As Teachers has served 85 children. A new Cass County Parents As Teachers was
created, serving 35 children since August 2000. Building Families in Cass County served 53 children.
Building Families New Parent Visits in Cass County made 20 home visits. PRICE Parenting in all counties
served 34 children ages 0-5.

                                       FAMILIES GROWING & KNOWING
Results from the initial distribution of the Families Growing and Knowing Bags have been compiled. 1,456
children and their parents received the activity bags last fall. As of Oct. 5, 2000, 1,102 bags have been
delivered to children in the three-county area.

                              CHILD CARE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
A Child Care Development Specialist provides child development information to child care providers and
promotes quality child care. She has made home visits with 35 child care providers since joining us in May

                             EXTENDED DAY AND WEEKEND CARE GRANT
To increase the availability of evening and weekend child care, an increase in the hourly wage is available for
providers who care for children ages 0-5 after 6 p.m. during the week or anytime on weekends. Two homes
receive the grants, with six children served.

                                       INFANT EQUIPMENT GRANT
Grants are available to help child care providers and centers in the expansion of child care services for infants
offered in our three counties.
    Ø 32 $500 grants to home child care providers + 5 centers @ $2,000

                                   PRESCHOOL TUITION GRANTS
Ten school districts approved 104 Tuition Grants for preschool children this year.

We contracted with a local business and are working with a school district to provide transportation to and
from preschool. Currently, 8 preschool students are served.

Boost4Families has designated a $500 staff development grant to area preschools to support continuing
education by staff. Applications are accepted three times a year.

                                  TWO NEW AT-RISK PRESCHOOLS
Glenwood and Nishna Valley schools opened at-risk preschool classrooms in the fall of 1999. In the 2000-
01 school year, Nishna Valley has 17 enrolled, and Glenwood has 14.

The 10 school districts have agreed upon a common tool to measure the "school readiness” of each year’s
entering kindergarten class. This has provided a baseline to determine if all activities listed above are raising
the overall level of school readiness.

For additional information, contact Boost4Families Coordinator Sonja Marquez ( or
Boost4Families Outreach Coordinator Heidi Lowthorp ( at 712-527-1578.

                                 CEDAR COUNTY EMPOWERMENT
P.O. BOX 23, TIPTON, IA 52772

                                     December 4, 2000

Counties: Cedar


Preserve the family as the central system of support for all children. Empower families to
protect and support all children, while maintaining their rights, safety, and dignity.
Improve cooperation among the public, private and consumer entities within the
community to enhance collaboration among the health, education, and family welfare

Community Plan Overview:

To improve availability and access to proper education and health treatment for our
mostly rural population. To help provide and promote increased quality day care for
children. To help provide education and training opportunities for child care providers and

Local Indicators:

Three service needs assessment surveys in the county identified the following needs as
priorities in Cedar County: Transportation, family services and counseling, information
and referral, non traditional hours for day care, increased day care slots, education for day
care providers.

Primary Services Provided with Empowerment Funding:

Increased day care slots in five day care centers and/or homes. Developed a learning
curriculum for pre-school children available to all day care providers and pre-schools.
Increased hours of day care availability in one day care center and one day care home.
Provided transportation for children in five day care centers or homes. Provided age
appropriate equipment for day care and for learning.

In addition to those things listed in Primary services provided, Empowerment has brought
about a community cooperation of citizens, elected officials, education, health, and human
service personnel to focus on the needs of the young child. We have brought about better
nutrition through the expansion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. We have
encouraged and helped day care providers to pursue further education and have one day
care home working toward accreditation which should happen in the next year.

Contact for Empowerment:

Sherry Snyder
515 Cedar St.
Tipton, IA 52772
FAX 319-886-3030

                EMPOWERMENT AREA
The purpose of the Cerro Gordo, Hancock and Wroth County Empowerment Area includes:
improving the well being of families with young children; creating partnerships between
community, state government and various organizations; and breaking away barriers that limit
efforts to address the educational, health and social support needs of families.

The following proposed community plan fosters the system enhancements necessary for
improving the well being of all children zero to five:
˜ Empowering new and expectant parents through a parent support/education/home visitation
˜ Improving accessible and quality child care and preschool for all families with young
˜ Enriching the network of community health services to guarantee children a healthy start

The local empowerment board with community input, identified ten key priorities/ indicators for
area children’s well being:
     ˜ Children enrolled in preschool         ˜ Childhood blood lead levels
     ˜ Infants born affected by drugs         ˜ Infants born with low birth weight
     ˜ Childhood immunizations                ˜ Prenatal care
     ˜ Domestic / family violence             ˜ Child abuse
     ˜ Fourth grade reading level             ˜ Kindergarten readiness
Current data on 40 indicators of child well being is maintained. This collection of indicators provides the
region with a multidimensional perspective and allows for an overview of progress toward regional, state
                                         and national objectives.

Early Childhood Funding ~ In the second year of services
Goal: To improve accessible, affordable and quality childcare for all families with young children.
Strategy ~ Administer a childcare scholarship program for families between 140% -185% of poverty.
Description of Services ~ Supplemental Scholarships Are Available Up To $3,500 (Family With 2 Or
More Children) Or $2,500 (Family With One Child) In One Year. Scholarships May Not Be Used For
Child Enrichment Programs Or For Child-Protective Reasons. To Qualify For Assistance Families Must
Meet All Of The Following: (1) Use A Licensed/Registered Child Care Provider, (2) Provide At Least
35% Of Child Care Costs Each Moth, (3) Employed Or Participating In An Educational/Vocational
Program Or Seeking Work After Completing An Educational Program, (4) Resident Of Cerro Gordo,
Hancock Or Worth Counties, (5) Income Level Of 140% -185% Of Poverty, (6) Not Receiving Child
Care Assistance From Any Other Source.

       Our Mission: To Improve the Lives of Young Children and Their Families in Our Community
School Ready Funding ~ Just beginning first year of services
Three goals with identified strategies have been established:
1. To enrich the network of community health services to guarantee children a healthy start.
  Strategy ~ Administer a zero to two and school entry childhood immunization case
  management program.
  Description of Services ~ Public health in each county will input all WIC clients
  immunization records into the state ADIOS immunization surveillance system, provide
  monthly tracking, data collection, follow-up, immunizations and immunization record
  completion. The methodology will be a model for public/private immunization partnerships
  in the future.

2.     To empower new and expectant parents through a parent support / education / home
     visitation program.
     Strategy ~ Serve 73 families with a home visitation program.
     Description of Services ~ “Family Connections” home visitation program targets educating
     the family during pregnancy or families with children 0-5. Families design their own plan
     through the use of an “Individual Family Service Plan” tool and are assigned a Family
     Support Worker that matches their desired outcomes.

3.     To improve accessible and quality child care and preschools for all families with young
     Strategy ~ Assist individuals who care for children, improve the quality of care; establish
     quality assurance and performance standards by means of a compensated provider training.
     Description of Services ~ A child care provider training program that is linked to a
     compensation incentive. Training is based on a module learning process by integrating
     services offered within our region. Two tracks of training will be provided: (1) Non-
     registered provider track and (2) Registered/licensed provider track.

Since We Are Just Beginning Our Empowerment Programs, Results Are Limited. To Date, Twenty-Six
Families Are Enrolled In The Childcare Scholarship Program. Several Organizations Servicing Families
And Children 0-5 Are Collaborating To Enhance The Well Being Of Our Children. Due To The Current
Collaborative Efforts, Programs Have Been Developed To Enhance Services And To Pool Local

Jaci L. Santee, MA
Empowerment Area Administrator
% Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health
22 N. Georgia Avenue, Suite 300
Mason City, IA 50401
Phone: (641) 421-9300       Fax: (641) 421-9350

     Our Mission: To Improve the Lives of Young Children and Their Families in Our Community

Northwest Iowa
          Community Empowerment
                    Cherokee      *    Lyon     *    Plymouth      *    Sioux

VISION: Parents of young children will be confident in their ability to provide appropriate care
and nurturing to ensure their children are healthy and ready to succeed in school and other life

Parents of young children will have access to a seamless range of quality community services to
assist them with the care and personal development of their children.

MISSION: Northwest Iowa Community Empowerment will work collaboratively with citizens,
elected officials and community service providers to develop a system that addresses local and
state mandated priorities relating to the positive physical and emotional development of area

Our uses both ‘Early Childhood (TANF)’ and ‘School Ready’ Empowerment funding allocations
to provide a range of services to families with young children.

‘Benefits for Beginners’, a program developed and established in FY2000, provides training and
incentives aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of childcare services in our area.
‘Benefits for Beginners’ is coordinated by our Early Childhood Specialist, sub-contracted
through Mid-Sioux Opportunity, our area’s community action agency. The Early Childhood
Specialist coordinates training for childcare providers in each of our four counties. These
trainings support recent research findings relating to early brain development by training home
and agency providers in proven strategies for enhancing this early development.

Program enhancements planned for FY2001 include establishment of a points-based incentive
program for childcare providers.          Working with the Early Childhood Specialist and
demonstrating steps taken to improve service quality accumulates points that can then be
redeemed for toys or equipment to enhance their program. The Early Childhood Specialist will
also coordinate an Equipment Mini-Grant Program and a Training Reimbursement Program,
offering further incentives for childcare providers to attend approved training opportunities.

Fiscal Year 2001 will see the first year our area will receive a School Ready allocation. Our plan
is to develop a home visitation service with staff in each of our four counties. Staff will receive
training in the Healthy Families America model and will work collaboratively with others in the
area to ensure that needs are met and services are not duplicated. Also new in FY2001 will be
the development of our Community Empowerment web site. The site will serve as a
communication and resource tool, allowing families and services to connect with the latest local,
regional, state, national and inter-national research and resources.

Shorter Term
Variety & Frequency of Training (Parent & Provider)
Attendance at Empowerment Trainings
Training Session Satisfaction Surveys
Number of Families Participating in Empowerment Programs
Satisfaction of Families with Empowerment Programs

Longer Term -
Reduction in child abuse cases reported by welfare and justice providers
Reduction in infants born with chronic health problems
Increase in the level of provider and parent awareness on brain development and its implications for life
long learning.

Entering our second year of funding, Northwest Iowa Community Empowerment has become a
recognizable presence in the area. Participation by citizens and community services is excellent and,
when we see the need to establish short-term focus groups, sub-committees and ‘think tanks’ we are able
to draw on some of the finest and most committed individuals from our area. With the latest increase in
funds from School Ready, efforts are being directed to development of our home visitation service,
website and enhancement of our policies/procedures.
Community Empowerment services are planned and developed based on broadly supported needs
assessment and prioritization processes.

Mark Zellmer                                                     ph:       (712) 737-2943
Community Empowerment Administrator                              fax:      (712) 737-3564
PO Box 375                                                       e :
Orange City, IA 51041-0375                                       web:      ((pending))

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Family First Empowerment Area


To collectively proceed with old business in a new way through collaboration, mutual support,
and diminished duplication and therefore, enhance the quality of life for all FFEA residents.

FFEA is dedicated to the mission of building healthy children, healthy families, and a healthy

It is our goal to create a central point of contact for all families with children 0-5 yrs of age. This
person will be known as the Early Childhood Resources Specialist and will serve as a direct
contact for families. In creating this position it is hoped that a database will be established to
track all newborns in our county. This position will also include supervision of the local Parents
as Teachers Programs and community providers of child care services.

FFEA indicators are as follows:
     Increase the number of newborns being tracked in our area
     80% of parents of newborns will receive at least one support visit
     Increase parent satisfaction with community services available
     Immunization rate will be maintained at 90% or above at age 2
     Increase number of women receiving adequate prenatal care
     Increase basic reading interest of children prior to school entry
     Increase story hour participants by 50%
     Increase the current literacy rate
     Increase basic skill test scores when child first tested (First Grade)
             Reduce the number of children with developmental delays/Special Ed needs
     through early intervention
     Increase the parent knowledge of developmentally appropriate behaviors

We have developed “Fun Boxes” for checkout in the community for families-includes age
appropriate activity, book, and a toy. We funded our own child care conference and learned
that the money would be more wisely spent in collaborating with an already established child
care conference and we helped to fund the already established Decatur Co. conference which is
attended by our child care providers.

We are in the process of hiring the Early Childhood Resource Specialist –which was our ultimate
goal. This person will assist us in impacting the indicators listed above

As time has passed we have seen true collaboration develop to the point that ideas are brought up
and small groups start to work on them right away with people offering time and dollars as well.
Thanks to the Empowerment Funds we are able to achieve goals that were only ideas 6 months

Jean Gibbons
Clarke County Public Health
134 W. Jefferson
Osceola, Iowa 50213
Phone: 641-342-3724
FAX: 641-342-2603

Lakes Area Decategorization/Empowerment Board
                      Clay, Dickinson, Osceola, & O’Brien Counties

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Lakes Area Decategorizaiton/Empowerment Board

COUNTIES IN AREA: Clay, Dickinson, Osceola and O’Brien

VISION AND MISSION: Our vision is that our community members will have a greater understanding of the
needs of our families with young children, and that they all take part in supporting them. Our children will thrive
and have the opportunity to live in a nurturing environment that is healthy, safe and stable. Children and families
with be treated with compassion and respect by all community members and service providers. Parents will be
prepared to rear, teach, and love their children unconditionally, and children will be ready for life’s challenges of
school, relationships, and work. Quality and accessible child care will be readily available to enable families to
financially support themselves. In-home parent education services, comprehensive child care training, and in-home
visitations of newborns and their parents are some of the essential services that will be provided in our community’s
support system to families with young children. Innovative and collaborative efforts amongst our community
members and service providers will continue to insure the needs of children and families come first in an ever
changing environment.

The Lakes Area Decategorization/Empowerment Area is located in Northwest Iowa and is coterminous with Clay,
Dickinson, Osceola and O’Brien counties. Like many rural areas, the communities have a strong history of
interagency collaboration in maximizing scarce resources to better serve families and children. Members of
community organizations have been meeting for three years to identify key issues facing the community and have
determined how those issues might best be addressed to produce safe, supportive communities and to enhance the
quality of life for Northwest Iowa families. Two major community needs impacting the 0-5 population in these four
counties were identified following 95 community meetings, combined with results of a broad-based survey
completed by 350 community representatives. First, there is a major discrepancy between the number of children
needing quality childcare and the number of preschool slots available. Second, an alarming number of babies born
in the four county area have many health problems. These needs parallel the purpose of recent Empowerment
Legislation and have created the impetus for construction of present programs. Three programs have been

 1. Best Care for Better Babies “Healthy Children” In-Home Visiting
This program targets at-risk parents with children in the pre-natal or newborn phase and promotes optimum health
and positive lifestyles for parents and children. A Universal Risk Assessment is conducted to provide early
identification of at-risk families. Health professionals then conduct visits to voluntary participants’ homes, focusing
attention on the number of child abuse incidents, the number of chemically exposed infants, the number of children
testing positive for lead exposure, the teen birth rate and other factors that jeopardize child and family health. New
or pregnant mothers receive one-to-one assistance, are referred to other agencies when necessary, receive assistance
with HAWK-I insurance enrollment and receive help in utilizing other community resources from qualified health
professionals. Since the program has only been in operation since February of 2000, the amount of service delivered
in the areas chosen as indicators is still the best measure of both “service provided” and “results”. Below is a list of
program indicators and the service delivered to date:
Indicator: Completion of basic immunization series by age 2 Service: 180 children in program under age 2 have
current immunization status.
Indicator: Child Abuse Service: 8 program participants were referred to community resources. 222 program
participants have completed documented risk assessments. 555 visits have been made by Maternal Child Health
Indicator: Low birth-weight Service: 19 dads and 99 moms have received pre-natal contact. 9 referrals were made
to the Dietician during pre-natal contact. 30 dads and 112 moms received smoking education and/or handouts.
Indicator: Chemically abused infants Service: 2 dads and 31 moms received counseling during the first trimester.

Indicator: Teen births Service: Among the program participants, 5 dads and 26 moms received counseling.
Indicator: HAWK-I insured children Service: 14 program participants received information.
Indicator: Lead exposure Service: 4 Program participants were screened with High Risk Lead Questionnaire.

2. Home Visitation and Parent Support (Parents as Teachers Based Model)
A home-school-community partnership, constructed through collaborative efforts, provides parents with information
on child development from birth to age five and suggests learning opportunities that encourage language, intellectual
growth, physical and social skills. The partnership provides in-home family support services with varying intensity.
The program sponsors group activities, provides early detection of potential problems through screenings, increases
participation levels in PAT and KIDS (in-home nurturing programs) and helps parents access community resources.
Professionals work with families who are challenged by critical issues such as poverty, limited literacy, lack of
problem-solving skills, inadequate parenting skills and a myriad of other socio-economic concerns. The program has
been operating for six months, so data on the provision of service is the best indicator of results. The program is
collecting information which will allow evaluation of services, the quality of service delivery and the impact of
these services on the community. Below is a list of services delivered to date:
         Service: 421 families contacted by the program.
         Service: 67 families with 80 children are participating in PAT based programs.
         Service: 163 families have been referred to community services.

3. Childcare/Preschool Environments
Personalized home, center or preschool visits by Certified Parent Educators and Early Childhood Education
Specialists help parents/caregivers understand what to expect at each stage of a child’s development and offer
practical tips on ways to encourage learning, manage challenging behavior and promote strong parent/caregiver
relationships. In-home, Center and Preschool Consultants work with childcare providers and preschool teachers to
increase the number of childcare slots and provide incentives to providers that encourage training and career
development. Preschool scholarships are available for children whose families cannot afford tuition. Mini-grants
help childcare providers and preschools purchase items that increase the quality of childcare and also prepares
children for later success in school. Below is a list of program indicators and the service delivered to date :
Indicator: Registered childcare providers Service: 11 new providers have begun registration procedures.
Indicator: Number of slots in home and licensed childcare centers Service: Total slots were increased by 84.
Indicator: Childcare provider participation in incentive (mini-grant) programs Service: 37 childcare providers are
participating in the program. They have set goals, developed action plans and begun purchasing materials.
Indicator: Scholarships for preschool opportunities Service: 27 scholarships have been awarded.
Indicator: Contacts and follow-up assistance Service: There have been 64 in-home visits, 13 center visits and 7
support group meetings.
Indicator: Childcare providers trained in brain research strategies Service: Support groups have discussed training
needs and ideas and completed training survey to be taken to advisory board.

Other exciting projects have been made possible through the Empowerment Initiative such as an interactive
webpage for parents and health professionals, development of a Head Start model childcare center, support to 9
childcare centers to enhance quality and to expand capacity (which includes an accreditation process by NAEYC).

Future plans/activities supported in part by local government and private foundations include a literacy education
and book give-a-way project, educational toy program, vitamins for pre-natal moms, and development of a toddler
curriculum. Through the Children’s Defense Fund there will be an opportunity to explore current childcare, early
education, and school age issues, including participation in advocacy and leadership development.

Cyndee Dather,
Decat/Empowerment Coordinator,
1710 Gary Ave,
 Spirit Lake IA.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Clinton/Jackson Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Clinton and Jackson County

We envision people of all ages in Clinton and Jackson County working together to support, nurture and
empower all individuals towards creating productive, safe and healthy communities for our children and their

To develop and maintain a collaborative system of needs-based services, implemented at the earliest possible
point of intervention, that strengthens families and communities.

With the enactment of Empowerment Area legislation, in 1998, came the opportunity for the Clinton/Jackson
Planning Council to focus our efforts on our early childhood population, with a special emphasis on school
readiness. Our original Empowerment Plan included plans to provide:
§ Opportunities for more children to attend school readiness programs by providing them with scholarships
§ An expanded home visitation program for parents of newborns that offers parent education and support
§ Expanded daycare capacity in Clinton and Jackson County
§ This fiscal year, funds are also allocated to Unleadit, our childhood lead prevention program.

In developing this plan, we combined and coordinated the efforts of a wide array of public and private
agencies, boards, programs, collaboratives, and state supported initiatives into one coordinated bi-county
system of services. This collaborative structure combines multiple initiatives designed to promote
collaboration, local planning, and local governance. We have devolved our Decat Project, Comprehensive
Strategy Initiative, Community Health Assessments, and Empowerment Area into one bi-county effort
designed to address the serious problems facing our children and families. Our Governance Board and
Planners Council met regularly with technical assistance experts to analyze the most recent data. From this
process, we prioritized our needs, identified gaps in service, created effective programming, and assessed
targeted outcomes. This process is being implemented to address all children and their families, across the
continuum. However, many of our efforts over the past year and a half have been targeted at applying this
process specifically to children age 0 through 5 years.

Through this collaborative process, we have experienced past success in establishing large-scale, collaborative,
bi-county efforts that assist children of all ages, including those 0 through 5. These services include School-
Based Youth Services and Families and Schools Together (FAST) programming in all ten school districts,
foster care recruitment, extensive summer recreation and learning programs in five of our communities, a
domestic violence center in Jackson County, and support for the Partners in Parenting, Parent Aide and Lead
Prevention outreach programs. With a combined budget of over $1,000,000.00 annually, these ongoing
collaborative services were integrated with new services that arose from the Empowerment Area process.
Those services include Head Start Expansion, Second Shift Childcare, expansion of the Partners in Parenting
Home Visitation Program and a Preschool Scholarship Program.


Early Childhood Environments
Core Indicators
   §              Availability and accessibility of quality childcare.
   §              The number of kindergarten students identified for special education services.
   §              The number of low income children participating in preschool programs.
   §              The basic skill level for children participating in preschool programing.
   §              Employment of parents participating in programs.
   §              Average daily attendance for first and second grade students.
   §              Reading levels of fourth grade students.

Core Indicators
   §        Children born with low birth weight.
   §        Children not receiving proper immunizations at age 2.
   §        Number of children born to teen mothers.
   §        Number of founded child abuse cases.
   §        Number of parents engaged in substance abuse behaviors.
   §        Number of families without access to regular medical care.

Parent Education and Support
Core Indicators
   §        Parental involvement with their children.
   §        Births to mothers age 20 or older.
   §        Parents accessing parenting resources.
   §        Screenings conducted with expectant mothers.


                                              TANF Programs

Second Shift Childcare-YWCA, Clinton
By offering extended hours of services, this program allows parents to obtain/retain employment that they
might otherwise be forced to forego because childcare was unavailable for second shift employment.

Head Start Expansion
This extended, single session Head Start classroom is useful for primary caregivers who might otherwise be
unable to secure early childhood care and education because they work or attend training part-time.

                                          School-Ready Programs

Partners in Parenting Home Visitation program
This program, operating since 1994 as the first Decat-funded project, is a primary prevention program that
offers support and education to all families of newborns in Clinton and Jackson County.

Preschool Scholarship program
In an effort to achieve increased school readiness, scholarships are made available to preschool age children
who do not qualify for other programs such as Head Start or AEA Early Learning program.

Unleadit Childhood Lead Screening program
Unleadit, started in early 1995, identifies, tests and implements home abatement for children and families
exposed to lead poisoning in conjunction with Well Child Clinics, schools and Public Health Agencies.

Sally Schroeder
Clinton/Jackson Planning Council
215 6th Avenue South, Suite 30
Clinton, IA 52732
Phone: 319-242-5340
Fax: 319-242-2774

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Dallas County Community Empowerment Project


VISION AND MISSION: The Dallas County Empowerment Board will create effective community
collaborations to provide a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for all families with young children.
Children will then arrive at school ready to learn and will reach their full potential. The long-term goal of the
Dallas County Empowerment Board is to support all families in meeting their children’s physical, emotional,
social, and economic needs which are essential to maximizing each child’s learning potential.

Overview of Community Plan: In 1999, the Dallas County Empowerment Board conducted a collaborative
needs assessment process to identify priority issues for children age 0-5 and their families. This needs
assessment involved review of local demographics, local agency service statistics, data available through
county and state databases, and various parent surveys that had been conducted locally in recent years. Many
different agencies and community constituents (including consumers) were involved in review and
interpretation of the data, as well as in the identification of priority issues to be addressed through
empowerment activities.

Lack of access to early prenatal care and appropriate follow-up services for all mothers and their families.

The percentage of women giving birth who received prenatal care in the first trimester and women who
received adequate prenatal care: Early intervention before, during, and after a pregnancy, including the
provision of educational, nutritional, and psycho-social support in addition to medical care, is associated with
lower rates of adverse outcomes such as child abuse/neglect, infant mortality, premature birth, low birth
weight, and fetal alcohol syndrome. The needs assessment results suggested that early and on-going access to
prenatal care is not assured for all women in Dallas County.

Dallas County is undergoing two demographic changes which are challenging the already stressed existing
maternal, and child health problems. First, the number of births to county residents has increased by 24%
since 1993 (425 births in 1993 to 527 births in 1998), increasing the overall need for services for pregnant
women. Secondly, since 1994, both the number and percentage of Hispanic births in the county has nearly
tripled. In 1994, there were 22 Hispanic births, accounting for 5% of total births in the county. By 1998, there
were 69 Hispanic births in Dallas County, representing over 13% of all births. Language and culture barriers,
low education and income levels, and the uninsured status of many of these families place them at greater risk.

Percentage of low birth weight births and infant mortality rate: The incidence of both has elevated in recent
years. Using the five year averages, the percentage of births in Dallas County which are at a low birth rate
(less than 5 lb. 5 oz, or 2500 grams) is higher than the state average. Likewise, the five year average infant
mortality rate for Dallas County is higher than the most recent statewide annual average.

Number of home visits provided to high risk pregnant and post-partum women: Community Opportunities, the
regional Community Action Agency, headquarters outside the county and provides minimal maternal health
services in Dallas County. At monthly satellite clinics, Community Opportunities offers family planning,
WIC, and some child health services, but no home visiting services are currently available.

School Readiness: The county needs assessment revealed that assessment and tracking of school-readiness
among kindergartners is inconsistent across the county. Schools that conduct assessments use a variety of
different tools; some only assess children who appear to have difficulties, others do no screening at all.

Family Self-Sufficiency: In Dallas County, 19.8% or 653 children age 0-5 live in families with incomes at or
below 185% of poverty. About 25% of all births that occur in the county are to women who depend on
Medicaid for health coverage.

Child Care Resource and Referral: The Provider Services Coordinator (PSC) was hired in March, 2000. The
goal of the program is to increase the quality and quantity of child care in Dallas County, and to increase the
number of safe child care slots available. The Coordinator locally provides services to child care providers,
parents, employers and the community. She has contacted many local child care providers and held
informational meetings. The outcome of this project will be “increased availability and better quality home
based day care for 0-2 year olds by providing training, professional development and support opportunities for
registered home day care workers caring for young children.”

Since March, the Coordinator has identified a total of 81 home providers, 50 of those are referable. She has
made 130 phone contacts with those providers on the CCR&R database, 25 phone contacts with providers not
on the database, and 10 home visits. The Coordinator has identified and contacted 20 child care programs, not
including pre-schools, and 15 summer programs for school-age children. All of the above mentioned have
received an introductory mailing and training information. The Coordinator has also put into operation 10
provider orientations, 3 video training’s on Stress, Behavior, and Dramatic Play, 7 CPR/First Aid certification
classes, and 6 School-Age Fresh Ideas trainings. Two of the orientations were individual information meetings
that are important for referral purposes and quality control. Those meetings give her the opportunity to
encourage state-registration, attending training, and applying for the food program.

Recently, the Empowerment Board received a School-Ready allocation to provide a home visiting program
called Healthy Opportunities Starting Today (HOST) that is similar to the HOPES program. The Dallas
County Public Health Nursing agency will provide home visits by a nurse and a social worker to overburdened
families. Support activities include: advocating for and linking families to appropriate community services,
scheduling and obtaining preventative health exams, promoting parent-child interaction, teaching and
modeling appropriate parental behaviors and methods of discipline, and teaching stages of child development
and appropriate expectations. The program will be implemented this month, October, 2000.

Important local collaborations include the Human Services Coalition, Networkers, Child Abuse Prevention
Coalition, and the Methamphetamine Task Force. These meetings present the opportunity to network and
share ideas so that the community is aware of Empowerment and continue to build relationships that foster the
Empowerment principles. Many of the local agencies have contributed time in the development of Dallas
County Empowerment. The service providers are able to network and discuss what their particular agency has
available, including new and updated programming. In turn, the possibility of duplication in services is
minimal, and additional input enhances services. The local service agencies are able to address planning
combinations if there appears to be any possible duplication.

The most recent accomplishment is receiving the School-Ready allocation and beginning services as soon as
possible. Dallas County is a diverse county with many needs. Empowerment will play a vital role in the
success of many children across the county.

Sara Klute, Coordinator
210 N. 10th Street
Adel, IA 50003
(515) 993-5817 Ext. 233
Fax (515) 993-5829

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Decatur County Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Decatur and a portion of Wayne, Ringgold, and Lucas Counties

VISISION: To provide the best quality service programs for all children and families within the
Decatur County Empowerment Area, inclusive of Central Decatur, Lamoni, and Morman Trail
School Districts. It is the vision of this empowerment area to foster healthy, nurturing, safe
communities which will launch our children on a successful life course. Building upon existing
collaborative efforts, it is always our intention to provide excellent services with quality and

The Decatur County Empowerment plan has two main parts: 3-center-based comprehensive early
childhood classroom programs for three and four year olds and the Parents as Teachers program for
families with children birth to three years of age.

The SCICAP Head Start has coordinated the three early childhood classrooms, once in each of the
three school district, which utilizes the comprehensive Head Start model. Each classroom has an
early childhood endorsed teacher and an assistant. The early childhood classrooms can serve: CD
16, Mormon Trail 14, and Lamoni 18.

The Parents As Teachers (PAT) program through The Family Place provides one full time and one
part time certified and trained parent educator to do monthly home visits serving 45 additional
families with children birth to age three within the Empowerment Area. In addition, group meeting
and periodic screenings are provided for participating families. The PAT program is designed to
empower all parents to give their children the bet possible start in life.

• The number of training hours for licensed/registered/non-regulated childcare providers will
  increase within the empowerment area
• The number of accredited preschools slots will increase
• Increase in health among out children
• The percentage of young children identified for special education will sufficiently decline as
  indicated by a reduction in trend line within the next five years
• The number of students and direct contact hours of three and four year olds will increase in Head
  Start and early childhood classrooms
• The percentage of students entering kindergarten who have attended an early childhood
  classroom will increase
• The average daily attendance rate of young children kindergarten through third grade will
  improve, as indicated by an increase in the trend line within the next five years. Starting this
  year, each school will begin collecting data on an annual basis.
• The percentage of referrals will increase
• The percentage of parents volunteering and participating in activities will increase

•   At age three, children participating in early childhood programs will show early growth and
    development milestones
•   The percentage of parents reading to their children will increase over the next 5 years
•   Parent-child bonding will increase within the empowerment area
•   Access to adult mentors will increase within the empowerment area

The primary services provided through the School Ready Empowerment funding is three center-
based comprehensive early childhood classroom program for three and four year olds and the Parents
as Teachers program for families with children birth to age three. These programs are critical for
preparing our children to enter school ready to learn.

Early Childhood (TANF) dollars funds comprehensive bookbags for 30 daycare and home providers,
a childcare conference, and mini grants.

The Empowerment Area has successful brought together over twenty different agencies and
organizations in a collaborative effort to better serve our most important asset our children. Head
Start has successful collaborated with the board to coordinate all three center-based early childhood
classrooms and The Family Place has been very successful in expanding the Parents as Teachers
program through the help of collaborative partners and the board. The board views Parents as
Teachers as a terrific program to prepare children to enter Head Start and preschool, given how
critical the first years of a child’s life are for brain development.

The Decatur County Empowerment board views parent comments and feedback as one of the most
valuable ways to demonstrate successes. The following are comments parents have made:
•   The Empowerment Preschool is truly a good thing, especially for a young mother like me
•   My child would not have the opportunity to attend preschool if we did not have the
    Empowerment program. Thank you for giving my child this wonderful opportunity.
•   This is the first year, all of the children entering our elementary at Humeston has attended
    Preschool. This speaks to the great importance of our Empowerment programs
•   The support I have received through the Parents as Teachers program has helped with parenting
    skills and some of the problems I face while being a teen mother
•   The Parents as Teachers program has helped me learn different ways to discipline my child and
    let me know how he is suppose to develop. The PAT program helped me get my child back from
    foster care. When he came home from foster care they helped me by coming on weekly visits,
    phone calls and support. I know they really care about us
•   Being a teen mother is very heard. The Parents as Teachers program has never judged me only
    freely given support to me and my child. I am really glad they have this resource center and
    Empowerment program in Leon. I don'’ know what I would do without them, I wouldn’t trade
    my parent educator for anything!
•   The Parents as Teachers program is wonderful. As an older, first time parent they have made
    being a mother so much easier. We are fortunate to have the Empowerment program here.

Beverly Stokes-Waddell                     Phone: (641) 446-3801
907 W 1st Street, Suite 1                  Fax:    (641) 446-8562
Leon, IA 50144                             E-Mail:


COUNTIES IN AREA: Des Moines and Louisa

VISION - The vision of Caring CommUNITY is to enhance the well-being of children, youth, families and
other residents of local communities through citizen-led collaboration and unity of purpose for all public and
private organizations involved in the delivery of education, health and human services programs.

Philosophy - We believe the family is the basic unit of productive community life. We further believe that
health, education and human services programs should support and empower families in ways that enable
children and youth to attain their fullest potential in life. Our partnership is guided by drawing on the strengths
and experiences of:
    • consumers of services,
    • citizens,
    • elected officials,
    • representatives from health, education and human services,
    • as well as others interested in children, youth and families.

We will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education, health and human services programs in Des
Moines and Louisa counties by reducing duplicative bureaucratic requirements.

Goals – To serve as a conduit for communication.
        To secure a public endorsement of decentralization.
        To serve as an anchor or catalyst for collaborative processes to avoid chaos and disappointments.
        To serve as an advocate for all families thus stabilizing change in a time of instability.
        To ensure quality programs for all children.
        To improve the quality of life for all families and communities through prevention and early
        intervention programs.

OVERVIEW OF COMMUNITY PLAN: The Empowerment Board will serve as an anchor or catalyst for
collaborative processes. The board will:
     • advocate for continuous improvements across delivery systems,
     • foster systemic communication, especially careful listening within the system,
     • encourage effective (shared, data driven) decision making through-out the system,
     • have candid conversations on collaboration unlikely to occur elsewhere in the system,
     • nurture a healthy relationship among agencies and related parties of interest.

The Decategorization Project Coordinator will continue collaborating with the Empowerment Area. The goals
will include participation on local advisory committees and incorporating needs of the Empowerment Area
into the Decategorization Coordinator’s tasks and responsibilities. The members of the Child Welfare
Committee will be a conduit of agency information to the Empowerment Board and will develop open
dialogue with them.

LOCAL INDICATORS: State and local core indicators were incorporated into this empowerment area’s
plan which will be used to measure the overall progress for current and future projects in attaining results.
    A. Early Childhood Environments
        • Percentage of children identified for special education
        • Number of licensed/registered/nonregulated providers participating in training
        • Measurement of skill level/readiness for Kindergarten using the Brigance
        • Percentage of Kindergarten children who attended Pre-School/Head Start
        • Number of accredited pre-schools/other settings
        • Number of licensed/registered child care slots
        • Number of licensed/registered child care providers
        • Number of unregistered child care providers listed with child care resource and referral agencies

    B. Health
       • Domestic/family violence incidence
       • Immunization rate at age 2
       • Number of reported child abuse cases
       • Recidivism of child abuse or abuse within a family
       • Incidence of infants born affected by drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco
       • Percentage of mothers not receiving care in first trimester
       • Infant/child mortality rates
       • Percentage of newborns assessed for risk factors
       • Teen birth rate
       • Low birth-weight rate
    C. Parent Education and Support
       • Number of Parent Education/Support programs
       • School-Ready Program - Parent involvement
       • Referral (through log) by the Family Development Specialist to agencies
       • Percentage of births of mothers age 20 or older
    D. Success of Caring CommUNITY Empowerment Area
       • Collaborative efforts taking place in the Area
       • Developing an Empowerment Retreat
       • Leadership activities for Empowerment Board

Early Childhood funding is currently being utilized to recruit new day care providers and assist families with
child care and pre-school costs through a vendor voucher program. This program allows up to $126 per month
for families with children in full time day care or preschool while parents are working or going to school. It
also provides up to $63 per month for part time care.

School Ready funding is providing:
        ♦ Home Visitor Program in Des Moines County. This program provides for frequent visits to
           families with newborns and continues through the age of two.
        ♦ Preschool in Louisa County. This program provides for a new preschool in Wapello for children
           with developmental delays.
        ♦ Parent Coordinators for both counties. This program is designed to reach out to parents in the
           service area and link them with existing services to meet their needs and to encourage optimum
           utilization of available resources.

Caring CommUNITY has successfully transitioned from a three-county Empowerment Area to a two-county
Empowerment Area and we have received funding for our School Ready plans. Funded programs are
operational and serving children and families. Our Board has been reorganized which has resulted in better
communication, collaboration and additional public input.

Sandy Dockendorff,
409 N. 4th Street,
Burlington, IA 52601
Phone: 319/754-4622
Fax: 319/754-4628

                         Emmet County Community
                                 Empowermentt Area
                                 Empowermen Area

                           508 S.. 1stt Sttreett ((712)) 362--2853
                           508 S 1s S ree          712 362 2853
                            Estherviilllle, IA 51334
                            Estherv e, IA 51334

                                 EMMET COUNTY.

Emmet County is an extremely rural county, with a population of less than 11,500, and the largest city
comprising over half of the total population. Per capita, Emmet County demonstrates very high need.
Compared to the State of Iowa, Emmet County averages are poorer in every category from unemployment rate
and children living in poverty to teen births, low birth weight infants, and confirmed child abuse cases.

At the time our grant was written, community assessments revealed three major areas to which Emmet County
needed to focus its attention. These areas became the targets of Empowerment’s efforts: 1) improving the
quantity and quality of child development and child care activities, 2) making child care accessible and
affordable, and 3) providing support services to the Emmet County’s young children and their families.

Emmet County established three projects, Parent Support and Networking, the Child Care Initiative, and a
public preschool program, to increase supports and services for the young children and their caretakers in order
to achieve greater outcomes toward the needs identified. Many of the project components merely enhanced or
expanded programs that were already in place, such as with the KIDS program, administered by the Lakeland
Area Education Agency III. However, some innovative elements were included, like the public preschool
program, which answered needs that had not been addressed before.

→ % of children identified for special education will    → # of accredited preschools will increase
decrease                                                 → Participation & awareness of health insurance will
→ Children will be ready entering Kindergarten           increase
→ # of children participating in Head Start              → % of low-birth-weight infants will decrease
will increase                                            → Rate of teenage births will decrease
→ Parents involved with Head Start will increase         → Child abuse rates will decrease
→ # of 4 year olds in preschool will increase            → % of women seeking prenatal care will increase
→ High school graduation rates will increase             → # of Medicaid and HAWK-I referrals will increase
→ # of 2-5 year olds with current immunizations will     → Infant mortality rate will decrease
increase                                                 → # of children screened for lead will increase
→ # of child care providers & slots will increase        → # of first-time parents attending prenatal classes
→ # of registered providers will increase                will increase
→ # of providers participating in trainings will

     ¶ Parent Support and Networking
        → Prenatal and Postnatal Home Visits
        → Weekly family support visits through KIDS
        → Teen parent support/education meetings
        → Structured network for client referrals and links to community resources
     ¶ Child Care Initiative
        → Support groups for Child Care Providers
        → Visitation to day care providers, offering support, resources, and training opportunities
        → Incentive programs for providers who become registered or serve “at-risk” populations
        → Assistance/Support to individuals interested in providing child care
     ¶ Armstrong-Ringstead Public Preschool/Head Start
        → Scholarships for children to attend preschool who do not meet Head Start guidelines
        → Library, music, and physical education classes for the preschool children
        → Early screenings for hearing, speech, sight, height, and weight
        → Services to link parents and/or their children with resources concerning a variety of issues
        → Mentor program between high school and preschool students

Parent Support and Networking (PS&N) operates under a program known as SMILES (Sharing Moments In the
Lives of Every family is Special). Four agencies have combined efforts with Empowerment to make SMILES a
successful home visitation program. The agencies involved are: Emmet County Public Health, Lakeland Area
Education Agency (AEA) III-KIDS, Iowa Lakes Community College (ILCC), and Upper Des Moines Opportunity
(UDMO)-WIC. The four agencies offer a “wrap-around” service, where needs are assessed and addressed (through
support or personal referrals) by any of the four agencies to one another. The Parent Support and Networking
project also collaborates with the local hospital, Even Start, and the Estherville-Lincoln Central School District.

The Child Care Initiative (CCI) is a collaborative effort between UDMO-Child Care Resource and Referral and
Empowerment. The Child Care Consultant works closely with the Department of Human Services, Lakeland
AEA, and Iowa State Extension Services, who provide referrals and information and can utilize the assistance of
the Consultant when working with providers .

The Armstrong-Ringstead School District has connected with Head Start and Empowerment to collaborate in an
effort to provide a public preschool program to all children in that district. A-R Schools also receives funding
through Decat and the Providing Safe and Stable Families grants, which help fund activities and mentoring
programs the preschool children partake in.

Our outcomes are to be measured after Empowerment services have been rendered for five years, in 2003, to fully
understand the impact Empowerment has made on the issues at hand.

Through our programs so far, Empowerment has added and increased home-based services both to families and
childcare providers, as well as increased the educational opportunities to young children. More parents have the
opportunity to learn about child development and increase their parenting skills through our PS&N program. The
CCI has helped recruit eleven new, registered providers to Emmet County, increased the number of providers who
do non-traditional care by eight, and added 20 providers to our incentive programs. While both the CCI and Public
Preschool in Armstrong are encouraging or actually providing nurturing, structured, educational programs for the
young children in Emmet County.

Michele Hafer, Coordinator        (Information provided in heading)


COUNTIES IN AREA: Floyd, Mitchell, Chickasaw Counties

VISION AND MISSION: The FMC Community Empowerment is working to ensure that children
ages 0 to 5 will be able to live in a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment, with the end vision that
these children will eventually become successful and contributing members of the community. The
support services offered through the empowerment programs will strengthen and help contribute to
families' self-sufficiency. In the first year, the initial thrust of the groups has been to prepare
children to be ready for school and to enhance early childhood services.

A number of programs are involved in the FMC Community Empowerment programming. They
include the following:

       •   Parent Education and Support
           § Families Together Program: Community based-prevention program designed to screen,
               identify, and work with at-risk families or any family requesting services with children
               age newborn to 18 years.
       •   Parents-as-Teachers-Program: Early childhood parent education and family support with a
           strong design, curriculum, and training program.
       •   Maternal and Child Health: Working with the Department of Public Health to develop
           programs to encourage good health and health practices.
   •       Quality and Accessible Childcare: Expand the recruitment performed by Child Resource and
   •       Early Childhood Education: Expansion of EAGLE early literacy program
   •       Head Start: Increasing slots
   •       Preschool Scholarships: Developing program to administer; in place since 09/00

   • Parent Education and Support: (decreasing out-of-home placements, confirmed child abuse
     and neglect cases, juvenile delinquency)
   • Maternal and Child Health: (increasing number of children with lead levels, increasing
     number involved with prenatal care, decreasing low birth weight)
   • Quality and Accessible Child Care: (increasing number of trained, licenses/registered
     childcare providers, number of children with access to licensed/registered childcare)
   • Early Childhood Education: (increasing parents' and communities' involvement in
     educational and family development activities; increasing enrollment in Head Start sites and

Through School Ready:
   •  Families Together Home Visitation Program
   •  Parents-as-Teachers Program
   •  EAGLE Program
   •  Head Start Increased Enrollment
   •  Preschool Scholarships to 13 Preschools in 3 Counties

Through Early Childhood:
   •  Mini-grants to Daycare Providers in 3 Counties to Purchase Supplies/toys/equipment
   •  Child Care Provider Training
   •  Non-traditional Child Care Incentives (Processing)
   •  Daycare Scholarships (Processing)
   •  Child Care Resource and Referral (Processing)

  • Collaboration between Empowerment members, private citizens, business community,
    elected officials, non-profits, etc.
  • Groups of private citizens and others regularly meet to determine guidelines for criteria and
    applications for scholarships and grants for all three counties.
  • DECAT Coordinator and FMC Empowerment Facilitator work together regularly to ensure
    success between DECAT programs and Empowerment programs.

  • Awards of preschool scholarships to children in three counties; 13 preschools
  • Awards of daycare mini-grants to daycare providers in three counties
  • Head Start slots- Mitchell and Floyd Counties:
    § expanded current classroom
    § increased number of children
    § Chickasaw: increased slots by 12
  • Hired facilitator to serve as liaison for FMC Empowerment counties
  • EAGLE program consistently running with new and exciting programming monthly in three
  • Families Together, PAT program in place and serving families in three counties

Laurie Edson,
FMC Empowerment Facilitator
P.O. Box 3,
Nashua, IA 50658
Phone: 641-435-4435;
Fax: 641-435-4435;

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Corner Counties Empowerment Area – Fremont and
Page Counties

Fremont and Page Counties in far Southwest Iowa received designation as an empowerment area in
January 1999. Community members identified four areas of greatest need, which they hoped to
address. Those needs were:
1) Parent Support/Home Visitation- Support should be provided to all parents of all children who
   may be considered “at risk”. All new parents in the two counties would be visited and if needed,
   support would be offered to insure a healthy environment for young children.
2) Preschool Experience for all Children- Currently only 63 percent of our kindergarten students
   have preschool or Head Start Experience. All Children should have that opportunity if parents
3) Affordable Child Care- Child care assistance should be available for working parents. There is
   also a great need for sick child care and second/third shift child care.
4) Transportation- Some parents lack the necessary transportation to access immunization clinics,
   doctor’s appointments, preschool opportunities and other basic services.
Corner Counties Empowerment Area has chosen to address the first three areas of concern

Early Childhood funding was received in January 2000. Since that time parents whose income falls
between 145% and 185% of poverty may request assistance with child care costs. Grants of $20 if
the parent works more that 30 hours are available. With the second round of funding arriving in July
three new programs have been added. Subsidies of 50 cents per hour are available for child care
providers who offer second and/of third shift child care. Grants will be made available to providers
for purchasing educational materials and equipment. In addition, Corner Counties Empowerment
has contracted for a .25 child care development specialist. This person will act as a liaison with
child care providers, DHS, Child Care Resource and Referral, AEA 13, local schools, ISU
Extension, Public Health and other governmental agencies.

School Ready Children funds became available to our area this fall and will help us address one of
our areas of concern – parent support/visitation. Decategorization funding has allowed a local
counseling service to begin a program called bright and beautiful beginnings (B&BB). A staff
member from B&BB visits all newborns and their parents within a few days of birth. While offering
support and help, the worker also makes a determination about whether the baby may be considered
at risk due to a variety of factors. However B&BB is designed as a program to welcome babies, and
is not able to provide long term support to those families in need. Growing Strong Families from
ISU Extension provides a curriculum based program to work with some families identified, however
the program is not always appropriate to parent’s and babies needs. In addition, Growing Strong
Families does not have the staff necessary to work with all families identified as needing help.

School Ready Children funds will allow us to contract for 2-3 part time staff trained to work with
families who will help provide nurturing environments for very young children. Parental needs from
parenting skills to emergency supplies will be addressed through this program. The addition of this
program will fill a void which currently exists between Bright and Beautiful Beginnings and
Growing Strong Families.

The second need addressed with School Ready Children funds will be preschool scholarships.
Tuition grants will be provided to parents to allow all children the opportunity to attend a quality
preschool program.

Corner Counties Empowerment Area has created a network of support for young children where
none existed before. Many interested parties have come together for the good of preschool children,
linking variety of services and networking interested parties within the area. The past two years
have been very productive in building friendships and partnerships which should be of lasting
benefit area children and parents.

William Crilly

                                    Building Families
                             Empowerment/Decategorization Area
                                Hamilton, Humboldt and Wright Counties

   In the summer of 1999, Building Families developed a plan
   that addresses the needs of children aged 0-5. The plan
   establishes a continuum of services that enhances healthy                              Ann Stewart
   children, provides children the necessary components to be                              Coordinator
                                                                                     821 Seneca Street
   ready to succeed in school, develops safe and supportive                  Webster City, Iowa 50595
   communities, secure and nurturing families and secure and                      Phone515-832-9639
   nurturing child care environments.                                               Fax 515-832-9660

                     Building Families will be a catalyst by which our community works
                     together to promote healthy children and families in Hamilton, Humboldt
                     and Wright Counties. Building Families’ vision is for families and
                     individuals to live in a safe and nurturing environment that promotes
                     health, independence and success. By the year 2005, Hamilton, Humboldt
                     and Wright Counties will create a continuum of supports and services that
                     embraces child and their families. Building Families’ Empowerment grant
                     is a comprehensive plan that implements this continuum of services.

Healthy Children:
Four-four families in the Building Families Empowerment Area are receiving Families Forward in-home
services that teach safe stable and nurturing home environments. The Families Forward program ensures
healthy children by encouraging prenatal visits to a medical professional reducing low birth weights in
newborns and ensuring all children are immunized in a timely fashion.

The Families forward program will reduce foster care placements, reduce child abuse founded reports and
increase the percentage of births with the mothers 20 years of age or older.
Children Ready to Succeed in School:
Preschool scholarships for four-year-olds ensure more children will have the opportunity to attend a preschool
prior to beginning kindergarten. Children with at least one year of preschool experience will increase their
social and emotional readiness to start kindergarten in the fall.

By providing additional funding and coordinating transportation to and from preschool parents do not have to
leave the work environment to transport their children to daycare. The result will be children ready to learn
by age five.

Secure and Nurturing Families:
Enabling parents to provide safe, stable and nurturing home environments will develop secure and nurturing
families. Families Forward will reduce the “at-risk” factors in families by providing adult mentoring, role
model parenting, providing self-esteem groups and ensuring basic human needs are being met.

     In many cases as the using
                                         The reduction of substance abuse and mental health issues will also
     parent stopped using, they
                                         ensure secure and nurturing families by providing support,
     began spending more time            prevention and interventions. As a result, children will remain
     with their children. The            residing in their homes with their parents reducing foster home
     greatest change in this             placement and decreasing the number of founded child abuse reports.
     area appeared to be with
     the fathers.

Safe and Supportive Communities:
With the substance abuse prevention program, early intervention, and aftercare support programs, and the
mental health in-home program, quality of life for children and their families will improve. The reduction of
substance abuse has resulted in better parent/child relationships, reduction/discontinued use of drugs or
alcohol, creating a family crisis plan to stay safe from violence, addressing sub-standard housing, and
improved decision making skills.
                                                                  199 providers participated in
The preschool prevention program teaches four-year-olds           27 different trainings
how to stay safe by educating them on substance abuse,            including universal pre-
tobacco, good touch/bad touch and strangers.                      cautions, nutrition, Chef
                                                                  Combo, first aid and CPR,
Secure and Nurturing Childcare Environments:                      mandatory child abuse
Childcare and Preschool Home Consultants will                     reporter training, and health
Assure secure and nurturing childcare environments.               and safety in the home.
Home Consultants assist preschools and childcare
providers in increasing slots and providing technical
assistance. Incentives offered to home providers and
childcare centers will encourage them to continue services, participate in training, serve special needs children
and become accredited. Providers, after participating in training will be more knowledgeable on early
childhood brain stimulation and how it relates to the growth of a child. Children will be ready to learn by age

Programs provided include: Public Health’s Families Forward (HOPES like program), Gerard In-Home
Therapy, Community and Family Resources’ Preschool Prevention and Community Resource Specialist
Programs, Child Care Resource and Referral’s Home Consultants, preschool scholarships and transportation
assistance program administered by the Empowerment Coordinator.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Hardin County Empowerment Area

The Hardin County Empowerment Area initiative is a partnership between key stakeholders
representing education, health services, childcare, volunteer organizations, businesses and human
service agencies and citizens. It is committed to improving the well being of families and children
through the provision of a seamless service delivery and support system which ensures healthy

All citizens of Hardin County are healthy physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

The Hardin County Empowerment Area initiative focuses on ensuring that children, birth to 5 years
of age are healthy physically, mentally, socially and spiritually so they will be successful in school
and in their community. The specific strategies were developed based on: 1) the Hardin County
Community’s beliefs; 2) research on effective early intervention strategies; and 3) the prioritized
needs identified from community planning/assessment processes conducted in recent years. Briefly
these strategies are:

•   Develop a “Welcome Baby Program” through Greenbelt Home Care-the program will include
    two home visits to all families with newborns within the county. During the visits hearing and
    vision screenings, nutrition and health information, support, education and resource referral will
    be provided.
•   Increase the availability of the Parents as Teachers Program so families in all the school districts
    of the Empowerment Area who want to participate will be able to receive the service.
•   Increase opportunities for health check ups, immunizations and lead screenings by way of home
    visits, and extending clinic hours so all preschool children will receive these services according
    to the recommended timelines.
•   Increase access to preschools by providing scholarships for tuition and assistance for
    transportation if needed by creating new preschool programs in communities where none
    currently exist.
•   Provide effective training to childcare and preschool providers that promote developmentally
    appropriate practices.
•   Increase affordable, quality childcare to help parents obtain and maintain employment.

In 1998 the Parents As Teachers program parent educators served 60 families with a total of 85
preschool children. The Home Connection hoped to employ 4 full time equivalent parent educators
and was responsible for supervising the program and making arrangements for training of the PAT
educators. The parent educators will continue to collaborate with others by meeting with the early
intervention team in Hardin County on a regular basis, attending the monthly staffing with Greenbelt
Home Care and attending the multi-disciplinary meetings. The parent educators will continue to
make referrals to other agencies including DHS, Greenbelt Home Care and AEA 6. In 1999 the
Hardin County Parents As Teachers program served a total of 203 children in Hardin County. The
total number of families benefiting from their program was 140. This was accomplished by two
parent educators seeing as many as 43-prenatal through age of 3 families, and children age 3 to 5
years, 27 families. We feel this was an outstanding success.

Parents As Teachers Program

                          1998       1999
Number of Families Served 60         140
Number of Children Served 85         203

Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success (HOPES) program was offered to Hardin
County parents in March 2000. A “Nurturing workshop” was held in May, 2000, for approximately
18 attendees from Greenbelt Home Care, Parents As Teachers (PAT), Early Head Start and Mother
and Child Wellness. Four pregnant (at-risk mothers have entered into the HOPES Program and 13
visits have been made to these mothers to prepare them for the responsibilities of parenthood.

MICA scheduled a training program from the Parents as Teachers, Quality Care For Family Child
Care Providers Program, which was held in June In Iowa Falls. The PAT program conducted a four-
day workshop, which provided excellent groundwork in child development for family child care
providers. The training included working and communicating with parents; child development
information, birth to 5; indicators of developmental delay; learning through play; health and safety
information; developmentally appropriate activities; appropriate discipline; working with multi-age
groups Family child care providers have also formed a network for ongoing support after the training
ends. In addition, family child care providers are linked to the PAT program in their area for future
training opportunities.

The above listed Quality Care for Family Child Care Provider’s workshop was held for a group of 9
individuals. These individuals represent childcare for approximately 85 children in our county. It is
the intent of the board to provide the opportunity for all child care providers to participate in
educational programs.

                                             HARRISON – MONONA – SHELBY
                                COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Counties envisions a community where families of
children ages 0 – 5 will have a safe and supporting environment which will provide
assistance in preparing our children for a safe and healthy future. Through
collaboration of our community agencies this area will improve the quality of life for
families through a parent support and education program.

Our first objective is to build upon existing relationships and focus upon early childhood services and school
readiness. As a result the area will see stronger relationships between service organizations which support all
families with children, ages 0 to 5. This will enhance the opportunities to have a safe, nurturing environment
for their children and to ultimately prepare our children for entry into school with the abilities to be
successful. Future plans for H/M/S County Community Empowerment Area is to support and build upon
existing preschools/childcare programs and develop, support, and expand existing parent support and home
visiting programs in each county.


    Parental support and
                                                                           Availability of an early childhood
    education programs
                                                                           resource specialist for referral and
    for families with
                                                                           coordination of programs and
    children birth through
                             Expand and                                    services to Harrison and Shelby
    5 years of age and
                             improve the                                   County childcare providers and
    specifically targeting
    families and children    quality of                                    families with children
    identified as at-risk.   childcare         Increase the quantity of
                             environments.     non-traditional childcare

•   The percentage of low birth weight babies will decrease by year 2005
•   The percentage of 2 year olds appropriately receiving immunizations will increase by year 2005
•   The percentage of children entering Kindergarten ready to learn will increase by year 2005
•   The incidence of child abuse will decrease by year 2005
•   The birth rate for females ages 17 and younger will decrease by year 2005
•   The number of regulated available childcare slots will increase by year 2005


                                          Early Childhood Funding

Gaps and barriers described by the community needs assessments include the need for available and
affordable childcare, the need for more support for childcare providers, a shortage of preschools, and a lack of
common knowledge of available resources. A strategy to address these gaps and barriers is to provide a
Childcare Development Specialist. The specialist will enhance and support services to parents and providers
and to provide direct assistance in the form of grants to providers to help them meet quality standards.

The second use of the funds is to expand the recruitment performed by Child Care Resource and Referral by
providing additional funding to allow childcare providers to purchase items that will make their service safe
and/or developmentally appropriate. Because of a large number of childcare providers that are unregulated
the funding will be distributed as mini-grants in the effort to recruit registered providers and licensed centers.
To be eligible for the grant, providers will need to meet the requirement of being registered or licensed with
the Department of Human Services. This direct assistance will help providers meet quality standards. When a
provider offers quality care it helps a parent concentrate in school or be productive employees, while knowing
their children are receiving high standard of care. This will also help childcare centers and preschools get the
materials needed to help their students become school ready.

                                              School Ready Funds

The school ready funds will be utilized in H/M/S County Empowerment area to provide a comprehensive
Parent Education/Family Support Program (PE/FSP) to families with children age prenatal to five utilizing the
“Parents As Teachers” curriculum and ISU Extension “Nutrition and Resource Management” curriculum.
This program will be supported by many of the service agencies within each county. The Department of
Public Health will incorporate this program into their work they already do with families that are at risk of
having children not school ready by the age of five. The remaining dollars will be used to support the Early
Childhood Learning Center and local preschools.
At this time the H/M/S County Empowerment area’s largest success has been in the collaboration of the three
counties. Working to help each other figure out the whole empowerment process. The year 2001 will be our
first year in receiving our school ready funds and in February 2000 we received the early childhood funds for
the first time. We have learned that collaboration is within our reach, and preparing our children for their
future falls on the shoulders of everyone in our community. Close to 35 programs already work to meet the
needs of our families, with the organization of Empowerment, our hope is to expand on these already existing
programs to ensure our families a healthy and secure environment by the year 2005.


                                    Diane R. Foss
                                  119 Iowa Avenue
                                Onawa, Iowa 51040
                                   (712) 423-2175
                                 (712) 423-3056 fax

                                                                               HAWC Empowerment/Decat
                                                                                          PO Box 286
   How All Children Win.                                                       Decorah, IA 52101
                                                                               319-382-2928 319-382-8709 FAX

COUNTIES IN AREA: Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek, and Clayton

VISION AND MISSION: The HAWC Empowerment Area is widely known as a safe and healthy place to raise a
family. The region promotes and supports families. As a result, parents, and all families live in safe and supportive

The region provides children and families with the services they need to stay safe and healthy. Everyone in the region
has access to important information and directs the kind and level of services needed. Services are community-based,
easily accessible, family-centered, aimed at promoting self-sufficiency, emphasizing prevention and intervention, and
focused on the safety and well-being of all citizens, especially children. Services are flexible and accommodate the
needs of individuals, families, groups, businesses, and communities.

The HAWC Empowerment Area initiative focuses on children ages 0-5. The goal is to ensure that all children in this age
group are healthy, safe, nurtured, and stimulated so that they are “school ready.”

As a result of a comprehensive needs assessment, including local data, focus groups, and community planning meetings,
the HAWC Empowerment Area has identified the most urgent and important needs among children ages 0-5 and their
families. The initiative will implement the strategies listed under each area of need.
Parent Education
         ♦ Provide parent education and support through comprehensive, universal parent programming, including
         Parents as Teachers (PAT), HOPES, and Kindermusik.
         Accessible and Quality Child Care
         ♦Increase the number of registered/licensed child care providers through incentives,
         training, and support.
         ♦Advocate for family-friendly workplaces on behalf of families with children.
         Structured, Stimulating, and Nurturing Preschool Experiences
         ♦ Provide stimulating, structured, and nurturing experiences for children through
         expanded Head Start and private preschool opportunities.

                                Base Line Data On Which Progress Is Measured – July 1, 2000
           Needs                                          Indicators                          Links to State’s Desired Results
 Parent Education                Number of positive parent-child interactions              Healthy Children, Secure and
                                 Number of family-community involvement activities         Nurturing Families, Safe and
                                 Number of confirmed child abuse cases                     Supportive Families, Children Ready
                                 Number of domestic abuse cases                            to Succeed in School
 Quality and Accessible          Number of registered/licensed providers                   Secure and Nurturing Child Care
 Child Care                      Increase in number of families requesting                 Environments, Healthy Children,
                                 quality/accessible child care                             Secure and Nurturing Families, Safe
                                 Number of family-friendly workplace policies              and Supportive Communities
 Structured, Stimulating, and    Maintain 95% enrollment at Head Start sites and           Children Ready to Succeed in School,
 Nurturing Pre-School            preschools                                                Healthy Children, Secure and
 Experiences                     Number of hours in parent involvement at Head Start       Nurturing Families, Safe and
                                 centers and preschools                                    Supportive Communities
                                 Successful transition into kindergarten among all Head
                                 Start and preschool children

§   HAWC Healthy Families Home Visitors, a home visitors program, providing services to any family requesting
    services with children 0-3 in the four county area. The first six months, 205 families were seen in HAWC and 80
    more families in Early Head Start.
§    Head Start and Child Development Centers have served 44 children since January, 2000. Of this number of
    children, all were over Head Start guidelines. Starting the Empowerment program in January provided challenges
    placing children in Empowerment “slots” since many parents had already placed children in pre-schools.
§    Private Pre-Schools - This area of collaboration has been most troublesome. 18 pre-schools have now become part
    of the HAWC Empowerment Pre-school team. There were several ways of providing assistance and yet common
    ground needs to be achieved. The HAWC Empowerment Board has determined at this time to offer grants to be
    used for capitol or transportation needs. In October, 15 grants were awarded. Several Pre-schools chose not to
    apply so other pre-schools could receive funding.
§   A Child Care Registration Team has been working towards more in-home child care registrations. Members are
    from Department of Human Services, Child Care Food Program, CCR&R, and HAWC Empowerment. Child Care
    Fun Days were held throughout the region with over 300 people served. In addition nine new providers are asking
    for registration information from the fun days. Each county now has a network group meeting regularly.
§   Kindermusik, is a huge hit with kids and parents serving 168 children in 17 sessions throughout the region.
§   Family Friendly Workplace Initiative, is just starting in our area. We have meet with nine chambers and talked
    with individual county and local economic development directors.

          Cooperation/Collaboration/Braiding Services: One area of concern was the Hispanic and Russian families
living in Postville. Our bilingual home visitor is a jewel. We are so lucky to have such a warm caring person, that is
connecting so well with our Hispanic families. We are learning from her experiences and are gaining a better
understanding of culture and how we can live and work together. Because of the acceptance of our HAWC Healthy
Families program, we have contracted with two interpreters to assist our home visitors.
          We are working with community volunteers to make baby quilts. One wonderful senior citizen has made 27
quilts and encouraged neighborhood ladies to make five more. Cedar Valley Food Bank has been extremely helpful and
is providing us with supplies for home visitors to take into the homes.
          Kindermusik continues to be a wonderful opportunity for children and parents. Our sessions are full and
families are on waiting lists. Kindermusik provides HAWC Empowerment another method of educating families on
early brain development and all the great programs available for all families with young children in our region.
          The partnership with Head Start continues to be strong and working very well. Families who are just over
income guidelines now have opportunities for either Head Start or Child Development. Because of the HAWC
Empowerment Funding the two Head Start centers that were to close are open and serving 36 families. Early Head Start
and HAWC Healthy Families is a strong partnership providing services to all families with children 0-3 in our region. A
four way partnership has developed between Head Start, Eastern Allamakee Schools, KeeLand Pre-School, and HAWC
Empowerment to keep the private pre-school open, serving 45 children this year.
          We teamed with our 18 preschools and developed a plan for grant funding for them that is fair. The RFP was
approved in July at the Executive Board meeting and funded in October.
          The Empowerment area has linked the providers to training opportunities, support groups, new and creative
workshops, and offered technical support. A Child Care Provider Revolving Loan Fund has been initiated. There are
not a lot of opportunities for grants and those that are available are very competitive. This will allow for the providers to
do small repairs for the business, purchase play equipment, or buy supplies that they would otherwise not be able to get
through a personal loan from bank. We have partnered with USDA Rural Development, Upper Explorerland Regional
Planning Commission, local banks and lenders developing the plan and team of application reviewers.
          Our HAWC Empowerment Table continues to grow with new consumers, ideas, and methods. “If it’s good for
kids, then it’s good for all of us.”

Nancy Everman                                Phone: 319-382-2928
HAWC Empowerment/Decat                       FAX: 319-382=8709
PO Box 286                                   Email:
Decorah, IA 52101                            Website:

                            HEALTHY HENRY COUNTY COMMUNITIES

                                       HENRY COUNTY, IOWA

MISSION: To make Henry County a better place in which to live, work, and raise a family through
collaborative efforts.

VISION: The vision themes for Healthy Henry County Communities and Empowerment are:

Families and Children are the cornerstone and will be safe, nurtured, and thriving.
Diversity is appreciated, celebrated, and cultivated as an asset.
Housing is affordable and available.
Safety and Security are basic needs insured by citizens and agencies working collaboratively.
Education is progressive and emphasizes life-long learning.
Recreation and Culture/Arts are needed for individual and community growth, are encouraged, and
accessible to all.

Henry County planning events have identified the need to create parenting skills and a support network
for parents and caregivers as a priority issue. Henry County statistics indicate a great need to support
young teen mothers. In 1998, 13.2% of births were to teens. 30.4% were out of wedlock births and
32% were Medicaid. There were 97 confirmed child abuse and neglect cases in 1997, a rate of 20
compared to the State rate of 13.1. It is our plan to provide education and a support network to these
young parents.

Ø Percentage of parents accessing parenting/community resources
Ø Number of families/children with access to an adult mentor
Ø Graduation completion/GED rate among enrolled participants
Ø Immunization rates by age 2 among enrolled participants
Ø Teen birth rates
Ø Child abuse rates
Ø Percentage of low birth weight babies

1. Mentoring Moms is a community based mentoring program for pregnant and young mothers.
   Trained volunteer mentors will spend time each week providing information, support and friendship
   until the baby is at least one year old. Young mothers and their mentors will plan their own activities
   based on each individual situation, but with a strong emphasis on education.
2. The Stork’s Nest is a national program designed to increase the number of women who get early and
   regular prenatal care so that more babies can receive a healthy start in life. Stork’s Nest projects
   offer supportive counseling and referral services to program participants with infants up to age five.
   The Nest will maintain linkages with key maternity and infant care personnel in local hospitals,
   clinics, and with human service agencies, schools, and churches. Families referred to the Nest “earn”
   points toward incentive items through a variety of health-promoting activities.

The Healthy Henry County Communities Coalition, organized in 1998, meets monthly and consists of 29
representatives including business, education, health care, law enforcement, ministerial, service agencies,
Iowa Wesleyan College, United Way, county government, ISU Extension, action team representatives,
Wayland, Winfield, and New London. The Steering Committee sets overall direction of programming;
ensures that all segments of the county have a voice in the process and have an opportunity to participate;
and serves as a catalyst for new ideas, projects, and initiatives that are focused on improving the health
and quality of life in our county. Other major goals are to provide support for the action teams and to
reduce duplication of effort, fragmentation, and competition while eliminating gaps in service. The
coalition is unique for the county and southeast Iowa. Philosophies that permeated the planning could be
characterized as leaderful, inclusive, and asset-building. HHCC is committed to the concepts of a
learning organization.

Healthy Henry County Communities (Henry County’s Empowerment Advisory Committee) has hosted a
number of meetings and methods to assess and prioritize the needs of our youngest citizens. A three-day
workshop held in March 1999 identified the need for parent education and support services. The
Children and Families Action Team is a result of the Forum. A community forum, relating to children
0-5, was held in December, 1999 and attended by nearly 65 people including legislators, educators,
service providers, childcare providers, business leaders and parents. Previous public deliberations
coalesced various community viewpoints and helped form the framework for 0-5 forum. The agenda
included local statistics and stories from various perspectives, expert speakers on early brain
development, collaboration, and family friendly business practices. The afternoon was spent determining
priorities for the county. Three priority issues were identified:

   1. Increasing the availability of quality, affordable, reliable childcare
   2. Creating parenting skills and support network for parents and caregivers
   3. Creating partnerships with community, government, agencies, schools, and businesses

The first goal is being addressed with the addition of an Early Childhood Specialist (ECS) for Henry
County funded by a Decategorization Project grant. The ECS is supporting childcare providers in Henry
County by providing individualized training, monthly group workshops, and education on
developmentally appropriate activities.

Linda Albright, RN, MSN,
Healthy Henry County Communities
407 S. White Street,
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Iowa County Empowerment (ICE) Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: The Iowa County Empowerment (ICE) Area encompasses Iowa County
and has six school districts with administrative bases in Iowa County and 5 additional districts that
overlap into Iowa County from neighboring counties.

VISION AND MISSION: The families and children in the Iowa County Empowerment Area will
lead happy, healthy, and productive lives, utilizing services available in the fields of local education,
health, and human services.

Leading happy, healthy, and productive lives can be accomplished by developing physical,
emotional, social, and intellectual skills enabling our children to be successful in school and life.

To fulfill this vision, this empowerment area will be:
        Ø Consumer-driven
        Ø Integrated
        Ø Community Owned

Iowa County is primarily rural and faces several major challenges:
      Ø Decline in population
      Ø Isolation of service delivery sites
      Ø Longer distances for children to attend preschool and school
      Ø Greater distances for families to access adequate childcare

The development of the area strengthens families and reduces barriers to citizens through bonding of
government, private enterprise, faith community, providers, and consumers to work towards
common goals and priorities.

Governance Structure:
The first formal meeting of the Iowa County Empowerment Board met on May 4, 2000. The Board
is comprised of 10 citizen/elected officials and 9 agency personnel, including the DECAT
coordinator. The full Board meets at least quarterly. The Executive Committee is comprised of the
officers and one Board member at-large. The Executive Committee meets monthly to conduct the
day to day business of the Board.

Outcomes of Early Childhood Funding for Fiscal Year 2000
      Ø 3 children received preschool services
      Ø 14 children received quality daycare services
      Ø 1 child received transportation services

In addition, transition board members worked together to get grant information out to infant and
toddler providers in Iowa County. The grants were for quality improvement. As a result we had
providers that were able to receive $50 per child grants for training or equipment, therefore
increasing the quality of services provided to families in Iowa County.

Plans for Early Childhood Funding for Fiscal Year 2001
        Ø Increase funding and number of preschool, daycare, and transportation scholarships
        Ø Collaborate with CCR&R and Public Health to provide a child care Health Consultant
        Ø Provide Day Care Equipment and Training to registered Day Care Homes
        Ø Recruit 3 new providers in Iowa County. We will provide them with monies for start-up,
           registration, and training costs.

Plans for School Ready Funding for Fiscal Year 2001
        Ø PAT will serve 8 families in each school district for a total of 48 families
        Ø 60 Newborn/Young children packets will be given to families who participate in PAT,
           Head Start, and Maternal Child Health
        Ø 10 families will receive assistance from ICE Case Management

Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson         Roberta Hinman                  Jody Morrison
ICE Board Chairperson          Application Com. Chair          Scholarship Com. Chair
(319) 642-1233                 (319) 642-5573                  (319) 668-1021

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Jasper County Empowerment Initiative


The Jasper County Empowerment Area shall be a community of thriving families composed of one or more
members. The community shall embrace thriving families as the most positive way to improve the quality of life
for all those living here and to ensure the well-being of the community. Each sector of the community, non-profit,
for profit and volunteer shall combine and maximize all types of resources to afford and deliver the targeted
services necessary to allow families to thrive. An active, visionary Empowerment Area Board directs this
collaborative effort. A thriving family shall be identified according to the following criteria, depending on the
number, ages, and relationships in each family. Thriving families have:
• a sense of personal dignity and worth for themselves and others.
• shelter of choice, which requires less than 1/3 of the family's income and where each family member feels safe
     and secure in the home and neighborhood.
• good nutrition with the ability to afford a variety of foods and to eat balanced scheduled meals. They also have
     the knowledge to use the foods and equipment to safely prepare meals.
• quality healthcare established with health professionals, covered by comprehensive insurance. They practice
     preventative medicine.
• drug-free lifestyles including avoidance of illegal substance and tobacco. Family members are knowledgeable
     of and follow low risk guidelines to avoid the development of alcoholism and other drug addition. People
     recovering from alcoholism or other drug addiction follow appropriate treatment recommendations and
     recovery programs. Children are taught life-style risk reduction skills.
• gainful employment and they are developing transferable skills. Employed members have comprehensive
     employment packages and steady advancement in their chosen careers
• adequate income and a budget to allow family choices with at least 10% going to savings. They have
     established a relationship with a financial institution, regularly pay bills, and manage their debt load without
     depriving family members.
• parenting skills to enable children in the family to live with mutually agreed upon rules and age appropriate
     expectations. Children enjoy their parent(s); becoming happier and better adjusted socially.
• quality child care to enable working parents to enhance the development of their children and be more
     productive in the workplace.
• strong family relations with members of the immediate family living together. They consistently nurture and
     care for each other. Members have a strong supportive network of friends and extended family members.
• life-long learning goals are part of the adults’ life plans. They graduate high school, set and pursue long-range
     career and personal goals, and have training beyond their secondary education.
• children's education is a priority. Children are enrolled in preschool education. Families support opportunities
     for learning and assist their children in developing good relationships with their peers.

The Jasper County Empowerment Initiative will:
    1. Provide home visitation services to all Jasper County residents who have a newborn child regardless of
        where that delivery takes place. This project will help to ensure that all children are healthy and that all
        families are secure and nurturing.
    2. Ensure that all Jasper County parents with a child between that ages of birth and five have access to the
        Parents as Teachers Program or other parent education opportunities. This will help to ensure that all
        children are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in school and that all families are secure and
    3. Provide preschool children with “school readiness” bags.
    4. Increase the quality and availability of childcare for Jasper County families. This project will ensure that
        children of working parents have access to secure and nurturing childcare environments.

   State Indicator                                             Local Indicators
Secure and         •        Increased number of families that accept a home visit
Nurturing Families •        Increased number of families who participate in the Parents as Teachers program
                   •        Increased number of schools who distribute School Readiness bags
                   •        Increase positive family interactions
                   •        Decreased child abuse and neglect
Healthy Children   •        Increased health status of Jasper County Children from birth to five
                   •        Increased number of children with access to health insurance
                   •        Decreased incident of child abuse/neglect
                   •        Increased number of children whose parents have access to home visiting program
                   •        Decreased number of children who enter school with develop-mental delays
Children Ready to  •        Increased basic skill level of children
Succeed in School  •        Increased parents knowledge of normal child development
                   •        Increased family awareness of existing community resources
                   •        Increased quality of child care available
Safe Communities   •        Increased communication & collaboration between service providers
                   •        Increased awareness and knowledge of services available to Jasper County families
                   •        Increased parent education and support options for families with children from birth
                            to five
Secure and              •   Increased number of registered child care homes
Nurturing Child         •   Increased number of providers attending training
Care Environments       •   Increased number of providers participating in Child & Adult Care Food Program
                        •   Increased number of ChildNet certified child care homes
                        •   Increased number of centers/preschools applying for national accreditation
                        •   Increased length of time home child care providers are in operation
                        •   Increased number of child care providers accepting subsidized child care funds

Home Visitation Services for Newborns
Parents as Teachers
Child Care providers coordination/training
School Readiness Bags

The Jasper County Empowerment Board recognizes the need to collaborate in order to provide the highest quality,
most cost effective services for families and children. Since the inception of the Empowerment initiative efforts
have been made to reduce duplication of services. In large part, this has been accomplished through open
communication, cooperation, and combining of existing funding streams. The Jasper County Empowerment Board
utilized existing structures (i.e. Decategorization, local Child Abuse Prevention Council, planning committees
within local schools etc.) to plan and implement services for families with young children. As a result, families and
children have access to a more comprehensive, seamless delivery system.

Robbin Mortin,
11961 W 86th St South,
Monroe, IA
Phone: 515-259-2133

                Jefferson-Keokuk Empowerment Area
                       "BUILDING BLOCKS"

COUNTIES IN AREA: Jefferson/Keokuk

VISION AND MISSION: “Through community partnering and collaborative efforts, all families and
children within the Jefferson / Keokuk Empowerment Area will have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy,
stable and nurturing environment.”

1) Families connected to resources, schools and support systems promote better child development;
2) Parents & childcare providers are immensely important in the future success & ability of that child;
3) All children should have access to pre-school experiences or developmental childcare;
4) Healthy infants and young children will be better able to grow and develop to their capacity exhibiting
   enhanced learning capacity in later life.

Early Childhood Environments – Core Indicators:
♦ Increase language acquisition and development in preschool children.
   ♦ Decrease the number of children enrolled in Special Education.
   ♦ PAT kindergarten enrollees in 2005 will score 10% higher on developmental tests over non-PAT.
   ♦ Decrease by 5% the number of children grades K-2 referred to Special Education by 2005.
♦ Increase quality and accessibility of child care
♦ Increase registered day care providers by 50%.
♦ Increase 5 slots in day care homes and centers for children with special needs.
♦ Help 50 children (families); able to find affordable, safe, quality care, regardless of income.
♦ Increase professionalism of childcare providers.
Health – Core Indicators:-Core Indicators
♦ Increase health status; Decrease incidence of child abuse and neglect
♦ Decrease of 5% in confirmed child abuse cases by July 2002 as determined by DHS data.
   ♦ 95% of all 2 year olds enrolled in the program will be fully immunized by July 2002
   ♦ Increase by 37 children, those under the age of 3 years receiving dental screenings by June 30, 2001
Parent Education and Support – Core Indicators:
♦ Increase parental involvement with the developmental process of their children.
   ♦       50 families will increase involvement with their children by PAT participation by July 2001

& Parents as Teachers Program utilizing a strong Health component with School-Ready Funding.
& Home Childcare Consultant and accessible childcare with Early Childhood Funding.


               Parents As Teachers - - - - -School-Ready Funding
Through SIEDA, an in-home parent education and services to families of newborn infants and children up to
age 3 will be provided by implementing a PAT program with Educators serving 50 families during the first
year and 75 families in subsequent years. PAT will assist parents to develop necessary skills to stimulate the
development of their infants & young children, maximize the children’s overall development through age 3,
& lay the foundation for school success and minimize developmental problems which might interfere with
learning. The PAT Program will also have a health component to include newborn home follow-up nursing
visits during the first six-week post partum period. Specialized nursing visits will be available for infants

with special medical needs. Also, the Child Health Clinic operated by American Home Findings Assoc. will
provide dental screenings & fluoride varnishings.

§   Components of the PAT program
    ü personalized home visits by specially trained parent educators
    ü periodic monitoring and formal screening to reduce the likelihood that children do not reach age 3
       with an undetected health problem, disability or developmental delay
    ü a referral network that helps parents who need special assistance
    ü group meetings for parents to share experiences, common concerns, frustrations and successes.

PAT's appeal rests in its home-visiting approach in delivering services to families and children. Home visits
are conducted by the Educators, from weekly to monthly, depending on the need. The key is responding to
unique needs of each family. Visiting in the home offers three distinct advantages:
    ü PAT Educators are able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the family, its members and
        the dynamics involved within the home, which allows the PAT Educators to tailor the program
        specifically to the needs of that family.
    ü Home visits allow the educators to schedule visits to meet the unique needs of the family as opposed
        to the less flexible schedule of classes or visits offered at the agency.
    ü PAT Educators able to assess health and safety factors in the home environment and address with the
        family factors in the home, which may be detrimental to the development of the child.

               Early Childhood Program - - - - -TANF Funding
Through Empowerment committee meetings for community collaboration and networking, goals were
identified through our local decision-making process. The state plan for healthy children; children ready to
succeed in school; safe and supportive communities; secure and nurturing families; and secure and nurturing
child care environments were included in our community needs assessment.
§ Issues Associated with child care and child development:
    Ø Child abuse / neglect awareness, prevention, intervention
    Ø Health issues
    Ø Developmentally appropriate expectations
§ Childcare Sub-Committee:
A childcare sub-committee was formed from the Empowerment Area. This group has been meeting on an as
needed basis, as well as to develop the FY 01 Early Childhood Funding request. They evaluated assessment
material, ideas and concerns for childcare issues and determined a series of priority strategies for childcare
used in developing the Early Childcare Program.
§ Type of service and number of children and/or families to be served:
    v All families with children requiring childcare will have access to programs being implemented.
    v Children at-risk of abuse or neglect due to lack of appropriate childcare arrangements may benefit
         from appropriate grant proposals.
    v All special needs children requiring day care with added accommodations can work on a personal
         plan to meet needs.
    v All children with special needs will have access to services.
    v Unregistered Home Childcare Providers will have access to training and education programs.

Sandy J. Bradley                                              Telephone - (641) 472-5011
Empowerment Coordinator / Decategorization Director           Fax - (515) 472-3519
51 W. Hempstead, P.O. Box 987                                 E-mail:
Fairfield, IA 52556

 Johnson County Empowerment Area Programs                         1105 Gilbert Court, Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 339-6179

                                  Johnson County Empowerment Area

Through the areas of health, child care, and parent education/family support, Johnson County Community
Empowerment Area is working to improve early childhood environments. The Empowerment Area strives
for safe and healthy children and families at home and in the community. The Johnson County Community
Empowerment Area plan addresses early childhood environments for children prenatally to age five years.
The Plan includes three primary components: child care, health, and parent education/family support.
Community task forces have been designated for each area of the Plan to develop and support
implementation strategies. An Early Childhood Specialist provides consultation and training to families,
child care providers, participating staff at family resource centers, and the general public. The Early
Childhood Specialist also provides consultation to the community task forces.

The Health component is designed to promote child and family health in the home, in child care
environments, and in the community. Health goals and activities include:
 • Increase access to quality health care for children;
 • Early identification of health concerns;
 • Increase awareness and overcome access barriers to increase participation in existing early identification
  screening programs;
 • Provide consultation to child care providers;
 • Promote linkages among Family Resource Centers, health providers, child care providers, the Title
  XIX/Medicaid program, HAWK-I, and Maternal and Child Health Programs;
 • Promote the state children’s health insurance programs by working with the EPSDT care coordinator
  in outreach efforts to enroll children in health insurance programs and to evaluate usage and effectiveness of
  these programs.

The Child Care component of the Plan addresses issues of availability, accessibility, and quality in early
childhood environments outside of the home. Goals and activities include:
        Availability: Increase the number of in-home child care providers who care for infants and
        retain existing providers through training and support. Young children will receive quality child
        care without disruptions or continual change in care providers.
v The Best Beginnings program for infant care providers, administered by 4Cs (Resource & Referral) and
    funded jointly by the University of Iowa and Johnson County Empowerment. The program includes an
    educational component, free equipment, access to the lending library, training vouchers, special
    incentives, and 3 home visits during the caregiver’s first year of providing infant care.
v The Continue Care program’s mission is to provide a seamless continuum of child development and
    care that is both flexible and accessible to parents. Financial assistance is granted for the purpose of
    maintaining stability for children in their current child care arrangement even though a family situation
    has changed that might cause the child to be moved from their current care.
        Accessibility: Address identified barriers to accessing and receiving quality child care, including
        lack of transportation, lack of care during evening work shifts, lack of care for sick children, and
        a lack of child care resources in certain target neighborhoods. Expand partial day/partial year
        child care slots into full day/full year opportunities by providing wraparound funding for other
        funding streams.
v The HACAP Head Start program provides care during evening work shifts for children 3-5 years old
    and is available 12:30-10:30 p.m. The existing program was a school-year program and Empowerment

    funding allowed the classroom to remain open during the summer months, allowing continued
    employment/education for families and a consistent environment for children.
v Handicare, Inc., has wraparound funding to expand opportunities for child care for six to nine children
    under the age of five years. Children have funding from Sate Child Care Assistance or Promise Jobs that
    limit the days and hours they can attend. Empowerment funds are used to expand partial day, partial year
    funding to full day, full year programming for these children, allowing parents expanded opportunities for
    career and education and allowing children to participate more fully in early educational experiences.
v Iowa City Community School District has wraparound funding to expand the hours of the Mark
    Twain Elementary Shared Visions Preschool. Empowerment funding has expanded hours for the 16
    four-year-olds from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. to an expanded 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., hours that coincide with the
    school’s before-and-after school program. This expansion benefits working parents and allows children
    to remain in a consistent early childhood environment.
Quality: Increase Quality Of Child Care By Providing Supports And Incentives To In-Home Providers Who
Participate In Training.
v Johnson County Empowerment Is Collaborating With 4cs (Resource & Referral) To Provide A Series Of
    Neighborhood Based Educational Workshops For In-Home Child Care Providers Called Play Together,
    Learn Together. These Workshops Are Offered During The Day And Include The Children In Their
    Care, Eliminating The Need For Substitute Care. Transportation Is Provided For Providers And Children
    To A Neighborhood Based Location. Program Content Includes A Number Of Activity Stations That
    Demonstrate Developmentally Appropriate And Educationally Stimulating Activities For Mixed Age
    Groups. Providers Receive Written Instructions And Materials To Carry Out The Activities With The
    Children In Their Homes. This Also Provides An Opportunity For In-Home Providers To Meet Other
    Providers In Their Neighborhood And Network With Them.

The Parent Education/Family Support component of the Empowerment Plan addresses quality early
childhood environments at home. Goals and activities include:
v Encourage safe, stable, nurturing home environments for children by providing individualized, home-
    based family support services. The Family Support Program promotes positive family health
    practices, assists in accessing reliable housing and transportation, facilitates access to quality child care,
    and assesses child development. The Family Support Program assists parents in building parenting skills,
    using discipline and child guidance skills, learning how children grow and develop, and providing a child-
    safe environment.
v Promote community building and the development of informal networks of support by offering group
    events and regular opportunities for families to socialize and learn together. Through a mini-grant
    system, families receive information about health, child development, behavior management, safety, and
    selection of appropriate child care. Families are encouraged to learn new skills that will strengthen their
    family and community bonds.

The primary indicators being measured for the Johnson County Community Empowerment Area are:

1. Percentage of low birth weight infants
2. Immunization rate at age 2 years
3. Teen birth rate
4. Number of founded child abuse reports
5.  Number of child care slots; including percentage for children birth to two years and
    percentage that are licensed/registered/NAEYC accredited
6. Kindergarten readiness
7. Incidence of abuse in child care settings

Contact person:
        Laurie Nash                                        (319) 339-6179                   phone
        1105 Gilbert Court                                 (319) 339-6176                   fax
        Iowa City IA 52240                                  e-mail

Jones County DeCAT / Empowerment Area
To engage community systems and families to work collaboratively in building a community
network in which families are empowered through proactive choices and opportunities. Which
results in healthy, resilient and resourceful families.
Ensuring that community systems work collaboratively among themselves and with local families to
provide needed services within Jones County Empowerment Area resulting in a safe, healthy, stable,
nurturing environment.

In accordance with the State Indicators, Jones County has established indicators, ongoing data
collection, and result measures in the areas of early childhood, school readiness, health, parent
education and support services. This is done by engaging existing community resources in a
collaborative effort of services to prevent duplication which address's specific indicators indicative
of Jones County.

Assessment of new borns for high risk factors within 30 days of birth
County rate of immunizations by age 2 will increase
Form a Parent Education Committee to identify areas of service deficits to families
Family participants involved with parent education will increase
Incidence of family violence will decrease
Reduction in teen births
Daily attendance in Head start programs will increase
Increase in number of local training classes for child care providers

    Board of Supervisors
    DHS Regional Administrator
    Community Health of Jones Co.
    ISU Extension
    Monticello Community Schools
    Juvenile Court Services
    Kirkwood Community College
    Anamosa Community Schools
    Midland Community Schools
    Olin School District
    DHS Area Administrator
    Anamosa City Council
    Grant Wood Area
    Young Parents Network

Healthy Children
New Born assessments and distribution of Ready to Baby packets are given to all new borns in Jones
County. Assessment identifies at-risk new borns and refers families to Jones County Resource
Community Health Averaged 10 visits per month from Jan1,'00 to June 30'00.
63% identified as low risk (37); 15% moderate risk (9); and 22% high risk (13) 20% referral to JCFRA;
20% to other collaborative agencies ( YPN,HAWK -1, immunization clinics)
Safe and Supportive Community
Family Assistance Follow up
The JCFRA follows up referral from the New Born assessment by Community Health.
Ongoing services are provided to families by assisting them in accessing other needed services and
agencies to strengthen their family. JCFRA serves as a single point of information for the families
over an extended period of time regardless of the families involvement with other agencies.
JCFRA served 370 unduplicated youth ages 0-5 from July 1'99 through June 30,'00.
Over 300 educational material focused on improving parent, child, and family relations were check
out in 12 months from the lending library at each of 3 Resource Centers located throughout the

Transportation provided to families for Head Start
Transportation to Head Start Centers for at risk pre school children is accomplished by assisting
parents or school district transportation
There has been a significant increase in the daily attendance rate at Head Start Pre School programs.

Secure and Nurturing Child Care Environments
Local training programs for child care providers
JCFRA offers a series of local training programs for child care providers. These training programs
address child care provider requirements as well as being specific to issues local providers request.
Child care providers are increasing their CEU's thereby becoming better informed on best practices.
With the availability to network during training they are able to share information.

DeCat School age program
 Serves children 6-17 with ongoing assistance to families.
871 unduplicated families were served from July 1,'99 to June 30, '00. Families are more involved
with the educational process.

Contact for Jones County Empowerment: Cheryl Moline, DeCat / Empowerment
Coordinator, Jones County Court House, Anamosa Iowa 52205
319-462-3557, fax 319-4624248, e-mail

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Lee/Van Buren Empowerment Area


VISION AND MISSION: All families living within the Lee/Van Buren Empowerment Area will have the
opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, stable and nurturing environment, which will enhance their abilities to
reach their full potential and be self sufficient. Further, our long-term vision for all families with young
children is to have access to quality childcare, early intellectual stimulation for children, be free of child abuse
and neglect and have the skills and services to be healthy and strong.

•   Pregnant women and newborns thrive
•   Infants and children thrive
•   Children are ready for school
•   Children succeed in school
•   Children live in stable and supportive families
•   Youth will choose healthy behaviors

                                                   LEE COUNTY

The Lee County Work Experience Project is a long term project that provides parents with children 0-5 years
of age an opportunity to obtain GED, Adult Basic Education, parenting skills, job skill training, job retention
skills and a practical work experience. School readiness instruction is provided to the participants to aid in
their role as “first and longest teacher of their children” concept. Early brain stimulation is another emphasis
of the Project. Services and training for the participants are provided through a blending of many community
resources. The main objective is long term employment for the participants. Action steps toward this
objective are a variety of activities with a focus on life skills, family management skills, and basic math and
literacy skills. As the participants improve their life skills and literacy skills this directly affects their children
and their ability to learn as the children enter school.

Lee County Health Department provides the full time Project Coordinator and the HOPES Project and Family
Program that offer long term in-home support for the participants. Parent education is provided during Work
Project class time and in-home visits. The Project partners with Area Education Agency #16 to provide Child
Find assessments and classes on school readiness, emergent reading, writing, and speech. The Project is
provided in a holistic approach so that the participants are able to obtain wrap around services, which
eliminates duplication of services.

Southeastern Community College provides the participants the opportunity to obtain their General Education
Development (GED), Adult Basic Education (ABE), CPR and First Aid, Introduction to Computers Course
and Career Exploration.

The Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce provides fiscal management of scholarships that the participants
are eligible for after successfully completing the Project. The Chamber also provides the graduation
ceremonies as the participants complete the Project.

“Family Night” is an opportunity for pregnant and parenting persons to obtain parenting information and be
exposed to safe and fun recreational activities for their families. Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)
coordinates this weekly activity.

The Fort Madison YMCA provides 64 child care slots for the community. They also provide scholarships for
children to attend the child care center when no other funds are available. The YMCA continues to work with
Child Care Resource and Referral to provide staff training to enhance the quality of the child care that is

provided. One goal has been for Project participants to utilize licensed childcare. That goal has been realized
through the YMCA and other licensed child care providers in Lee County.

                                         VAN BUREN COUNTY

The Van Buren County Continuous Family Support System Program’s (VBCFSS) intensive in-home
prevention program offers support and education that is open to all parents in the county. Ideally, services are
offered in the prenatal stages of pregnancy and continue until entry into Kindergarten. This program is open
to all parents, not just those identified as being “high-risk”. In addition, the NEST Program and Van Buren
Job Opportunities are components of this project.

Specially trained Family Support Workers provide assistance for parents in budgeting and finance skills,
healthcare and physicals, early childhood growth and development skills, appropriate discipline, educational
needs for parents and child as well as linkage with community service providers to fill needs.

The NEST is a strong community-based program that provides incentives for pregnant women to have
healthy babies and encourages mothers to obtain adequate health care utilizing the health care system. Weekly
classes are offered at the NEST location covering educational and prenatal topics. Both the NEST and the
Van Buren Continuous Family Support System Program complement each other and assure that all families
are able to interact and access needed support.

Van Buren Job Opportunities assists VBCFSS participants in achieving independence and self-sufficiency by
providing basic work skills and on the job training at local job sites relevant to the participants needs and
career interests. Parents are assisted in obtaining long-term employment to become less dependent on
assistance when supporting their families. Parents also reduce the stress associated with parenting by learning
appropriate coping skills.

Board Chairperson: Kenny Crabill
(319) 293-3129

Decat Coordinator/Contact Person: Beth Mohrfeld
(319) 372-3651

                                                            Linn County Empowerment Board
                                                            Contact Person: Terri Jo Erickson, Chairperson
                                                            1622 Woodcrest Street NE
                                                            Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
                                                            Phone: 319/395-7021
                                                            Fax: 319/ 294-3082

                                                             IOWA’S FIVE DESIRED RESULTS AND LINN COUNTY’S
                                                            • Healthy Children:
                                                                  Low Birth Weight
                                                                  Rate of Immunization by Age 2
                                                            • Children Ready to Succeed in School:
                                                                  Children Entering Kindergarten are Ready for School
                    OUR VISION:                             • Safe and Supportive Communities:
The Linn County Empowerment Board is an                           Community Services and Collaborative
organization of community systems working together to             Partnerships
improve the quality of life for children, individuals and   • Secure and Nurturing Families:
families.                                                         Incidence of Child Abuse
                                                                  Teen Birth Rate
                                                            • Secure and Nurturing Childcare Environments:
   BOARD COMPOSITION : thirty-five members                        Child Abuse in a Child Care Setting
 consisting of 17 Citizens, 3 Elected Officials, 5 each           Availability of Child Care
  Professional Representatives from Health, Education
                   and Human Services
Executive Committee
•    Provide leadership and administrative oversight to            SIX STRATEGIES TO IMPLEMENT IOWA’S FIVE
     the Board                                                                      DESIRED RESULTS:
•    Ensure effective operations and mechanics of the       1)     Community Services and Collaborative Partnerships
     Board                                                  2)     Child Screening / Health Care
•    Futures Committee                                      3)     Parent Education
•    Develop the five and ten year strategic business       4)     Family Violence Prevention
     plan                                                   5)     PACES Day Care Home Development Project
•    Ensure blending of funding streams
•    Evaluation Committee
•    Utilize tools and measurements to ensure desired
     results and performance indicators are achieved
•    Identify community collaboratives and processes
     for a “results-based                                     Strategy: Community Services and Collaborative Partnerships
•    accountability system”                                   This project is a Board strategy to seek collaborative partners to work
•    Project Oversight Committee                              together to better understand child care/child development issues and
•    Monitor progress of strategies and                       to create a greater awareness of those issues. Collaborative
•    develop criteria for new projects                        partnerships have been initiated with the following organizations,
•    Ensure that progress reporting and performance           agencies, and/or councils:
     outcomes are consistent with desired results             1) United Way/Foresight 2020 (Community Needs Assessment)
•    Finance/Fiscal Agent Committee                           2) Linn County Superintendents of Schools (Consistent
•    Provide budget oversight                                      Kindergarten Assessment Instrument Across Eleven Districts)
•    Ensure financial compliance with contract                3) Learning Alliance Consortium (Community Awareness,
     language                                                      Corporate Endorsement and Parent Education Consortium)
•    Public Relations Committee                               4) Every Child Welcome/Every Child Safe Task Force
•    Develop communications plan                                   Collaborative (Early Childhood Framework and Strategy)
•    Coordinate collaborative efforts with legislators
     and media
•    Nominating Committee
•    Recruit, interview and select new members
•    New member orientation/training

STRATEGY: Child Screening/Health Care for 1000 at-risk children ages 0-5
This project builds upon existing collaborative health efforts to provide comprehensive child health and developmental screening
services for children birth to five years with “School Ready” risk factors.
a. Offer a coordinated health, developmental, nutritional screening service to 1,000 children 0-36 months.
b. Integrate child health insurance application process into screening structure.
c. Establish cooperative service agreements with other local programs serving young children to promote the use of screening
     prior to enrollment in other programs.
d. As a part of screening follow-through or insurance application process, establish linkages to other community resources.
e. Link families with support groups / mentors regarding health, developmental and nutritional needs.
f. Provide training / consultation within the community to service providers who have contact with parents of young children 0-5
     years, with health, developmental and nutritional needs.
g. Implement public education measures, developmental / health screening & insurance outreach capable of reaching at least 5,000
     parents of children 0-5.

STRATEGY: Parent Education for 5800 at-risk children ages 0-5
This project has established a broad-based community system for parent education in Linn County.
a. Expand, improve accessibility and better coordinate the current community system related to free parenting classes.
b. Coordinate mentoring / support programs to increase parenting knowledge and social support network.
c. Provide consultation / support to community service providers to incorporate child development / parent education with the
    families they are working with.
d. Improve parenting skills through a six-week educational program.

STRATEGY: Family Violence Education for at-risk children ages 0-5
This project identifies, engages and refers families (with children 0-5) who have experienced or are at-risk of family violence.
a. To integrate referrals and services for children and families who are experiencing or at-risk of family violence.
b. To manage the project by a multi-disciplinary / interagency team.
c. To identify children ages 0 to 5 years, and non-abusive parents who are exposed to family violence
d. To increase the capacities of agencies to serve children and families who are involved in or witness to family violence.
e. To recruit and train volunteers who will offer support and assistance using problem solving skills to families
f. To offer professional developmental training and consultation that will assist in providing more efficient
g. To an “individual courses of action” that responds when family violence affects the safety of a child or non-abusive parent.
h. To build a countywide, family violence awareness program that focuses on the families of young children.

STRATEGY: PACES Day Care Home Development Project for low-income families with children ages 0-5
This project has developed a strong network of childcare providers who offer care to low-income working parents, including
evening/weekend care and infant/toddler care.
a. Increase the availability and quality of daycare services.
b. Significantly increase the number of daycare service providers.
c. Provide training and consultation visits to home childcare providers.
d. Increase daycare home registration and participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
e. Provide enhanced training opportunities (i.e., scholarships) for early childhood/child development coursework.

STRATEGY: Wraparound Child Care Projects
Wrap-Around Child Care Projects extend the hours or months of operation of “core” child development services (such as Head
Start/ Early Head Start, Shared Visions or Early Childhood Special Education Services) in order to meet the needs of families who
are working or going to school.
a. Increase the availability and quality of daycare services.
b. Support the continued enrollment of children with full-day child care needs in comprehensive child development programs.
c. Develop a cost effective model for providing full-day full-year comprehensive child development services, which builds upon
     and extends existing funding streams.



The Madison County Empowerment Board, through collaboration with citizens, businesses, elected officials,
volunteers, Health professionals, Human Services professionals, and Educators visualizes a community that is
truly committed and takes responsibility for the well-being of all families and all children. The overall goal of
the Madison County Empowerment Board is to develop a comprehensive, seamless, delivery system that will
enhance all parents’ abilities to provide their children with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life.

    The basic goal is based on the following assumptions:
    • All children need to have nurturing, caring, parents.
    • Parents who have access to information, education and support can respond more positively and
       effectively to their children.
    • Both emotional and physical needs of parents must be met if they are to respond positively to their

It is believed that all parents and children need help and support at some level. In order to be effective,
support needs to be available in many forms and at a variety of levels. Some parents simply need to be linked
to existing support systems within the community. Other families would benefit most from more formal
education about raising healthy, well-adjusted children. There are additional families that must receive
intense services in order to learn how to function at an optimal level.

The Madison County Empowerment Board proposes to initiate the following plan:
   • Ensure that families with young children have the ability to access services provided through out
      Madison County.
   • Provide home visitation services to Madison County residents who have a newborn. This project will
      help to ensure that all children are healthy and that all families are secure and nurturing.
   • Ensure that all Madison County parents with a child between that ages of birth and five have access to
      the Parents as Teachers Program or other parent education opportunities. This will help to ensure that
      all children are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in school and that all families are secure
      and nurturing.
   • Increase the quality and availability of child care in Madison County. Families with young children
      should have access to high quality and affordable child care, including emergency child care.
      Eliminate barriers that result in children not having equal access to a preschool opportunity by
      assisting with the cost of transportation. (Transportation will be funded with the Early Childhood
      funds). These project will ensure that children of working parents have access to secure and nurturing
      childcare environments and have an opportunity to attend preschool.

    State Indicator                                     Local Indicators
  Secure and         Increased number of families that accept a home visit
  Nurturing Families Increased number of families who participate in the Parents as Teachers program
                     Increase parental knowledge of age appropriate expectations
                     Increase child safety
                     Increase parents’ ability to access available community resources
  Healthy Children   Increased health status of Madison County Children from birth to five
                     Increased number of Madison County children with access to health insurance
                     Increase child safety
                     Increased number of children who parents have access to home visitation program
                     Decreased number of children who enter the school system with unidentified
                       developmental delays
  Children Ready to  Increased basic skill level of children
  Succeed in School  Increase parents knowledge of normal child development
                     Increased family awareness of existing community resources

  Safe Communities      Increased communication and collaboration between service providers
                        Increased awareness and knowledge of services available to Madison County
                        Increased parent education and support options for families with children from
                          birth to five
  Secure and            Increased preschool attendance
  Nurturing Child       Increased child care providers attending training
  Care Environments     Increased number of registered child care providers in Madison County
                        Increased availability of emergency child care options

The cost of transportation to preschool was identified as a barrier for many low-income families residing in
Madison County. As a result, the Madison County Empowerment Board developed/implemented a system to
provide transportation services for children attending preschool.

The Madison County Empowerment Board and the local Decategorization project have worked closely
throughout the past two years in order to identify the needs and resources available throughout the entire
county. Both of these planning structures are committed to collaboration and cooperation.

The Decategorization project has allocated funding to the Parents as Teachers, CRISP, and Crisis Emergency
Child Care projects and is committed to continuing support of these projects. All funds requested by the
Madison County Empowerment Project will be utilized for expansion of these existing, successful projects.
By blending resources and building on the successful experiences of the current community based projects, a
more comprehensive, seamless, delivery system for all families with children birth through five will be

Patrick Fraizer,                                     Phone: 515-462-2931
Community Services,                                  Fax: 515-462-3076
209 E.,
Winterset, Iowa 50273

NAME OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Marion County Empowerment Initiative


The vision of the Marion County Empowerment Board is to enable the collaborative effort of citizens and
professionals of Marion County to develop and utilize all resources available to strengthen families and
address the needs of parents and children. The vision statement of the Marion County Empowerment Board is
based on the following philosophy:
    • We believe that all persons in Marion County deserve equal access to our shared community
    • We believe strengths exist in our own communities to define and address community problems,
        enhance present resources and to explore and cultivate new resources.
    • We believe that resources are used most productively when needs are thoroughly and accurately
        assessed on an ongoing basis.
    • We believe preventive measures and early intervention strategies are the most effective assistance to
        children and families.
    • We believe that by working together as communities we can improve efficiency and reduce
        duplication of services.
    • We believe that citizens should be encouraged to participate in all these efforts including the
        distribution and management of financial resources.

The Marion County Empowerment Initiative will:
   1. Provide home visitation services to all Marion County residents who have a newborn child regardless
      of where that delivery takes place. This project will help to ensure that all children are healthy and
      that all families are secure and nurturing.
   2. Ensure that all Marion County parents with a child between that ages of birth and five have access to
      the Parents as Teachers Program or other parent education opportunities. This will help to ensure that
      all children are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in school and that all families are secure
      and nurturing.
   3. Develop and implement ways to weave the 40 Developmental Assets for Preschoolers into Marion
      County. This project enables all communities within Marion County to become safe and supportive.
   4. Increase the quality and availability of childcare for Marion County families. This project will ensure
      that children of working parents have access to secure and nurturing childcare environments.

    State Indicator                                         Local Indicators
 Secure and         •      Increased number of families that accept a home visit
 Nurturing Families •      Increased number of families who participate in the Parents as Teachers program
                    •      Increase positive family interactions
                    •      Decreased child abuse and neglect
 Healthy Children   •      Increased health status of Marion County Children from birth to five
                    •      Increased number of Marion County children with access to health insurance
                    •      Decreased incident of child abuse and neglect
                    •      Increased number of children who parents have access to home visitation program
                    •      Decreased number of children who enter the school system with developmental
 Children Ready to     •   Increased the basic skill level of children
 Succeed in School     •   Increased parents knowledge of normal child development
                       •   Increased family awareness of existing community resources
                       •   Increased availability of child care
 Safe Communities      •   Increased communication and collaboration between service providers

                       •    Increased awareness and knowledge of services available to Marion County
                       •    Increased awareness of the 40 Developmental Assets
                       •    Increased parent education and support options for families with children from
                           birth to five
 Secure and            •    Increased number of registered child care homes
 Nurturing Child       •    Increased number of providers attending training
 Care Environments     •    Increased number of providers participating in Child & Adult Care Food Program
                       •    Increased number of ChildNet certified child care homes
                       •    Increased number of centers/preschools applying for national accreditation
                       •    Increased length of time home child care providers are in operation
                       •    Increased number of child care providers who serve TANF families

   • Home visitation services were provided to Marion County residents who had a newborn child. This
     project (Babies Bright Beginning) helped to ensure that children were healthy and that families
     were secure and nurturing.
   • Ensured that Marion County parents with a child(ren) between that ages of birth and five had access
     to the Parents as Teachers Program or other parent education opportunities. This component of the
     plan helped to ensure that children are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in school and
     that families are secure and nurturing.
   • The 40 Developmental Assets for Preschoolers was developed and implemented throughout Marion
     County. Eventually, this project can enable all communities within Marion County to become
     more safe and supportive.
   • Increased quality and availability of childcare for Marion County families. This project will ensure
     that children of working parents have access to secure and nurturing childcare environments.

The Marion County Empowerment Board recognizes the need to collaborate in order to provide the highest
quality, most cost effective services for families and children. Since the inception of the Empowerment
initiative efforts have been made to reduce duplication of services. In large part, this has been accomplished
through open communication, cooperation, and combining of existing funding streams. The Marion County
Empowerment Board utilized existing structures (i.e. Decategorization, local Child Abuse Prevention
Council, planning committees within local schools etc.) to plan and implement services for families with
young children. As a result, families and children have access to a more comprehensive, seamless delivery

Kim Dorn,                                             Phone: 641-828-2238
Marion County Community Health Services               Fax: 641-842-3442
104 South 6th Street                                  Email:
Knoxville, IA 50138

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Marshall County Community Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Serving Children and Families in Marshalltown, East Marshall, West
Marshall, GMG School Districts

VISION AND MISSION: All Marshall County community members will be physically, mentally,
socially, and spiritually healthy and strong; all members of the community will assist families to
nurture caring and respectful children who are responsible for their own actions and continually
learning and contributing to the community.

Increased # of low-income children served in registered, licensed care.
Strategy: Child Care Assistance for Low-income Parents

Child Care Assistance for Low-income Parents
Strategy: Increased # of providers seeking accreditation

Increased number of registered providers using resources
Strategy: Resource Center-Lending Library

# of new providers recruited
# of additional providers registered or licensed
# of providers Child Net certified
# providers enrolled in CACFP
Strategy: Recruitment, enrollment, assistance in registering with state.

# of providers who report incentives allowed them to attend training.
Strategy: Financial incentives for training--reimbursement of costs for substitutes.

# of providers who enroll in CACFP, complete Child net training, register, participate in
accreditation process, get CDA.
Strategy: Incentives for increased credentialing

# of parents receiving services
# parents attending workshops
Strategy: Increased parent knowledge of quality child care issues.

All parents living in the Marshall County CEA who need child care for their infants, toddlers and
pre-schoolers will have access to quality child care. No parent will need to make a risky or
dangerous child care choice due to lack of affordable, accessible, available, quality child care.

A Child Care Resource and Referral Coordinator has been hired as part of the CEA funding process,
using TANF grant funds. The Community Empowerment Area Board believes that quality,
affordable, accessible child care is of such major concern in the community that the hiring of staff
who is housed locally at Mid-Iowa Community Action was essential.
18 new child care providers have joined the Child Care Resource and Referral system since the new
Coordinator was hired in May of 2000.

The Lending Library opened in September and already 17 providers have been utilizing this service.

43 families have accessed referral services and have been given one on one counseling about
locating quality care for their children.

20 providers are working toward the goal of becoming ChildNet Certified.

Three informational meetings have been held. Seven training’s were offered and 57 care givers

The Marshall County Empowerment Area was awarded School Ready Funding which will be used
to supplement and expand the Building Healthy Families Program, a home visitation to parents of

Marshall County Empowerment Area
Liz Zuercher, Empowerment Area Coordinator
3405 S. Center St. PO Box 497
Marshalltown, Iowa 50158
641-754-1400 ext. 46
641-752-6265 Fax

                                         Encouraging youth and family services in Muscatine County

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Muscatine Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Muscatine County

VISION AND MISSION: Our empowerment area believes the community is accountable for
supporting families so children have opportunities to live their lives to the fullest. We believe
parents are the most important and effective resource for children.

It is our mission "To ensure parents have the necessary tools and resources to raise their children to
be happy, productive adults."

Accomplishment of the mission requires the collaboration of a variety of agencies as well as
members of the community working together through focused partnerships.

To improve the lives of young children, the Muscatine Empowerment Area Board will provide the
leadership and support required to implement an assessment, planning and service delivery system
that exceeds the outcome of current efforts as evidenced by the data regarding the well-being of
young children. We will work with community resources that directly and tangentially serve young
children and their families. We will develop a unified understanding and commitment to participate
in strategies proven to improve the young child’s health, environment and parental guidance.

Through this work, data regarding service gaps and uneven distribution of resources will continually
be brought forward through an established reporting and evaluation process. Working with
collaborating organizations, the Muscatine Empowerment Board, will use this information as a
planning base to continue to lead toward a comprehensive service delivery system. This process will
be used with additional target populations and service delivery issues as the Empowerment Area’s
responsibility widens.

The focus of the Muscatine County Empowerment Area will continue to be the health, environment,
and parental guidance of 0 – 5 aged children in our community. However, we have revised our plan
to look at ways to expand the services we currently offer in fiscal year 2001 instead of implementing
something new. We will be providing our county with much needed services and our Empowerment
Board with additional time to collaborate with the Decategorization Governance Board and
Muscatine County’s Promise to address the gaps in Early Childhood and School Ready programs.

Healthy Children: Families will receive information on Medicaid/Hawk I insurance, child health
services and immunizations. Children will be up to date on immunizations.
Children Ready to Succeed in School: 85% of the parents will report having interacted with their
children using emergent literacy techniques.

Safe and Supportive Communities: Domestic violence rates of the families receiving in-home
support services will be at least 20% less than the county.

Secure and Nurturing Families: 100% of families will attend at least 1 educational offering.

Secure and Nurturing Childcare: All staff will attend an in-service, all families will be assessed for
safety within first 2 visits and at completion of services. 90% of the families surveyed for safe will
show improvement by completion of services.

The Muscatine Empowerment Area currently offers the SOS (Supporting Our Students) Childcare
program. The program focuses on keeping teenage parents in school to obtain their diploma or
GED. The program pays childcare providers for caring for the children of these teen parents.
Having just started in August, the program currently has 15 teenagers using the service.

Within the next few weeks, we will be expanding our in-home visitation programs. The HOPES and
FNP program are presenting adding staff so they can expand their services outside the city of

Until FY01, the Muscatine Empowerment Area had minimal funding. However, with that funding a
new childcare program was established. (See primary services.) Because of its' success we are
reviewing the budgeted amount needed to run the program. Discussions have begun between the
Muscatine School District, the Empowerment and the Decat Governance Board. If empowerment
funds are used to sustain an existing program, the tax-levied dollars for At-Risk programs could be
used with Decat funds to introduce programming focusing on truancy at the elementary school level.

Judy L. Rohwedder, Project Coordinator
DHS - Muscatine County
120 E 3rd St. 4th Floor, Muscatine, Iowa 52761
Phone: 319-263-9302 Fax: 319-262-8614


COUNTIES IN AREA: Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties

VISION: Partners in the Palo Alto/Kossuth (PAK) Empowerment Area believe that developmental
opportunities for children ages birth to five play a critical role in establishing lifelong patterns.
Children in this population group are ready to learn and develop the perceptual framework that will
guide their lives. Along with the provision of basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety, qualities
such as a feeling of family support, positive identity, social competency, and a nurturing
environment are essential for lifelong healthy development.

     • Provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for all children age birth to 5.
     • Provide training support to parents and other caregivers of the birth to 5 population.
     • Prepare children age birth to 5 with the skills needed to learn to be ready to take
       advantage of educational opportunities and learn to the best of their ability.

The plan, which the PAK Empowerment Board has envisioned, will provide a seamless,
comprehensive delivery system of family services to address the gaps that are currently present. The
plan includes home visits to parents and childcare providers, education opportunities for parents and
childcare providers, and lead screening for children to identify and reduce elevated blood lead levels.
The vision of this Board has been and continues to be that children need positive opportunities to
learn and grow and by reaching out to those who care for them we can accomplish healthy, happy,
well developed children who are ready to succeed in school.

     • Improved prenatal care for pregnant women leading to healthier children.
     • Expanded in-home visitation services leading to parents who are better able to:
           (1) Provide a secure and nurturing environment for their children.
           (2) Select childcare environments for their children that are equally nurturing and
    • Improved education for parents and childcare providers leading to:
           (1) Caregivers who are more knowledgeable about early brain development.
           (2) Children who are better prepared to succeed in school.
    • Increased number of childcare providers who have received child development education
       leading to a corresponding increase in the number of children cared for in nurturing
       childcare environments.
    • Expanded lead-screening efforts leading to a reduction in elevated blood lead levels in

    • Continued implementation of the HOPES Projects.
    • Expanding the KIDS Program.
    • Continuation of lead screening efforts.
    • Expansion of educational opportunities for parents and childcare providers.

The PAK Empowerment Plan is rich in successful collaboratives between the Community Public
Health Agencies, the Lakeland Area Education Agency, local Child Abuse Prevention Councils,
Schools, Iowa State University Extension Agencies, and the two CAP Agencies. The area prides
itself in implementing various components of their plan long before receiving state empowerment

    Erin Thilges, Decat Coordinator
    Lakeland AEA 3
    5253 2nd St., Box 38
    Cylinder, IA 50528
    fax: 712-424-3314


VISION: Setting the stage for a lifetime of learning and success.

•  To ensure positive outcomes for all children in Polk County and strengthen families, by involving all stakeholders (i.e.
   Individuals, families, all levels of government, schools, community agencies, businesses, faith community).
•  The Partnership will support the Early Childhood Business plan for community investments that will achieve long term positive
   results for children, families & neighborhoods.
•  The partnership will engage the human services planning alliance to challenge all stakeholders to own the issues of the early
   childhood business plan to take action.

1. Increase high quality preschool capacity and increase utilization by at-risk children.
2. Coordinate and streamline access to an expanded network of family support, parent education programs and health services.
3. Ensure the availability of and streamline accessibility to high quality child care for low-income, subsidized children.

•  Low birth weight rate
•  Teen birth rate
•  Founded child abuse rate
•  Percent of children with age-appropriate immunizations
•  Proportion of high-risk children demonstrating age-appropriate development and school readiness when entering kindergarten
•  Number of children entering school with hearing and speech delays
•  Number / capacity of high-quality preschool education programs for high-risk children
•  Number of high-risk children enrolled in high quality preschool programs
•  Proportion of subsidized children in regulated child care settings
•  Number of NAEYC certified child care centers

Increase high quality preschool capacity and increase utilization by at-risk children.
(a) Expansion of comprehensive preschool and Head Start sites in under-served areas of Polk County.
     •    The Des Moines Public School opened two new preschool sites on the South side utilizing the Shared Vision criteria.
     •    Head start began a new Home Visiting Project with in the Southeast Polk School District.
(b) Preschool financial assistance (scholarships) for currently not served, at-risk children residing outside of the Des Moines Public
     School District.
     •    70+ at-risk children, ages 3-5, received scholarships to attend a preschool within their school district or Polk County.
     •    Each of the eight (8) school districts outside of Des Moines have financial aid available to distribute to families (eligible for
          free/reduced lunch program) within their districts.
(c) Wrap-around preschool/child care services for at risk children in part-day preschool programs. Children in the newly established
     preschool programs & those in Head Start at Hispanic Educational Resources (Mia Escuelita) are eligible for wrap-around
(d) Training for preschool and child care center staff on early detection and intervention for communication delays or disorders
     among children. An innovative program funded by United Way of Central Iowa and Des Moines Hearing and Speech. Utilized
     speech therapist to train preschool and child care providers in 8 inner city centers (Targeted Child Care Centers) to detect
     communication delays while at the same time screen the children they serve. Over 400 children were screed. While not funded
     by empowerment dollars, this initiative in part of the Polk County empowerment plan.
Coordinate and streamline access to an expanded network of family support, parent education programs and health services.
(a) Established a coordinated assessment and referral system to identify and link families in need of family support services (e.g.,
     home visiting, case management, and parent education) to the most appropriate service provider in the community.
     •    The Healthy Start Model for centralized intake and referral, designed for children 0-1 in six high-risk census tracts of the
          County, has been expanded to serve children birth - 5 years old in all of Polk County.
     •    Thirteen case management programs/agencies as part of this Family Support Network agreed upon a uniform standard of
          care, protocol, common intake form, performance measures, 36 continuums of services & common case-management
(b) Expansion of current family support services to identify and serve more high-risk families with children birth – 5 years old.
     •    Bi-lingual case managers are being hired in two community based family support programs (Family Enrichment Center and
          Hispanic Educational Resources) that serve Polk County’s growing Latino population.
(c) Expansion of current family support services to identify and serve more high-risk families with children birth – 5 years old.
     •    Families being served through the Family Support Network are eligible to receive additional emergency and material
          assistance (up to $1,000) empowerment funds administered by Polk County General Assistance.
(d) Encouraged participation in and completion of voluntary parent education programs among low-income parents with children.
     •    Utilized an incentives program established by Visiting Nurse Services to provide parents the ability to earn points for
          attendance of classes. The points were then exchanged for merchandise at a store located at VNS. Items purchased through
          the parent incentives program included: clothing, safety equipment, car seats, books & toys, bedding, medical supplies,

         travel items, diapers, furniture, hygiene products and baby accessories. Empowerment dollars supplied the funds for
         purchasing the incentive merchandise. Approximately 582 clients were served.
    •    Child Care Resource and Referral Center coordinated the Parenting Monthly website. This website provided information to
         parents, case managers, agencies, and the general population about up-coming parenting classes.
(e) Established a continuum of respite care services for high-risk families with children 0-5 which is linked to the Family Support
    •    The respite continuum is comprised of three community-based agencies, each of which offers unique planned and or
         emergency respite care services.
    •    These services include State registered child care homes, licensed foster parent homes, a crisis nursery program, and a
         licensed shelter program.
(f) Increased utilization of primary and preventive health care for young children and high-risk pregnant women.
    •    A joint outreach program between Healthy Polk 2000, the Polk County Health Department, and empowerment provided
         mini grants to serve at risk populations in the area of health care prevention.
    •    Maternal and child health services are expanding at three community-based health clinics (S.E. Polk, Ankeny, and La
         Esperanza Clinica) where needs are increasing.
    •    Family planning services were expanded through three main family planning providers (Broadlawns, Planned Parenthood,
         and La Esperanza Clinica) for low-income women.

Ensure the availability of and streamline accessibility to high quality childcare for low-income, subsidized children.
(a) Streamlined accessibility for parents eligible for subsidized childcare. Polk County established a centralized intake of entry
    process that allows for the coordination of childcare funds from government, empowerment grant, and United Way.
(b) Stabilization of 8 inner city childcare centers (Targeted Child Care Centers) by filling the gap between the market price for
    center-based care and the State (DHS) reimbursement rate. Stabilization funds are being used by the targeted centers to help
    maintain their current capacity and increase their enrollment.
(c) Support for NAEYC Accreditation & CDA training for 8 inner city child care centers (Targeted Child Care Centers). Childcare
    quality improvement plans have been developed at each center. Funds will be used for NAEYC Accreditation expenses, staff
    tuition for higher education, CDA scholarships & substitute teachers. United Way of Central Iowa and Bank of America
    matched empowerment funds to support this initiative.
(d) Business support to the 8 inner city centers (Targeted Child Care Centers) to increase their administrative efficiencies. Computer
    hardware, software and technical assistance are being provided to assist centers in their record keeping and reporting procedures.
    United Way of Central Iowa and Prairie Meadows matched empowerment funds to provide this initiative.
(e) Increase the number of certified and accredited family day care homes particularly infant care and shift care. The Child Care
    Resource & Referral of Central Iowa is recruiting, training, and offering incentives to providers to expand quality day care

Ginny Hancock, Executive Director                                 Kim Danos, Empowerment Coordinator
Human Services Planning Alliance                                  Human Services Planning Alliance
1111 Ninth Street, Suite 100                                      1111 Ninth Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50314                                              Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 246-6580                                                    (515) 246-6612
(515) 246-6546 FAX                                                 (515) 246-6546 FAX                                       

                 Pottawattamie County Empowerment Area
 417 East Kanesville Boulevard                                              Council Bluffs, IA 51503
 (712) 328-4855 Phone                                                       (712) 328-5748 Fax

 Showcase Report


 We believe our deliberate approach in implementing the activities geared to enhance school readiness
 is paying dividends. Although implementation was not at a rapid pace this time last year, we have
 seen a smooth and steady growth in programs and great levels of collaboration.

 In Pottawattamie County we often fail to blow our own horn, but we are excellent collaborators with
 a natural revulsion to duplication or unnecessary competition. For example, at our last board meeting
 the board committed to help expand child care opportunities only after Head Start agreed to work
 cooperatively with the initiative on the table. It’s difficult to describe, but impressive to observe. Our
 board chair asked the Head Start representative (who was at the table as usual) if there weren’t
 something his agency could do to help and soon we were off and flying. Fifteen minutes of
 discussion, contemplation, compromise and wordsmithing later we approved the proposal.

                                   v                v                v

             What follows is a synopsis of some of our progress in our priority areas.

Priority:                      Provide parent education, health services, and support through universal
                               comprehensive home visitation for all children (ages newborn – 5)

                                                Primary Goals
 •   Provide the newly designed and delivered services to an additional 350-400 infants, toddlers, and
     pregnant women in Pottawattamie county
 •   Provide intensive home visitation to higher-risk families
 •   Provide hospital screenings for newborns at risk, especially for those chemically exposed
 •   Voluntary home visitation to new parents with education on how to stimulate their child's growth and
     development and modeling of methods to promote infant/parent attachment.
                                            Highlighted Accomplishments
 •   360 active families in home visitation and group programs during 1999-2000
 •   492 children were served
 •   The Visiting Nurse Association completed 256 well-baby visits under the Empowerment banner

 v   Participation in parent education groups was strong
 v   Components of some of the numerous groups are led by parent program ‘graduates’
 v   A lending library for resource material is operating along with a mini computer lab

                                   v                v                v
 Priority:                 Provide access to quality, comprehensive preschool programs,
                           including parent education & resources

 Primary Goals
 •   Ensure a network of culturally responsive services and supports for all young children and their
     families, leading to self-sufficiency

•   Enhance family strengths by increasing the bonds between parents and their children, families
    and schools, and families and the community
•   Work with school districts in our county to expand curriculum-based preschool services
    delivered by accredited teachers

Highlighted Accomplishments

Here is the number of new full-time slots in school year 199-2000. All but one of the
districts fulfilled their contract with our board.

Pottawattamie County School              # of new preschool            Number of Children
District                                 slots provided
A-H-S-T                                  2, plus                                  4
Council Bluffs                           28                                    56
Lewis Central                            16                                    32
Riverside                                4                                      8
Tri-Center                               5                                     10
Treynor                                   None this year;                   See note *
                                         beginning in 00-01
Underwood                                4                                        8
Walnut                                   4                                        8

In addition to the numbers, each district shared some moving success stories relating amazing
progress—one of which I’ll summarize. Our smallest participating district served a
preschooler named ‘Josh’ (changed to protect the innocent), a boy taken from his mother
because of her substance abuse. His father is on disability from a stroke.

Josh, 4 ½, came to the program not knowing colors, shapes, numbers and unable to recognize
his own name in print. Josh improved his Boehm Concept Test score from a 40% to 73%,
became more verbal, knows 4 of 5 shapes, the eight basic colors, eight of 10 numbers and
can recognize his first and last name in print. The teacher says becoming average in these
measures will be the difference in succeeding in Kindergarten. She says Josh likely will
struggle, but without the added capacity to serve Josh in this program, school success would
not have been possible.

As an aside, the teacher says Josh beamed as he carried the class banner down the main street in the
Homecoming Parade last fall. Apparently, our goal of enhancing community connections was met
with Josh.

* The Treynor schools have since have received board approval and are have begun to plan for services this
current school year. The Pottawattamie County Empowerment Area Board is holding funds back for this year
and will allocate funds once they have a successful program and have used the original dollars.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Poweshiek County Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: Poweshiek County

VISION STATEMENT: All families living within Poweshiek County will have the opportunity to live in a safe,
healthy, stable and nurturing environment.

MISSION STATEMENT: Assure that families with young children have access to affordable high quality child care,
early intellectual stimulation for children, be free of child abuse and neglect and have the skills and services needed to be
healthy and strong.

The priorities established for the initial efforts of the community and the Poweshiek County Empowerment Area Board
of Directors are
• Adequate comprehensive family support programs to meet the identified need
• Adequate numbers of well-prepared registered family home child care providers and licensed child care centers to
    meet the identified need
• Adequate numbers of accessible, available, affordable child care slots to meet the identified need

The Empowerment Area has decided to focus on family support and education, quality child care providers and
affordable child care at this time. The primary focus with the school ready funding will be family support and education.
However some of the funding will be utilized to support the child care home consultant and mini-grants that assist
families with income between 140-185 percent of the federal poverty level with child care. Early Childhood funding
supports a child care home consultant and assistance with child care.

Early Childhood Environments: Increase basic skill level of providers and increase quality and accessibility of childcare.

Goal 1: To increase by 10 the numbers of registered child care providers between June 30, 1999 and June 30, 2001
Goal 2: To increase by 10 percent the number of childcare providers participating in training by 25 percent by June 30,
Goal 3: To increase by 60 the number of available child care slots in licensed or registered child care settings by June 30,

Health Care for Children: Improve the health status and early stimulation of children; and increase the education and
support given to families to impact the health and well being of children

Goal 1: To increase the number of children tested for lead poisoning by four percent per year until we exceed the state
Goal 2: To increase by five percent the number of home visits provided to new parents in Poweshiek County by June 30,

Home Visiting, Parent Education and Support: Increase access to a comprehensive family support system for children-
at-risk and their families.

Goal: To increase by 10 the number of children-at-risk and their families who have access to comprehensive home
visiting and family support services by June 30, 2001.

During fiscal year 2000, Poweshiek County received only Early Childhood funding. The funding was used to
establish a child care home consultant for our area and to assist families with child care expense.

Child Care Assistance
To reduce the barrier of affordability for quality child care a voucher system to assist families whose income is between
140 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level was established. For FY2001 this was changed to a mini-grant
program that providers apply for to assist low families meeting income guidelines.
Child Care Home Consultant
A local child care home consultant position was developed and with the support of Child Care Resource & Referral the
following services have been available:

    1.       One-on-one assistance to providers requesting registration information.
    2.       Help to providers in selecting the most appropriate registration level.
    3.       Assistance to new providers as they develop a commitment to provide a safe, quality child care setting.
         Offering a new provider a start up kit containing safety equipment (i.e., First Aid Kit, Fire Extinguisher).
    4.       Interpretation guidelines adopted by the State of Iowa.
    5.       Support of quality child care through education, training and resources, in cooperation with Child Care
         Resource and Referral and other community agencies.

Collaboration/Cooperation Efforts. The activities of the Poweshiek County Empowerment Area have been a
collaborative effort of Child Care Resource And Referral, Departments of Human Services , Grinnell Regional Public
Health and Mother-Child Wellness Program, Head Start, Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc., Grinnell-Newburg
Community School, licensed child care providers and community citizens.

Accomplishments/Successes: The child care voucher program is currently serving 9 families with 13 children.

As of June 1999, there were three licensed childcare centers in Poweshiek County. All were located in Grinnell. There
were 24 registered childcare providers in Poweshiek County with no registered providers in Montezuma. As of June 30,
2000 there are three licensed child care centers in Grinnell. There are 33 registered home care providers with five
potential providers being registered pending DHS approval. Two of the registered home care providers are in the
Montezuma area.

As of June 30, 1999 there were 169 year round slots and 25 summer slots at the licensed child care centers. There are an
additional 170 slots in registered child care settings for a total of 339 slots. As of June 30, 2000 the number of available
child care slots was 226 at licensed centers and 222 in registered child care settings for a total of 448 slots. This is an
increase of 107 since 6-30-99. In addition to the child care slots, there are 99 preschool only slots.

A program “Family Connections” is being established with the school ready funding the Poweshiek County
Empowerment Area received for fiscal year 2001. Family Connections will be a collaborative effort of the Grinnell
Regional Medical Center Obstetrics Department, Grinnell Regional Public Health and Mother-Child Wellness Program,
Poweshiek County Board of Health and the agency selected to provide the family development specialist. These
organizations will link with Early Head Start, Head Start, FaDSS, and Project Home Mission, which are all provided by
Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. They will also link with Area Education Agency, local child care providers and other
community agencies to meet the needs of the families served by Family Connections.

Family Connections is based on family-centered practices. A home visit is offered to every new parent where a review
of the family assets and needs started at the hospital is done. This review will look holistically at the family and include
social economic and health indicators of risk. All families with identified risk will be offered a home visit by a family
development specialist. The family development specialist in conjunction with the family will develop a plan of care
with measurable goals and objectives. Services will be continued until such time the goals and objectives are met or the
family receives other community services

     Karen Fread, RN, MBA, Empowerment Board Secretary
     Director of Grinnell Regional Public Health/Home Care
     210 4th Ave
     Grinnell, IA 50112
     641-236-2385 FAX 641-236-2599

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Ringgold County Empowerment Area

Ringgold County is the Empowerment Area including the communities of Tingley, Diagonal,
Ellston, Beaconsfield, Mount Ayr, Benton, Kellerton, Maloy, Delphos, Redding and a neighboring
community in an adjoining county, Clearfield.

Meeting the needs of young children and families by utilizing private and public funding to redesign
services is a goal of the Ringgold County Empowerment program. Collaboration and coordination
in education, health and human services, families and public information to citizens is the emphasis
during this initial phase. Services provided included incentives for child care provider training and
safety education to enhance quality child capacity in support of parent capability to obtain or retain
employment; preschool services, child day care services, parent education and support services
through home visitation, and family advocacy. The needs were identified through community needs
assessment, analysis of the results of the latest formal assessments, and review of core indicators
associated with healthy children, school readiness, safe and supportive communities, secure and
nurturing families and secure and nurturing child care environments and discussion regarding past
and current efforts. The early childhood funding provides as avenue of change by providing a
Family Advocate to assist in decreasing the pressures of domestic abuse, divorce, and child abuse.
Child care providers and families are more knowledgeable about the prevention of and response to
domestic violence and child abuse, Family support services are coordinated among providers, and
there is an increase in quality child care so there is parent confidence in child safety. The plan also
calls for incentives for child care providers who obtain education and establish new, positive
practices, Project T.I.P.
        The School Ready Children Grant Funding provided support for children to be ready to begin
school ready to succeed, for stable and supportive families as families in their efforts to be
productive members of a caring community, managing challenging behavior both in and out of the
home, promotion of strong parent-child relationships; and provision of quality care in family-based
and center-based settings building on the existing strengths of families by being responsive to their

Successes in Ringgold County include center-based providers working towards becoming accredited
in child development, equipment and supplies that are developmentally appropriate have been
purchased and integrated into the curriculum of preschool and child care activities, employees are
receiving a better wage so there is continuity in staffing which is much better for children, and there
are activities for all children regardless of being in center based or private programming. Private
child care providers have successfully completed numerous educational programs increasing their
knowledge and abilities regarding safety standards, child development principles, and gaining
support from each other and community wide. All providers and many parents have had education
regarding child abuse prevention and family communication. Parents as Teachers have had a
significant impact on child and skill development in the 0 to 5 population and their families.

Ringgold County Extension Office: 641-464-3333 or

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Scott County Community Empowerment Area

Empowerment Services in Scott County address the following state indicators:
 • Child abuse rate
 • Child abuse rate in a child care setting
 • Teen birth rate.
 • Rate of low birth weight babies.
 • Rate of immunizations by age 2.
 • Increase in child care slots
 • Children entering kindergarten are ready for school.

Empowerment funds are being used to address the following additional key indicators
 •   Rate of infants born chemically exposed.
 •   Rate of children testing positive for lead.
 •   Number of families receiving subsidized day care assistance to work or attend school.
 •   Number of accredited child care facilities (centers and family day care homes)
 •   Number of childcare providers trained in brain research strategies.
 •   Number of all day, all year preschool slots for at risk children.
 •   Number of families with access to an adult mentor.
 •   Number of individuals indicating an increase in knowledge of early childhood issues.
 •   Number of family day care homes moving from non-registered to registered status.

The vision of the Scott County Empowerment Area is coordination and expansion of resources and services in
the community to build environments for young children that enable them to be physically healthy,
intellectually curious, emotionally sound and socially competent. Led by citizens, this system of public and
private entities provides a continuum of seamless services targeted at helping all children reach their full

The School ready plan for Scott County is called Steps to Success. During the planning process in 1998, ideal
situations were identified and then evaluated against current conditions in our community. The resulting gaps
were the target of much of our service plan. Continuing with the process of open community involvement, all
services funded with Empowerment dollars, have been distributed through an RFP process. This process has
contributed greatly to the elimination of duplication and the maximization of resources already available in
the community.

Services to reach our core indicators can be classified into four basic categories:
        Health                                    Parent Education and Support
        Children’s Environments                   Public Awareness

In the area of Health, our largest effort is the identification of needs at the earliest possible time. Every
family giving birth in Scott County hospitals since June 1999 has been visited by a medical social worker and
helped to determine what level of support, if any, is needed to provide the best environment for their new
baby. Eighty percent of families have agreed to have a nurse make a home visit after the birth to complete the
assessment process. All families receive Baby Packets that have been translated into Spanish and Vietnamese
with Empowerment funds. Families who feel they have no immediate support system, may chose to enroll in
Friends of New Parents, a volunteer mentoring program while families who are in need of high levels of
support may enroll in a home visitation program. A system of physicians and agencies may also refer a
family into a comprehensive continuum of support services.

Parent Education and Support Services include parent education classes; Parents as Teachers programs;
Parent Information Packets in public facilities; and Special Training for parents, adoptive parents and foster
parents of children with prenatal exposure to substances resulting in developmental delays and behavior
issues. Subsidized childcare for families who earn up to 185% of poverty is available through Empowerment
to bridge the transition from assistance. Three parent resource centers have been developed in communities
outside the metropolitan area as satellite sites for services and parent gatherings. Parent and preschool
activities emphasizing literacy development for children 0-5 have been added to 11 elementary schools.

Public Awareness - We see a need for the community as a whole to understand the importance of the first
years in later success. Our public awareness component consists of billboards and television public
announcement spots in addition to print media. A web site is currently under construction to provide
information about Empowerment and early childhood development. Appropriate child development videos
have been placed in waiting areas and presentations are made to civic groups as requested. The community-
wide education effort encourages all citizens to work together toward the goals of school readiness.

Environments for Young Children include the expansion of available slots for childcare. Funds to purchase
equipment are available for centers to expand their capacity. Certain areas of the county are targeted. Head
Start programs have been expanded with Empowerment funds. The funding of a mentor to contact the
hundreds of non-registered homes in our area and assist them in becoming registered is seen as a way to
improve the quality of care that many of our infants and toddlers are receiving. Specialized training sessions
for caregivers has also been offered including strategies based on the current Brain Research and special
sessions on adult-child interactions. Recognizing that centers and staff that are accredited have a documented
higher level of quality, funds are available to assist in the fees involved in that process. In an effort to
improve the quality of care in our existing centers, a series of training has been established regarding specific
curriculum areas. Centers that send 50% of their staff to the training are then provided with new equipment
selected to implement the training just received. (Eleven centers, caring for 776 children, just sent 77
caregivers to a 3 evening training session on the Importance of Block Play and then each received unit blocks
and hollow blocks for their center.)

A community board of 17 people governs our process. Five members represent public health, education,
social services, community services and the county. Twelve are community members with no direct link to
any service agency. The community members were nominated by community groups and elected at the
Empowerment annual meeting. Seven active committees and several work groups contribute to our process
of involving as many people as possible in the realization of our vision.

Contact Person: Priscilla Smith 319-326-8221

                                        STORY COUNTY EMPOWERMENT AREA
                                              “Community Planning for Children and Families”

The Story County Empowerment Area serves all of Story County community, which includes the following seven school districts: Ames, Collins-
Maxwell, Colo-Nesco, Ballard-Huxley, Roland-Story, Gilbert, and Nevada. During the summer of 1998, the Early Childhood Collaborative, a group of
professionals and consumers, was convened to assess the needs of the young children in Story County. Shortly after Empowerment funding was awarded,
the Early Childhood Collaborative was requested to advise the local Empowerment Area board in regards to how the School-Ready funds might best be
used to meet the needs in Story County.

VISION: The vision of the Story County Empowerment Area is to increase our capacity to care for one another and ourselves by working together
through collaborative efforts. Initially, the county will focus on families with children, ages 0-5, to ensure they are ready to begin school.

MISSION: We believe that the Empowerment initiative will serve to support Story County’s mission to:
Integrate existing planning and funding efforts into a seamless, community-centered system.
Provide a vehicle for collaboration across a life-span approach service-delivery system.
Achieve accountability through measurable and meaningful outcomes.

Summary: The following is a brief overview of the initial Empowerment application from Story County. To date no changes or revisions have been
warranted since the initial submission of the plan.

Needs/Priorities #1: A central point of access for early childhood service for families with children, ages 0-5, and agencies serving them.
Needs/Priorities #2: Provide quality and accessible early childhood experiences.
Needs/Priorities #3: Parent education and supports
Needs/Priorities #4: Provider training and support for childcare providers.
Needs/Priorities #5: Provide short-term emergency financial assistance for families with low-income with children, age’s 0-5 years, who are unable to
access, support services.
Needs/Priorities #6: Increase coordinated prenatal and postnatal services.

                                                              Early Childhood (TANF)
Results/Indicators: Story County developed several strategies of tracking and reporting local results and our core indicators. The following are the list
Core Indicators and tracking methods we are using to measure:

Early Childhood Environments
Increase basic skill level of young children.
Parental Education & Support
Increase parental involvement with their children.

                                                                    School Ready
Results/Indicators: Story County developed several strategies of tracking and reporting local results and our core indicators. The following are the
list Core Indicators and tracking methods we are using to measure:

Early Childhood Environments
Increase basic skill level of young children.
Increase health status (emotional, social, physical, and intellectual)
Decrease incidence of child abuse and neglect
Increase parent involvement with their children.
Encourage intellectual stimulation for children 0-5.
Increase the access of families and children to an adult mentor.

                                                                Early Childhood (TANF)
Services Provided: The following are a summary of services provided and in development in Story County to address the enhance quality childcare
capacity in support of parent capability to obtain or retain employment.

Funding for Emergency Assistance for Families is available for Story County families who income is below 185% of the federal poverty level. A
simple application form is used to assess need and secure funds from the Center for Child Care Resources.

Funding for professional development of childcare center staff is also available in Story County. Child care center staff working with children 0-5
years located in Story county are eligible for participation in an eight part training series during their first year of employment.

Funding also went towards caregiver mini grants. These consisted of childcare providers eligible for the professional development grants (center and
family child care home) are those with at least three years of experience working in Story county with children 0-5 years.

Lastly, Early Childhood dollars funded a program for recruitment and retention of infant toddler childcare aspects in family child care programs.
Prospective childcare home providers, families and their infants residing in Story County are the targeted audience.

                                                                School Ready
Services Provided: The following are a summary of services provided and in development in Story County to address the enhance school readiness

Central Point of Access provides parent education and support services through a single point of contact, or the Family Resource/Parents as Teachers
(PAT) Coordinator.

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a research-based, nationally acclaimed, early childhood family education and support program designed to help all
parents give their children the best possible start in life. The program empowers families to recognize their strengths and become their child’s first and
most influential teacher.

MELD New Parent and MELD Parents of Children with Special Needs are two programs designed to make use of the vast knowledge about how adults
learn most effectively. These research-based programs, also nationally acclaimed, are founded upon the philosophy that there is no one right way to
parent—that parents need to decide based on up-to-date information and exploring alternative ideas in a supportive atmosphere of peers.

The Family Nutrition Program assistant meets with participants one-on-one and in small groups for a minimum of six lessons. Research-based
educational materials from Iowa State University are used to help families learn how to stretch their food dollars and make healthy food choices.
Families strengthen communications, decision making, and problem solving skills.

Countywide Parent Resource Fairs are coordinated by local planning teams and held in multiple locations for the convenience of families.

Parent Nights is a pilot project of parent education activities, which will be conducted at locations serving families with children, ages 0-5. Program
sites will develop individual or a series of monthly parenting activities based on the needs and input of parents.

The Happy Bear Child Abuse Program is funded through the School Ready Program. The program serves children age’s 3-6 years that live in or
receive care in Story County, through residence, childcare, church group, or kindergarten. This presentation, children are taught to recognize, resist
and report any unwanted or inappropriate sexual touches. Information is presented both visually and orally in an informal classroom setting.

The Hug-A-Bear Program is also funded through School Ready dollars. Through Emergency Management Services, this program distributes teddy
bears to children in emergency situations. Emergency Management Services provides bears to law enforcement, hospitals, EMTs and other agencies
that would have contact with children in emergency situations.

School Ready dollars support the “Healthy Futures” family program, based on a risk assessment and has both family development and nursing
components. The program provides nursing and family development services to new families to help them cope with the changes an infant brings to
the family structure.

Another School Ready funded services, located in the densely populated community of McCallsburg, is a preschool and childcare program which is
located in the school buildings and the staff is employed by the Colo-Nesco School District.

The second preschool setting to be funded is the Mid-Iowa Community Action Agency’s Head Start Programs. The Head Start programs will be
expanded to include additional children to the Head Start modeled program in Story City and Nevada communities.

Story County is in the process of redeveloping the assessment/planning process to involve countywide representatives. This undertaking is due to
Decategorization and Empowerment Initiatives deciding to use the same subcommittee structure. The subcommittee structure is under development
and should be taking a more productive form by the end of year 2000.

Story County’s four major planning and/or funding systems – Analysis of Social Services and Evaluation Team (ASSET) (which is primarily a
funding mechanism for distribution of local dollars), Decategorization (Decat), Empowerment, and Mid-Iowa Community Health Committee
(MICHC) are committed to sustaining a centralized planning effort for prevention and intervention services. The county is able to manage such an
undertaking as evidenced by its rich history of collaboration.

The Story County Empowerment Board has had two consistent community goals throughout its development, those being moving Story County to a
comprehensive and collaborative community planning system and identifying and utilizing outcome based measurements. The board’s main focus
remains on children ages 0-5 years of age, but realizes that a comprehensive community planning initiative would improve the community’s resource
allocation while enhancing programmatic usage.

In the fall of FY00, it was determined by the four groups that a community assessment was not only warranted but also a good start in the efforts to
collaborate. In doing so, the four entities would be better equipped to communicate about the needs of the community and thus a comprehensive
community plan could be developed.

These four entities are well underway on the development of a Story County community assessment to be conducted by the statistically sound Iowa
State University Extension survey analysis team, CD-Dial. CD-Dial is currently facilitating discussions with the groups to determine what information
needs to be gathered. Currently, the four groups have identified several target populations, which include families (focusing on families with children,
Iowa State University student families, and low income), rural populations, disabled and children with special needs, and the elderly. From the
collected community assessment information, the four entities plan to create a comprehensive community plan for all of Story County.

Annette M. Dunn, Coordinator                                                   Phone: 515-268-2276
126 South Kellogg, Suite 101                                                   Email:
Ames, Iowa 50010

                          Taylor County Community Empowerment Area

Vision and Mission
All families in Taylor County will have access to quality services to meet their physical, mental,
social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs. The Empowerment Area believes through
collaboration between agencies and the community, services can be provided that are
comprehensive, integrated, and family centered. Through community partnering, barriers would be
reduced to enable efficiency and effectiveness of local education, health, and human services.

Overview of Community Plan
The Taylor County Community Empowerment Board has embarked on an ambitious child care
agenda to serve the needs of birth to 5 year olds and their families. The three priority issues
identified in Taylor County included:
• Preschool opportunities
• Parent education program
• Quality child care

Local Indicators
• Percentage of kindergarten children who attended preschool
• Percentage of low income kindergarten children who attended preschool
• Measurement of skill/readiness in kindergarten
• Number of Hispanic children attending preschool
• Percentage of parents with children enrolled in preschool attending parent/teacher conferences
• Percentage of parents enrolled in Parents As Teachers reading to their children on a weekly basis
• Percentage of families with children enrolled in preschool participating in Parents As Teachers
• Number of center based extended hours slots
• Number of licensed child care providers
• Registered/licensed providers participating in continuing education

Primary Services Provided with Empowerment Funding
• Start-up Tinker Tots Preschool and Wrap Around Program in Bedford
• Enhance Precious People Preschool Program in Lenox with wrap around services to Under The
   Rainbow Day Care Center and family home providers in Lenox area
• Growing Strong Families home visitation program in Taylor County

"Showcase" of Cooperation/Collaboration Efforts; Accomplishments/Results;
Preschool opportunities
Tinker Tots Preschool, Inc., officially opened for business on August 23, 2000. Twenty-nine
children are attending Tinker Tots Preschool with two classes targeted to the age of the children.
Parents, children, Tinker Tots Preschool Board, Taylor County Community Empowerment Board,
and the community are excited to see the long awaited dream come to fruition.
Precious People Preschool in Lenox enhanced a two-day preschool to 5 days per week opportunity.
Stipends were used for preschool tuition and child care based on 185% of poverty.

Precious People Preschool had 24 regular attendees (27 different children attended throughout the
year) once we were able to open up enrollment on a sliding fee scale with the awarding of the

empowerment monies. We had 17 enrolled before the empowerment monies were available. The
tuition breakdown include:
        4 - full fee
        4 - partial pay
        16 - paid by stipends from the empowerment grant

Precious People Preschool enrolled seven Latino children. They also employed a Latino helper.

Eighty-nine percent of those signed up for kindergarten this fall have had a preschool experience.
The Precious People Preschool Director visited with the Lenox kindergarten teacher about school
readiness. She believes 85-90% of the children registered for kindergarten is ready for school. Of
those not quite ready, one attended our preschool.

Parent Education Program
We recently employed Amy Pedersen, Growing Strong Families Program Assistant, for the parent
education program. Amy started on September 18, 2000. She has been trained in the Parents As
Teacher curriculum, as well as nutrition and resource management curriculums.
Amy already has 5 families that she is visiting!

Taylor County’s empowerment dollars will expand the Parents as Teachers program to focus on the
Latino community and to serve a larger percentage of the 0 – 5 year old population and their
families. The additional Parents As Teachers Educator will serve thirty additional families. The new
preschool children, their siblings and their parents will be impacted by this effort too. Our goal is to
reach 100 Latino parents and children living in the Lenox area.

Quality Child Care
Children 3-5 years of age are able to attend the Tinker Tots Preschool wrap around program once the
preschool program ends after lunch. This will assist families tremendously who are working away
from home. Ten children are attending currently.

We also have similar arrangements with the Lenox's Under the Rainbow Child Care Center.
Children attending preschool will be able to participate in a wrap around program in Lenox too.

Overall, the Taylor County Empowerment Board has worked well together. The communities in our
county have assisted each other tremendously. We know there is much more work to do, but we feel
like we have had quite a year in terms of helping our children and families in Taylor County.

Contact for Area
Kim Brantner, Taylor County Community Empowerment Board Chair
312 Main, Bedford, IA 50833; Phone - 712-523-2137; Fax - 712-523-213



VISION AND MISSION: The Warren County Empowerment Board, through collaboration with
citizens, businesses, elected officials, volunteers, Health professionals, Human Service professionals, and
Educators visualize a community that is truly committed to families and their children. The overall goal
of the Warren County Empowerment Board is to enable families in our community to build healthy,
supportive relationships that encourage optimal growth and development of all members.

In order for this vision to become a reality, we believe supporting and encouraging families must be a
priority. Traditionally, most families received encouragement and education from “natural” support
systems. Today’s families, however, are very mobile and many are isolated. These families often
struggle while attempting to raise their children without the necessary support and education. Research
in child-rearing and development has indicated that those who care about the well-being of young
children must, by necessity, also care about the well-being of their family. The basic goal of the Warren
County Empowerment Board is based on the following three assumptions:
1. It is assumed that parents are usually the most consistent and caring people in the lives of their children.
2. It is assumed that if parents are provided with knowledge, skills, and support, they can respond more
    positively and effectively to their children.
3. It is assumed that parents’ own emotional and physical needs must be met if they are to respond
    positively to their children.

The “new brain research” suggests that the first three years of a child’s life are critical and lay the
foundation for the child’s formal educational experience. Children must have the necessary school
readiness skills in order to be successful in the academic environment. Children will gain these
necessary skills best if they are raised in a physically and emotionally healthy environment. Research
has shown that simple interaction with caregivers is crucial in the development of the brain. “Sensitive”
and “responsive” child care in the early years is crucial for intellectual and emotional development.

The Warren County Empowerment Board proposes to develop and implement an initiative that will
enable the collaborative effort of citizens and professionals to develop and utilize all the resources
available to strengthen families and address the needs of parents and children in order to assure that all
children have the skills necessary to succeed in school.

The Warren County Empowerment Initiative will:
1. Develop a coordinated, central point of entry for families with children under the age of five. This will be
   achieved through home visitation services to Warren County residents who have a newborn child. This
   project (referred to as the Caring Connections) will help to ensure that all children are healthy and that all
   families are secure and nurturing.
2. Ensure that Warren County parents with a child between that ages of birth and five have access to the
   Parents as Teachers Program or other parent education opportunities. This will help to ensure that all
   children are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in school and that all families are secure and

3. Increase both the quality and availability of childcare options for Warren County families. This will
   ensure that children of working parents have access to secure and nurturing childcare opportunities.
4. Develop and implement ways to weave the 40 Developmental Assets for Preschoolers into Warren
   County. This project enables all communities within Warren County to become safe and supportive.

  State Indicator                                 Local Indicators
Secure and         • Increased number of families that participate in Home Visitation project
Nurturing Families • Increased number of families who participate in the Parents as Teachers
                   • Decreased child abuse and neglect
Healthy Children   • Increased health status of Warren County Children from birth to five
                   • Increased number of Warren County children with access to health
                   • Decreased incident of child abuse and neglect
                   • Increased number of families that participate in Home Visitation project.
                   • Decreased number of children who enter the school system with
                     unidentified developmental delays
Children Ready to  • Increased basic skill level of children
Succeed in School  • Increase parents knowledge of normal child development
                   • Increased family awareness of existing community resources
                   • Increased awareness of characteristics of quality day care
Safe Communities   • Increased communication and collaboration between service providers
                   • Increased family awareness of existing community resources
                   • Increased parent education and support options for families with children
                     from birth to five
                   • Increase community awareness of child abuse, neglect, safety risks and
                     resources available to assist families.
Secure and         • Increased availability of affordable child care
Nurturing Child    • Increased child care options for Warren County parents
Care Environments • Increased preschool attendance
                   • Increased child care providers attending training

Central Point of Entry, Home Visitation, Parents as Teachers, Respite and Crisis Emergency Child Care,
Child Care Provider’s training and incentives.

The Warren County Empowerment Board recognizes the need to work closely with existing community
structures that provide services to families and children. Many of the proposed projects receive a portion
of their funding from the local Decategorization project, United Way Action Council, and Prevent Child
Abuse Iowa. Continued collaboration between funding sources will be essential in this initiative. Open
communication between funding sources is maintained through attendance and participation in regularly
scheduled meetings. Many Empowerment Board members frequently attend Decategorization and
United Way Action Council meetings.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Washington County Empowerment Area

COUNTIES IN AREA: All of Washington County and all school districts where the central office
is located within the Washington County boundaries or by request from an adjoining school district
to join this Empowerment Area, subject to Board approval.

VISION AND MISSION: All individuals within the Washington County Empowerment area will have
a community that values and provides the opportunity to maximize their potential in a safe, health, stable
and nurturing environment, through partnering and collaborative efforts.

We Believe…
§ All children are entitle to a safe and consistent environment
§ Families should be viewed as a unit that, when functioning well, has the potential to nurture the growth
and development of each of its members
§ Parents are the primary teachers for the development of children birth to five years of age. All parents
should have access to information and education related to child growth and development
§ All families should have access to affordable, quality secondary care for their children
§ All children should have access to preschool experiences, which allows them to enter school prepared
to maximize their potential
§ A community commitment to the provision of preventative services is vital to the health and well being
of children, families, and communities
§ The provision of services should be tailored to meet individual and family needs
§ The collaboration of service agencies will promote the efficacy and efficiency of available services as
well as promote continuity of care

The long-term desire of the Washington County Empowerment Area is to develop The Family Service
Center. The Center will provide a central location for families, with children ages’ birth through five
years, to receive a variety of services. It is the goal of the Empowerment Area that multiple agencies will
participate in the delivery of services at The Family Service Center. The Center will have three main
1. family health; 2. Child Development; and 3. Parental Support and Education. Focusing on these
    three priorities will assist in achievement of the prescribed results as set out by the legislature:

Healthy Children, Children Ready to Succeed in School, Safe and Supportive Communities, Secure and
Nurturing Families, and Secure and Nurturing Child Care Environments.

Family Health
§ Increased percentage of children/families covered by health insurance § 90% of children under the age
of 2 years will be fully immunized Child Development § Increased percentage of children enrolled in
pre-school. § Increased number of parents demonstrating appropriate parenting skills.

Parental Support & Education
§ 100% of parents with newborns will have access to the PAT program.
§ Increased number of participants in parent/child play groups. § Families will demonstrate an increased
knowledge of resources as indicated by inquiries, use of multiple parent support programs, and
evaluation processes.
§ 5% increase in the number of licensed and/or registered day care providers.

Parents as Teachers program (0-3 years)
This program was initially funded by De-Categorization funding but has been expanded to include a
coordinator and four PAT workers, including a social worker, a public health nurse, and two early
childhood specialists. Funding also covers supplies, fiscal administration, clerical support, and training.

Healthy Child Care Iowa position (HCCI)
This part-time position will be a liaison for day care providers and preschool staff for
identification/implementation of training needs, assistance with health and safety issues, and care
coordination services for children who need to access health services. Mini-grants for day care providers
($500 per provider) This assistance is provided to registered or licensed day care facilities to improve
facilities or enhance educational supplies.

Transportation assistance
Vouchers made available to families with children 0-5 years of age who have identified transportation as
a barrier to receiving childcare.

Provider education
Payment to existing Child Care Resource & Referral agency for provision of training for childcare

§ Parents as Teachers links with many existing programs, i.e. Prenatal classes, Lamaze Classes;
Strengthening Families Program; Preschool programs; Public Library space & personnel usage; Public
Health services for health assessments; service organizations donating supplies;

Physician’s offices and OB personnel at local hospital making referrals.

§ Healthy Child Care Iowa position will link with 4C’s – Child Care Resource & Referral agency,
Maternal Child Health, Department of Human Services, day care providers, Parents as Teachers,
Physicians’ practices, preschool programs, schools, business & industry and Chamber of Commerce.

§ Early ACCESS services will serve as a resource for Parents as Teachers and the Healthy Child Care
Iowa position. Local staff is involved with the Early ACCESS system through participation in the
regional council and advisory committee meetings.

§ New collaborative efforts amongst providers who have historically never worked together but have
provided services for the same population of children/families.

Edie Nebel
Washington County Public Health
314 McCreedy Drive
Washington, IA 52353
FAX: (319)-653-6870

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Winnebago County Empowerment Area


It is the vision of the Winnebago County Empowerment Board to enhance efforts among leaders of
health, education, human services and community service individuals to develop collaborative
efforts to focus on meeting the unmet needs of families and young children in the Winnebago
County Empowerment Area as well as avoiding duplication of services. It is our resolve to take
whatever additional steps necessary to secure funding for any new services. The Board of the
Winnebago County Empowerment Area whole heatedly supports the purpose of the desired results
of the empowerment legislation, which are:

       Healthy Children
       Children ready to succeed in school
       Safe and supportive communities
       Secure and nurturing families
       Secure and nurturing child care environments

The following have been stated as priority issues for the Winnebago County Empowerment Board.
These issues have been established as a result of numerous types of feedback with patrons of our
county. The prioritized list is as follows:

       a) Establish a child care/preschool facility in the western part of Winnebago County.
       b) Increase the support available for families of newborn infants and continue this support
          throughout childhood.
       c) Increase the amount of parent education opportunities for families in Winnebago County.
       d) Increase the number of four-year-olds attending preschool in Winnebago County.

Listed below are local indicators that would be focused on in utilizing School Ready Children

       a) Increase the number of families involved in AEA Child Find by 10%.
       b) Increase the number of four-year-olds enrolled in a certified preschool in Winnebago
          County by 10%.
       c) Increase the early language development of children as measured during annual
          kindergarten screenings in schools in Winnebago County by 5%.
       d) Decrease the number of physical abuse/denial of critical care referrals to the Winnebago
          County Department of Human Services by 5%.
       e) 100% of public immunizations completed by age 2.
       f) Increase the number of families utilizing Family Connections services to at least 20.
       g) Increase the number of parents participating in parent education workshops offered by
          schools, churches and community groups within Winnebago county by 10%.

As stated earlier, priority issues identified for requesting Empowerment moneys are as follows:
        • Creating a part time (20 hours per week) Child Care Resource Development position
           serving families in Winnebago County.
        • Increased participation for families with Family Connection services.
        • Special focus on parent education/support for families with children prenatal through
           three years of age.
        • Participating in a collaborative effort between various organizations (North Iowa
           Community School District, City of Buffalo Center, North Iowa Community Action and
           the Winnebago County Empowerment Area) to provide a child care/day care facility in
           western Winnebago County.
        • Provide preschool scholarships for four-year-olds in Winnebago County.


Without a doubt the highlight of our Empowerment Area has been the collaborative efforts that have
been established between the following agencies:

       Department of Human Services         Lake Mills Community Schools
       Department of Public Health          Forest City Community Schools
       North Iowa Community Action          North Iowa Community Schools

Before the Winnebago County Empowerment Area was established, it was rare for representatives
from the above agencies to be in a meeting together, much less a working relationship. As a result
of our Empowerment efforts, representatives from these agencies now meet and collaborate their
problem solving to best meet the needs of families in Winnebago County.

Another positive in our efforts have been the collaborative work of North Iowa Community Action,
North Iowa Schools and the city of Buffalo Center in establishing a child care/preschool facility in
the western portion of Winnebago county. We truly feel this will benefit the families in this
geographic area.


Steve Putz, Principal
Forest City Elementary
1405 West I Street
Forest City, Iowa 50436
Phone: (641) 585-2670
Fax: (641) 585-5903

                       John F. Calhoun                               Melissa Peterson
                       Executive Director                            Executive Assistant
                       Phone: 712-274-6000 ext. 6364                 Phone: 712-274-6000 ext. 6365
                       Fax: 712-274-6115                             Fax: 712-274-6115

                                   1520 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AREA: Siouxland Human Investment Partnership (SHIP)

COUNTIES IN AREA: Woodbury County.

MISSION: To strengthen, support and empower children and families through access to quality
community services.

VISION:        Guided by current research on brain development and supported through meaningful
collaboration, our community will provide opportunities for children 0 to 8 to be healthy and ready to learn.

All of the programs and services provided under this plan are specifically tied to achieving positive
results and outcomes related to our established priorities at the local level, which directly relate to
the State Indicators identified by the Iowa Empowerment Board. In this plan we outline a series of
programs and services that are based upon a consensus of local early childhood experts within
Woodbury County. The Woodbury County Early Childhood plan has been focused on the 0 to 8
population. However, this application specifically focuses on the State of Iowa identified population
of 0 to 5.

The development of the Rural and Urban Family Resource and Referral Centers and the In Home
Visitation Services will provide participating families with nutrition education. Although the focus
of the programs will be on children ages 0 to 5, nutrition education will be provided to the parents of
those children. This education will have a positive affect on the children currently in the household
and will also help to reduce the number of low birth weight babies born to the parents participating
in these programs. Another main focus of these programs is to gain established medical homes for
the children ages 0 to 5. If the children and families have established medical homes the rate of
immunization by age 2 will greatly increase.

The goal for the Woodbury County School Ready Plan is to have children entering kindergarten
ready for school through prior preschool/group experience. This will be a focus for the Rural and
Urban Family Resource Centers and the public awareness, education and forums to be conducted by
members of the Early Childhood Committee.

Healthy Children:
   1.     # of nutrition training programs
   2.     % of children 0-8 with established medical homes
   3.     % of children 0-8 with established dental homes
   4.     % of children with medical insurance

Children Ready to Succeed in School:
   1.     Mother’s level of education
   2.     Daily school attendance
   3.     Pre-school/group experience
   4.     % of parents attending conferences

Safe and Nurturing Families:
   1.     % of children in protective child care.
   2.     % of children in foster care placement.

Secure and Nurturing Childcare Environments:
   1.     # of accredited childcare centers
   2.     # of registered child care homes/licensed child care providers
   3.     # of infants served in childcare centers
   4.     % of children utilizing school based before and after school programs

The primary services provided for in the Early Childhood plan have focused on increasing the
availability of quality child care. Proposals have been requested and implemented to provide
scholarships for licensed child care to children that are within the 140 to 185% of poverty. SHIP has
also provided funding to increase the quality of child care by offering funds for professional
development of child care workers. In addition, the board has accepted proposals and awarded funds
for the development of Rural and Urban Resource and Referral Centers. Funding has also been
provided to increase the number of infant care openings within the County.

SHIP has formed many partnerships within the Early Childhood community including Success by
Six, HOPES and Shared Visions. Success by Six is an early childhood development model created
by the Mobilization for America’s Children and adopted by local United Ways and Communities
across the country Success by Six has been engaged to serve as the review committee for all Early
Childhood programs. Success by Six has also agreed to provide the Marketing for the Early
Childhood Plan. Additional success includes the partnership with the HOPES providers within the
County. The SHIP Director meets with the four HOPES providers at their monthly meetings.
HOPES will also provide the coordination for the rural and urban resource centers to ensure the
elimination of duplication. The SHIP Director is also meeting with the two Shared Visions providers
within the County.


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