1995 – The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation: Program for Children chooses Cedar Rapids to be one of four national sites to pilot Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC).
A coalition of community partners within Linn County forms the Partnership for Safe Families (PSF).
1996 – Family Resource Centers are opened in four core neighborhoods (Mound View, Oakhill-Jackson, Taylor, and Northwest.) In 1997 38% of the county’s child protection assessments and 46% of police reports for domestic violence were located in these neighborhoods.
The Partnership recruited and trained two dozen Neighborhood Partners, local residents who organize events for parents and children and help families who may be isolated within the neighborhoods to take full advantage of local resources.
1998 – “Individualized course of action” utilizing Family Team Meetings (FTMs) implemented for all children and families who are identified by community members as being at substantial risk of child abuse and neglect.
2001 – Based on the success at PSF and the hiring of an Iowa State Coordinator, funding was secured from the Clark Foundation enabling Iowa to roll out the CPPC to five locations.
2005 – Partnership for Safe Families establishes the “Learning Center” to train individuals on the FTM process at current and new CPPC sites. In 2008 the Center was closed because a sufficient number of State trainers were now available.
2006 – The Partnership was chosen as one of the first four sites in Iowa to initiate the Parent Partner program. Parent Partners provide support to parents that are involved with DHS and are working towards reunification. Parent Partners mentor one on one, celebrate families’ success and strengths, exemplify advocacy, facilitate Building a Better Future training and presentations, and collaborate with DHS, community supports and other service providers.
Current View of the Partnership
The Partnership for Safe Families is under the 501c3 of the Community Corrections Improvement Association (CCIA). This association allows PSF to use CCIA as our fiscal agent. For the most part the Partnership operates autonomously through our Executive and Advisory Boards.
The, three member, Executive Board for PSF has representatives from Linn County Community Services, St. Luke’s Child Protection Center and the ISU Extension Service. The Director of PSF works in-depth with this board on financial, personnel and process issues.
One of the four strategies for the Partnership is to have a local decision make board. This advisory board meets once a month and consists of representative from the African American community, citizens who have been through one of more of our programs, family support service providers, youth organizations, attorneys, interested community members, Linn County representatives, DHS, and CCIA.
Five Full Time
Family Team Meeting Coordinator
Parent Partner Coordinator
Family Support Coordinator
Family Support Worker
One Part Time
Parent Partner Program Assistant
Neighborhood Partner Coordinator
FTM and Flood Meeting Facilitator
Over 30 Volunteers
Neighborhood PartnersParent Partners
The Seven Principles of Community Child Protection
- Services for children and families at-risk should be individualized to address each child’s and families specific needs.
- Services need to be made available to families early- before a crisis occurs.
- The CPS agency alone cannot keep children safe from abuse and neglect. All community stakeholders must collaborate to keep families/children safe.
- The mandated public agency and its community partners should continue to improve the way the system operates.
- Community members need to be involved in partnerships to support at-risk families and in shaping the services and support that are made available.
- Services and support should be available within the neighborhoods in which families live.
- Efforts to reduce abuse and neglect must be part of the broader initiatives and priorities of each community.