November 23, 2009, Cedar Rapids – Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services, on behalf of Iowa KidsNet, has been awarded a three-year Family Connections demonstration grant from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families’ Children's Bureau. The $600,000 grant is authorized by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.
The purpose of the grant, called Families for Iowa’s Children, is to help referred children entering or re-entering foster care, by using intensive family-finding efforts. The grant funds intensive efforts to locate biological family members to reestablish relationships that create lifelong connections that children in foster care need.
“The goal of the legislation is to increase extended family support for these children, and avoid or reduce the need for them to stay in foster care,”
says Iowa KidsNet Project Manager, Kelli Malone.
This is the only Family Connections federal grant awarded in Iowa and was developed with the support and endorsement of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Four Oaks also holds the DHS contract for Recruitment and Retention of Resource Families, operated by a statewide partnership called Iowa KidsNet which includes; Four Oaks, Boys and Girls Home and Family Services, Children’s Square USA/Child Connect, Family Resources, Lutheran Services in Iowa and Quakerdale. These two projects will work together in two parts of the state: the twelve counties around Ames in the central part of the state, and the 14 counties around Cedar Rapids in the eastern part of the state. It is expected that 200 children will be served through the Families for Iowa’s Children program over the three-year period.