(Cedar Rapids) – Congratulations to Deb Knake, Iowa KidsNet Matching Manager, who has received the Minnie Rubeck Award by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. This award “recognizes a nonprofit staff member who has gone above and beyond in their support of the organization’s mission and has greatly enhanced the overall effectiveness of the organization through his/her work.”
Deb Knake started with Four Oaks more than 34 years ago as a resident counselor working with young, troubled boys who needed to live in a group home setting. In the 1980s, Deb applied her talents and the respect she earned from professionals and families to help create and supervise the first treatment family foster care programming in the state of Iowa. Since that time, Deb has helped to develop additional supports for foster and adoptive families and children across the state.
Because of her expertise, Deb was asked to lead efforts to implement Iowa’s first statewide foster care and adoption contract (Iowa KidsNet) in 2007. She is the leader behind efforts to immediately—within two hours to five days—find foster and adoptive homes for children around Iowa. Matching situations are challenging and stressful, yet Deb takes them on with professionalism, grace and a lot of hard work. Deb is a role model for service, leadership and commitment to Iowa’s most vulnerable children.