Des Moines, IA, December 3, 2019 – Nearly 5 percent of Iowans are immigrants (American Immigration Council). 25 percent of Iowa youth ages 18 to 24 live in poverty and 8,000 teenagers are both not in school and are not working (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017). Only 50 percent of teen mothers obtain a high school diploma by age 22, compared to 90 percent of teens who are not teen mothers (Child Trends, 2010). Three-quarters of all life-long cases of mental illness start by age 24 (National Institute of Mental Health, 2016). With a grant recently awarded by the Principal Financial Foundation, Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) seeks to provide support to Iowa’s at-risk young adults. Many of these teens have past histories of trauma or face a variety of obstacles, such as poverty, abuse and neglect; involvement in juvenile justice systems; foster care placement; homelessness; are teen parents, currently pregnant, or at risk of becoming pregnant; or lack life goals, direction, and skills. With CFI’s services, teens are given the opportunity to overcome their unique individual barriers to success with access to programs such as mental health and substance abuse counseling; child care for teen parents in the Des Moines Public Schools; and youth work readiness programs that support teens in areas pertaining to employment, job-readiness, post-secondary education, and life skills.
“Gaining financial security is vitally important for young adults as they plan their futures, and CFI’s program makes it a primary goal,” said Amy Stapp-Arpy, CDO/ VP of Development and Communications at CFI. “The tremendous support from the Principal Foundation enables CFI to help Iowa’s youth overcome their past challenges and live more productive lives.”
PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s $2,000 grant will help to expand and enhance services to the refugee and immigrant population of Des Moines and surrounding areas that focus on assisting youth and young adults identify a career pathway based on their individual skills, interests, abilities and current labor market demands
CFI will utilize the $2,000 gift provided by Endow Urbandale to help provide safe shelter, crisis line services, outreach, advocacy and support, and community education to domestic violence victims from Urbandale. CFI helps victims make progress toward their goals, and create safe, healthy, lives for themselves and their children, thereby breaking the cycle of abuse.
Children & Families of Iowa’s umbrella of services include:
Programs for Youth Programs – Substance abuse treatment, mental health therapy, financial education, mentoring, vocational planning, as well as workplace readiness.
Domestic Violence Shelter and Services – CFI’s 62-bed domestic violence shelter provides emergency shelter, food, and clothing, as well as a 24/7 emergency hotline. Outreach services include employment, legal assistance, housing, and health advocacy, and community education.
Mental Health Services – Therapeutic counseling for children, adults and families through a team of highly-trained therapists at five locations.
Family Support Programs – In-home counseling for families with children who are at-risk of abuse or neglect. CFI maintains an innovative, statewide parent mentoring program, and also provides budgeting education and assistance to low-income at-risk households.
Early Childhood Development Services – Affordable, quality child care for low-income working families and parenting teens. This program offers therapeutic classrooms for children with special needs.
Substance Abuse Services – Designed to halt the progression of alcohol and substance abuse at its earliest stages, before chronic dependency sets in.
For more information, visit cfiowa.org.
About Children & Families of Iowa
Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families throughout Iowa. Headquartered in Des Moines with offices in Ankeny, Fort Dodge, Osceola and Ottumwa, CFI provides services, such as: domestic violence prevention and intervention, teen programs, family support, early childhood development, mental health and substance abuse. The organization’s mission is to restore hope, build futures and change lives. Visit www.cfiowa.org for more information.
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