Polk County Decategorization

Community Announcements


Vital Conditions for Community Wellbeing

For the past six months the Institute for People, Place, and Possibility (IP3), the organization that stewards Community Commons, has furiously worked behind the scenes to help launch Well Being Legacy, in partnership with Well Being Trust, Community Initiatives and The Rippel Foundation/Rethink Health. Well Being Legacy, a new national initiative, has big ambitions to shape wellbeing for future generations. It seeks to lift up a living agenda that brings together the most promising policies, practices, and investments to drive intergenerational community wellbeing. Read more here



2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) October Applications

Applications will be taken starting October 1, 2018 for households with elderly/disabled members for the 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications for all other households can be scheduled beginning November 1, 2018. The program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Iowa Department of Human Rights/DCAA, and has been established to help qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs.

The Impact Community Action Partnership agency will be taking applications for households with members who are elderly/disabled starting October 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019. Applicants will need to furnish some form of identification, a copy of their most recent heating and electric bill, social security or I-94 cards, and proof of gross income for all household members for the past 30 days or the past calendar year.

The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and other factors.

Eligibility for participation is established according to the following federal income guidelines:

Income Maximums

Household Size LIHEAP Annual Gross Income

1                   $21,105

2                   $28,420

3                   $35,735

4                   $43,050

5                   $50,365

For each additional household member add: $7,315/annually.

This program is not designed to pay a household’s total energy cost. The program will provide supplemental assistance based on several factors. These factors include household income, household size, dwelling type and type of fuel heating the home as well as other factors.

Please contact one of our Polk County locations:

3226 University Ave.       500 Army Post Road           2701 S.E. Convenience Blvd., Ste. 2

Des Moines, Iowa             Des Moines, Iowa               Ankeny, Iowa

515.518.4770                    515.274.9496                      515.965.0433



Kids First Law Center

Kids First Law Center gives children a voice in divorce, custody, and other conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids.

  • Child Advocacy

Kids First is appointed by the court to represent the child in high-conflict custody cases. In every case Kids attorneys work to reduce family conflict, strengthen family relationships, connect parents and kids to needed resources, and make children's voices heard.

  • Workshops for Kids

Kids First leads educational workshops for school-age children to help kids understand and cope with divorce.

Children have a safe place to talk with kids their age. Workshops invite participation through art, games, discussions, videos, and role plays.

Location: 2704 Fleur Dr. Des Moines, IA 50321 515-414-9562


Schools & Trauma webinar series

Seven presentations inform both school personnel and mental health professionals about (1) the impact of traumatic events on students, including bullying, sudden death, and grief and loss; (2) the benefits of providing trauma-informed mental health services and IEPs in schools; and (3) methods for integrating trauma-informed services and evidence-based practices with school, state, and federal initiatives, such as PBIS and RTI.

  • Understand the Intersection Between Cyberbullying and Trauma
  • Psychological First Aid for Schools
  • Trauma-Informed IEPs: Differential Diagnosis and Trauma-Informed Assessment in Schools
  • Integrating Evidence-Based Practices in School Interventions
  • Sudden Death on a School Campus: Impact and Response
  • Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, (and) Words CAN Hurt Me: A Trauma-Informed Understanding of Bullying
  • Engaging Schools: Developing School/Mental Health Partnerships

Click here to access

To our Community Partners:

I am excited to share that CFI Northside Family Center has expanded therapy services. We have recently added two highly skilled trauma-informed therapists to our team. 

Trisha Broihahn is a Family Therapist at Children and Families of Iowa’s Northside location. She completed her undergraduate in Psychology at University of Wisconsin and graduated with her Masters of Social Work with Trauma-Informed Care Specialization at University of Northern Iowa. Trisha has experience working with individuals with acute and complex trauma, anxiety, depression, and victims of sexual assault. She implements a trauma-informed care approach and utilizes strengths-based, cognitive-behavioral, sensorimotor, and mindfulness techniques with her clients. Trisha currently has openings for children, adolescents, and adults.

Leah Vejzovic is a family therapist at Children & Families of Iowa's Northside location. She has an undergraduate from Luther College in Social Work and Masters of Social Work from University of Northern Iowa. Leah has extensive experience with the child welfare system, formerly worked as a domestic violence victim advocate and counselor for child and adult survivors, and worked in a residential psychiatric facility for children. Leah uses a strengths-based, trauma-informed approach in her work.  Areas of focus include complex trauma, depression, anxiety, military suicide loss, domestic violence, and other mental health needs. Leah currently has openings for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.

Families serviced at Northside Family Services have access to a comprehensive compassionate team of professionals providing services that focus on healing from trauma, mental health, domestic violence, and substance abuse needs. We serve individuals from zero through the lifespan with an array of services including trauma-informed therapy services, family therapy, couples therapy, play therapy, Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Extended Outpatient Substance Abuse treatment for adolescents and adults, OWI evaluations, and domestic violence advocacy. Referrals can be directed to Northside at (515) 266-6338.

As a reminder, although many of you are already familiar with our other Northside Team we have the following providers:

Danielle Ballard-Green, MSW, LMSW, CADC –therapist who is newly trained in CPP and EMDR.

Cabrie Claiser, CADC – Substance Abuse Counselor

Stacey Granger, BSW, CDAA- Domestic Violence Outreach Advocate

Reminder to all that our Renew Resale Shop has many of the things that families need to start the year.

Hearing Aid assistance for all ages

That includes very nice clothes from $1-$6 each, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and jackets.  Any individual or family that cannot afford to pay for everything can volunteer at the store and earn store credit.  Each individual that works can get $12 worth of merchandise credit for each hour he/she works.

We are located in Park Fair Mall (next to the furniture store on the west end), 100 E. Euclid Avenue, Suite 5 in Des Moines.  Families can also get great books, games, toys, baby things, household items, and furniture.  Our hours are Monday-Friday from 10:30 AM-5:30 PM and Saturday from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM.  We are closed on Sundays.

Pastor Philip Herman
Highland Park Community Church


Hearing loss creates profound isolation for many who experience it. We all probably know someone who deals with a hearing challenge, and might also know someone who may need to get hearing aids to participate more fully in life.

You have an incredible privilege of shaping futures—for families, your community, and its members.  The future for some of those with whom you interact with may be dimmed because of hearing loss.  The Starkey Hearing Foundation may be able to help you brighten many futures by providing hearing aids to those who struggle to acquire hearing aids without assistance.

There is an application processing fee of $125 per hearing aid requested.  When an application is approved, aids are given to the applicant at no additional cost.

Hear Now is the US program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  As such, Hear Now serves low income individuals, of any age, who permanently reside in the US that have no other resources to acquire hearing aids.  Anyone having a benefit for hearing aids, in part or total, are encouraged to call to discuss their individual situation.

The hearing aids provided are Behind the Ear models and are new.  Custom hearing aids are not provided by Hear Now.

Hearing Aid Assistance Available

Know someone who needs hearing aids and can’t afford them---

Starkey Hearing Foundation-Hear Now program offers help to low income individuals.

Call 800-328-8602 to discuss eligibility with a Hear Now representative

E-Mail:  hearnow@starkey.com  to request an application for assistance

Hearing Aid Donations Welcomed

Repurpose those old, used, no longer used hearing aids, accessories and batteries.

Package carefully, include your name and address, and

Mail to:

Hear Now Donation

6700 Washington Ave S

Eden Prairie, MN 55344

All donations tax deductible

Iowa Legal Aid – small business assistance available (includes non-profits!)

Free Support for Children with Disabilities

*Change in potential funding amounts effective August 1st, 2018  Please share!

Rent or respite care? Groceries or new eyeglasses? For parents of children with disabilities, choosing between their family’s basic needs and disability-related items can often be difficult. Many services, devices and equipment are available to aid in development and improve a child’s quality of life. Unfortunately, insurance and other programs may only cover a portion of the cost, or perhaps not at all.

The Children at Home (CaH) Program may be able to help families with some of these expenses.

Children at Home (CaH) is a non-profit program of the Iowa Family Support Network and can help families caring for a child (up to age 22) with a disability by providing financial assistance for items or services not covered by other programs.


  • child and family must live in Iowa;
  • child must be less than 22 years of age
  • child must have a disability that meets the definition of developmental disability
  • the family’s federal net (not gross) taxable income for the most recent tax year is less than $60,000

Examples may include: special adaptive devices, out-of-area travel expenses, nutritional supplements, respite care or educational seminars for caregivers, special camps and items to make your home safe or more accessible for a child. If an item or service provides a direct benefit to a child and is related to the child’s disability, families may qualify for up to $700** in assistance per child annually. There is no charge to apply for or participate in this program. It is our goal to connect as many qualifying Iowans with the support they need.

Contact Us Today! If you have questions about this program or want to refer someone to apply for assistance, please contact the Iowa Family Support Network:

1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371)
IAFamilySupportNetwork@vnsia.org (email)
IAFamilySupportNetwork.org  (website)

**$700 goes into effect August 1st, 2018

MOSAIC Family Counseling Center - Student Assistance Program (SAP)

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to be a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, rapid response intervention for students and their families to help children and families have better success in school. Regardless of the difficulties, we are here to help! The Des Moines Public School System is partnering with MOSAIC FAMILY Counseling Center, Inc to deliver the services its students and their families need to help with current difficult behaviors and help families plan for successful outcomes for their children. Learn more HERE or Visit website HERE

ALSO Mosaic Family Counseling Center Inc is now offering medication management to children and adolescents. Learn more HERE (See 2nd page)

Office of Court Improvement offering 3 part webinar series


The Office of Court Improvement is pleased to provide you with a three-part eLearning series regarding medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

The Honorable Jeri B. Cohen, Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit  
Mark Stavros, MD. Dr. Stavros is board certified in both Emergency and Addiction Medicine and serves as an associate professor at the FSU College of Medicine. He is a peer support physician for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, educating providers in Medication-Assisted Treatment.

Part One, Context. Provides general information about the opioid crisis and opioids (approximately 20 minutes).

Part Two, Medications. Describes three medications used in the treatment of opioid additions, and one medication used to prevent death from opioid overdose (approximately 15 minutes).

Part Three, Misconceptions. Debunks three common myths about MAT (approximately 10 mins)



Iowa Department of Education Seeks Public Input


The Iowa Department of Education is seeking public input on health and physical education standards. Read below for more information regarding the timeline for comment via survey and public forum:

DES MOINES - Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise announced today he is seeking the public’s input on proposed physical education and health standards.

The standards, selected by the Physical Education and Health Standards Review Team, would be recommended to schools, but not required.

Feedback on the standards will come through a survey and public forums. The public forums will be Dec. 6 (details are below). The survey will be open until Dec. 20.

Input from the survey and public forums will be incorporated into the team’s final recommendations for standards.

“Our goal is to put in place standards that provide teachers with a framework to strengthen instruction from kindergarten through 12th grade and to help students build the knowledge and skills to be healthy and active for life,” said Brian Rhoads, co-chair of the statewide team and a teacher leader and physical education teacher in the West Des Moines Community School District.

Rhoads said that physical education and health also address social-emotional learning in the schools.

“We are seeing a lot of emotional issues in our schools,” he said. “There’s a lot of research that shows physical activity and good nutrition lessen the problems with mental health.”

The Physical Education and Health Standards Review Team was created in response to public support for offering standards that go beyond the mandatory subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and 21st century skills.

The team hopes to get the proposed physical education and health standards to the State Board of Education for consideration sometime next spring.

Feedback from the public forums can be provided either in person or remotely through satellite centers (through video conferencing). The forums run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Details are as follows:

December 6

Host site:
Valley High School
3650 Woodland Ave.
Media Center 
West Des Moines

Satellite sites:
Central Springs High School
105 S. East St.
Room 16

Lewis Central CSD
4121 Harry Langdon Blvd.
Community Room
Council Bluffs


Career Opportunity, Admin Assistant at CIW


We have a new opportunity for an administrative assistant for Central Iowa Works! It is a grant funded role to support all of the programs and staff at CIW. This position will also have reception duties and greet visitors right inside the door of the CIW suite.

The Deadline to apply is December 14. Click here to see the full position description.


Open after-hours open enrollment at Primary Health

 We are offering after-hours open enrollment fairs at each of our clinics to assist patients and the community with navigating annual enrollment in Medicare Part D  through the marketplace. Patients can call in advance to make an appointment to talk with one of our bi-lingual health benefits specialists. Click here to find out more


Central Iowa Shelter & Services:  Needs a Volunteer and Donations Coordinator

Contact: Joani Moller here for more information


One Iowa is hiring

We’re excited to expand our team and increase our capacity to preserve and advance LGBTQ equality in Iowa! Click on a position below to view a job description and information about how to apply. Application materials are due by Friday, December 28 for all positions.

Program Coordinator (Full-Time)

Administrative Coordinator (Part-Time)

Council Bluffs Stewardship and Events Coordinator (Part-Time Grant Funded position)

One Iowa is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability. LGBTQ people, particularly transgender and non-binary people; people of color; and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Iowa Child Support Recovery Launches New Option to Pay Child Support at Retailers

The Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit is making it easier and more convenient for cash paying customers to make child support payments.
The Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit’s partnership with electronic cash payment provider PayNearMe® allows parents to make their child support payments with cash at thousands of 7-Eleven® and Casey’s General Stores® locations nationwide. Many of these locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
“Iowa is continually looking at innovative options for customers to make child support payments,” said Carol Eaton, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit. “The goal is to make it as easy as possible to get the child support to the children and families we serve.”
The process is simple. Parents can:

• Visit childsupport.ia.gov and select the “Pay with cash” option.
• Enter requested account information on the PayNearMe website.
• Select whether they want a payment code sent to their phone or to print a copy.
• Then choose from the list of payment locations closest to them.
• Visit the store and request to make a “bill payment” and then provide both the payment code and cash to the cashier.
Customers pay a $1.99 convenience fee per transaction. PayNearMe payments take three or four business days to post, just like any other electronic payment made by a customer.
“PayNearMe is happy to work with Iowa Child Support to offer this new cash payment option,” said Mike Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Merchant Processing at PayNearMe. “We feel strongly that cash-preferring customers should be able to make their child support payments with cash and we’re happy to provide them a convenient way to do so.”
In addition to PayNearMe, customers may also make immediate online payments using a checking or savings account, as well as debit or credit card payments on the Iowa child support customer website. For more information about PayNearMe and other payment options, or to make online payments, visit childsupport.ia.gov.

About PayNearMe:
PayNearMe, a service of Handle Financial, is the industry’s first and only single platform solution enabling businesses to accept cash, debit, credit and ACH payments – anytime, anywhere. Initially launched in 2009, their patented, mobile-first technology provides a simpler way for businesses to collect payments and an intuitive, consistent experience for their customers.
PayNearMe processes payments for the IRS, Comcast, Greyhound, Oportun, Grameen Foundation, and Capital Auto Financial, among others. PayNearMe powers cash payments for consumers at any of our 27,000 trusted locations in the U.S., which include 7-Eleven®, Family Dollar®, Casey’s General Stores® and ACE Cash Express stores.
The PayNearMe service is operated by PayNearMe MT, Inc., a licensed money transmitter and wholly owned subsidiary of Handle Financial, Inc.
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For more information contact Matt Highland at 515-281-4848 or mhighla@dhs.state.ia.us.
Visit dhs.iowa.gov for information on DHS and its programs.

The Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Department is hiring a VISTA for 2019-2020!


Individuals interested in the position can visit here for more information and to apply.


Updated ongoing FTDM/YTDM Meeting Q&A Document 

The ongoing FTDM/YTDM Meeting Q&A document has been updated. The primary update to this document includes revisions to the courses that will count toward re-approval for FTDM and YTDM meeting facilitators.

This document will also be posted to the Child Welfare Provider Training Academy (CWPTA) webpage where all of the current approved statewide documents/forms can be accessed here.

In the ongoing Q&A document, click on the specific topic in the Table of Contents to go directly to that topic, and then use CTRL Home to take you back to the Table of Contents.


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