Honoring Heroes of Prevention Past and Present
Annual Conference Highlights Leaders in Prevention

PCA Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) team hosted a statewide conference May 1 st -3 rd  at the Iowa Events Center. Nearly 600 prevention educators, program administrators, nurses, social workers, educators, and foster care parents received professional education in prevention, the neuroscience of trauma, two generation approaches to improving family wellbeing, social determinants of health, human trafficking, implicit bias, trauma sensitive frameworks for schools, and more.
Pat Stanislaski reminded us of the footsteps left by Marti Anderson and many others who shaped the child abuse prevention network we know today, and nudged us to recognize the work we do... the footprints we leave ... that better the lives of children in our community.

We were proud to recognize leaders in prevention - commun ity heroes w ho have left incredible footprints, strengthening families and building hope. MIECHV awarded Karla Berndt Family Support Professional of the Year and  honored a family in the community for growth and change achieved in  partnership with family home visitors.

Meet Some of the Iowa Community Heroes
Linda Vaudt receives the Community Hero award for her contributions in Algona.
Linda Vaudt
Linda Vaudt of Algona has had extensive community involvement, making it possible for kids of families with needs to see there are people that are willing and want to help. She collects items for families like furniture, clothing and diapers and runs several programs such as Back to School, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, the Loving Hands Nursery, the Guardian Angel Emergency Fund, and Parents Actively Caring, ensuring families have all they need and more.  

"Linda gives her days to helping families."
Jeannie Running accepts the Community Hero award at the Annual Conference.
Jeannie Running
Jeannie was part of four original sites to offer crisis care services. In addition, she fostered the Parent Time-Out program, Early Care and Education, Stewards of Children, as well as the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Program in Carroll and surrounding counties
"Under her leadership these programs have benefited  countless families and children."

Karen Devore receives the Community Hero award for her work in Warren County.
Karen Devore
Karen was a founding member of the Warren County Child Abuse Prevention Council. According to her peers, Karen is the kind of person you want on your team. 

Nominated by a co-member of the council she has held nearly every office with the volunteer group, and has always been a steadfast supporter of the mission. 

" She has always been a tireless advocate for children."

Danielle Cerna accepts the Community Hero award.
Danielle Cerna
Danielle's work in the Iowa Falls area was acknowledged as exemplary due to her  perseverance in dedicating her life to helping others and being an advocate for those that don't have a voice or the will power to make a stand. 

She advocates for child abuse prevention in her community and coordinates an annual event that brings the  community together around prevention efforts.

"Danielle has made a lasting impression on her community."
  • Contact your US Congressional Representative to advocate for the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Family First Prevention Services Act (HR 253)
    • You can show your support for MIECHV programs by signing this letter by May 26, 2017.
    • Find your local US Congressional Representative here.
    • Social media, infographics, and other resources for talking about MIECHV is on our website: here.
  • Now is the time to meet with your local state and federal legislators about important child abuse prevention work happening in your community. Invite them to a site visit where they can see prevention services at work. Use local data to help them understand the need for prevention funding and policies that protect kids from harm. 
    • Find your local legislator here.

ICAPP & CBCAP Grantees: Regional Meeting dates have been set for this fall. This year's regional meetings will cover several topics including:
  • Stewards of Children training
  • Connections Matter
  • Data Utilization in the Real World
  • Cultural Competency
In addition, regional meetings will be a time to gather input from community partners to inform the strategic plan that will shape Iowa's prevention programming in the future.

Regional meeting dates/locations are as follows:
9/5/17 - Davenport
9/6/17 - Charles City
9/7/17 - Storm Lake
9/11/17 - Atlantic
9/13/17 - Corydon

CPPC Regional Meetings will be held the following dates/locations:
6/1/17 - Eastern
Pizza Ranch North Liberty

6/6/17 - Western 
Cronk's Cafe Denison

6/8/17 - Central
Benigan Room Des Moines
Holiday Inn Merle Hay
Thank you to the following organizations/groups who have signed on to show their support for reau thorization of the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program:
  • Kossuth County Child Assistance Resource Education Team
  • Positive Family
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa
  • Operation Threshold
  • Child and Family Policy Center
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa
  • Iowa Department of Human Services
  • Warren County Child Abuse Prevention Council
  • Davis County Public Health

PCA Iowa welcomes two new team memb ers
Sandra Brasell-Jasa, Trauma-Informed Prevention and Care Coordinator
Sandra Brasell-Jasa is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana but has resided in Des Moines, Iowa for many years.  She completed her Master's in Public Health at Des Moines University in 2010 and her Bachelor's in Human Services from Upper Iowa University in 2006.

Before coming to PCA Iowa, Sandra served for over 7 years as the Program Coordinator and Family Advocate at the Blank Regional Child Protection Center.  She organized an annual educational workshop series and served as a resource for professionals and families in regard to child abuse.

When Sandra isn't working, she enjoys spending time with friends, her husband Kevin and daughter Ripley, as well as their English bulldog Nugget.

Kate Bishop,
Communications Intern
Kate Bishop Communications Intern joined the team May 15th.  Kate will be a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she studies Public & Nonprofit Management and Finance. She is originally from Indianola, Iowa and is happy to be back in the Des Moines area. Kate will be with PCA Iowa through August assisting with communications, marketing and development. 

How PCA Began: Marti Anderson
Marti Anderson, center, started the first Child Abuse Prevention Councils in Iowa.
From 1980-1981, Marti Anderson  drove across Iowa in her yellow Volkswagen Beetle setting up councils of community members dedicated to addressing child abuse.

Upon discovering widespread ignorance about the problem of child abuse in Iowa, Anderson decided a larger plan was necessary to engage the state in prevention.

Marti, working out of a desk in the hallway of what was then Polk County Social Services, developed a strategy for developing Community Child Abuse Prevention Councils in partnership with the pre-cursor of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa - the State Technical Assistance and Training (S.T.A.T.) team. In just one year Anderson held 34 community meetings across Iowa, securing commitments for specific actions toward preventing child abuse from every attendee.

In 1982, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill providing funding for prevention programs through the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). The community councils could apply for grants to offer child abuse prevention services such as respite care, teen pregnancy support and mom-to-mom mentoring. This was the start of the  Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program, which PCA Iowa still manages today.

By the time she left the S.T.A.T. Team in the mid-1980s, awareness of child abuse had grown significantly. "People were starting to get that child abuse was an issue. DHS was definitely getting it and that was the key piece," she said. "Before then, they had not done any prevention."
Anderson, now a state legislator, couldn't foresee where the prevention movement would end up today: broader community awareness that child abuse exists and greater engagement in preventing it.

"I think PCA Iowa is now woven into the child abuse identification, treatment and prevention systems. You're part of the weave now. We were not part of the weave."
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