Support for Families

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa recognizes the important role legislation plays in the future of Iowa’s children. We support creation of policy and legislation that promotes child and family resilience. 

Goal: Ensure funding support for programs that strengthen families and increase protective factors against child abuse and neglect 

Resilience means the ability to thrive despite adversity. The Iowa Legislature and Governor must promote resilience in the state starting with its youngest citizens. Promoting child health—starting at infancy—helps Iowa grow a strong and prosperous workforce. 

Adversity in childhood has a direct impact on an individual’s health outcomes and social functioning. Approximately one in five Iowa children has experienced three or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the most common being divorced or separated parents and having lived with someone with a substance-use disorder or mental health condition. Children with three or more ACEs have higher odds of failing to engage and flourish in school. 

The impact of ACEs in Iowa is evident through the rise in DHS caseloads, the acceleration of the opioid epidemic—which is both driving and affected by family dysfunction—and rising health care costs associated with adult chronic illness. The policies below will assist parents in getting the services they need and while helping families get and keep more money in their pockets to support their family. 

  • Expansion of First Five – Iowa must expand First Five to all of Iowa’s 99 counties. It is currently only in 88. First Five is an early childhood detection and intervention program sponsored by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The network is comprised of public and private primary care providers. First Five supports primary health care providers in early detection of social, emotional, and developmental delays and risk-related factors from birth to age 5. The 11 counties without access to First Five are Lyon, Sioux, Plymouth, Cherokee, Woodbury, Ida, Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Iowa and Johnson. 
  • Increase the Child Care Assistance Cap – Iowa must increase the Child Care Assistance Cap from 145 percent of the poverty level to 185 percent. This will allow parents to continue to receive child care assistance at the point they make $1 more than $30,920. 
  • Increase in Earned Income Tax Credit – Increase the Earning Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate- income wage earners. 

We encourage you to ask your legislator to support policies that prioritize prevention and increase protective factors for Iowa children. 

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