- 1st Five
- Care for Kids Program
- Nurse Family Partnership Program
- Early ACCESS Iowa
- Family Team Meeting Facilitation
- Healthy Start and Empowerment Family Support Projects
- I-Smile Program
- Maternal Child Health Outreach
- Maternal Child Health Program
- Mental Health Services
- Family Peer Support Program
- Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS)
- Protect Children
- Stork's Nest
- Storybook Project
- Transportation Services
1st Five, Healthy Mental Development Initiative is a project funded by the Iowa Legislature to assist medical practitioners in providing social/emotional, family stress and parental depression screenings to children during well-child medical exams. If a red-flag is detected through this screening process, the family is then linked to VNS of Iowa for care coordination services. These care coordination services are offered to address the needs of the entire family.
1st Five understands that the health and well being of family members directly impacts the health of an infant or young child. After resource and referral information is provided to the family, the VNS of Iowa Care Coordinator then apprises the referring medical provider to the outcome of the referral. Call 515-558-9608 for more information.
The VNS of Iowa's Care for Kids Program - an Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis & Treatment (EPSDT) program - serves all residents of Polk County. (EPSDT is the benefit package of Medicaid/Title 19 for individuals under age 21 years.) The focus of our EPSDT, Care for Kids, is to link individuals to:
- Preventive health care, including regular medical, dental, vision and hearing checkups;
- Treatment for health problems identified during regular check-ups that includes health care specialists and mental health services;
- Assistance with overcoming barriers to health care, such as transportation and interpretation services;
- Community resources that help to improve the health and well being of individuals in the program (WIC, Early Access, parenting classes, child care assistance, housing assistance, etc.)
For questions about Care for Kids, call 283-1422.
The Nurse Family Partnership Program matches first-time parents with a Nurse Home Visitor who provides ongoing education and support beginning during the mother’s pregnancy and continuing until the child turns two years old. For more information about the Nurse Family Partnership Program, please call (515) 558-9946.
Ana describes her experience as a first-time mom working with the Nurse Family Partnership Program. Watch the video on YouTube.
Early ACCESS Iowa is a VNS of Iowa program funded and administered by the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The purpose of Early ACCESS Iowa is to serve as the central point of contact and directory for families. Early ACCESS Iowa assists families and providers in connecting with Early ACCESS and community-based services that address specialized child and family needs through a user-friendly system that includes a website, toll-free telephone service and a single point of contact to provide facilitation of resources and referrals.
Early ACCESS Iowa is Iowa's free statewide information and referral service for people with disabilities, their families, their service providers and other members of the community. Information specialists are available via telephone and e-mail, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Call us at 1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371) for more information or visit www.EarlyACCESSIowa.org.
As trained facilitators, VNS of Iowa staff leads Family Team Meetings - gatherings of family members, friends, community specialists and other interested individuals - to strengthen the family and ensure the safety of children. The Family Team Meeting has a specific purpose such as returning a child safely to the family/home, resolving issues of suspension or expulsion from school, substance abuse or mental health issues. Services include:
- Assisting a family with preparations prior to a Family Team Meeting
- Providing facilitation for Family Team Meetings
- Providing assistance with the development of a Family Plan
- Assisting in identifying and engaging community resources best suited to the family's strengths and needs
- Conducting follow-up or follow-up meetings as appropriate.
The VNS of Iowa Healthy Start and Empowerment Family Support Projects provide case management services to families in need in Polk County who are pregnant or have a child up to the age of six. Case management services include:
- Home visits
- Prenatal, post partum and parenting education
- Child development screening and education
- Perinatal depression screening and referral
- Support groups
- Referrals to community resources and support in accessing services
- English as a Second Language (ESL) classes including transportation and child care
- Parent involvement opportunities
Bilingual case managers and interpreters are available for primarily Arabic, Spanish and Vietnamese speakers. Referrals can be made by a physician, social worker, family member or friend.
The I-Smile Program provides oral health screenings; oral health education; nutrition education relating to oral health; fluoride varnish application; and a referral to a dentist for comprehensive dental needs. The program targets pregnant women and children under the age of 21 residing in Polk County. Contact the I-Smile Program at 515-557-9023 for additional information.
The VNS of Iowa Maternal Child Health Outreach Program has Outreach Specialists who assist uninsured families, children and pregnant women in obtaining health care coverage, finding a doctor and finding a dentist. Bi-lingual outreach specialists who speak Spanish and English are located at the HOLA Center at 618 East 18th Street, and English-speaking outreach specialists are located at the VNS of Iowa main office. Other languages are served with the use of VNS interpreters. Program assistance includes:
- Answering questions on free or low-cost health insurance options
Facilitating the hawk-i or Medicaid process
- Assist with completion of application
- Advocate on client's behalf
- Serve as a liaison as needed
- Explaining additional programs that families may be eligible for
- Providing community referrals as needed
Helping enroll on VNS Dental Voucher Program if:
- A child is under 21years old
- Has no dental insurance
- Lives in Polk County
- Meets income requirements
- Has never participated in the program
The VNS of Iowa Maternal Child Health Outreach Team is a proud partner of the Healthcare Coverage for Kids Coalition that provides hawk-i and Medicaid outreach throughout Polk County. For questions or assistance, call 558-9946 for English speaking services, and 229-HOLA (4652) for Spanish speaking services.
The VNS of Iowa Maternal Child Health Program provides nursing visits to pregnant and parenting women living in Polk County. Registered nurses and a registered dietician provide:
- Prenatal and post partum health education
- Child development screening and education
- Perinatal depression screening and referral
- Referrals to community resources
- Nutrition counseling
- Family planning counseling
- Interpretation services available upon request
Referrals can be made by a physician, social worker, family member, friend, or as a self-referral. Please contact our intake nurse at 515-558-9946 for more information.
The VNS of Iowa Mental Health Services program offers individual, couples, and family counseling conducted by a mental health therapist. Counseling services can be used to address any number of challenges including stress management, relationship issues, communication, parenting and any other situations causing distress. Please contact intake at 515-558-9946 for more information.
Get to know our team! At VNS of Iowa, our skilled therapists offer expertise and support when you need it most.
The Family Peer Support Program provides support, education and advocacy services to families with a child diagnosed with Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED). The program works with children and youth, ages 5 to 18, and their families, to mentor parents through the challenging process of raising a child with SED. Family Peer Support services support the child and his/her family with the development and implementation of strategies and interventions that will reduce stress and depression and increase the child and family's social and emotional strength. Please call (515) 558-9946 or email email@example.com for more information.
Lisa describes her experience working with Anji, a Family Navigator through the Family Peer Support Program, and how working with the program has enabled her family to manage their daughter's diagnosis. Watch the video on YouTube.
VNS of Iowa is a provider of BHIS Services for children who are on Medicaid and are diagnosed with psychological disorder. BHIS case managers assist youth in learning appropriate ways to manage their behavior or regain self control as it relates to their mental health. The skill instruction may include conflict resolution, problem solving, interpersonal skills, social skills and communication skills. Services may also include crisis intervention designed to deescalate volatile situations that involve the youth's struggle to manage his/her mental health issues. For additional information about how to receive BHIS, contact 515-558-9946.
Protect Children Nurses assist during the removal of a child through the identification and coordination of health needs in order to decrease the trauma to the child upon removal and to involve the parent to facilitate the transition of the child. Protect Children Nurses attend the pre-removal meetings to assist in the planning for the change in placement for a child and assist the new caretaker with meeting the health needs of the child such as immunization records, care plans, referrals to dentist and other health related needs of the child
The VNS of Iowa Stork's Nest is an educational incentive program. Pregnant women who reside in Polk County and who meet program income guidelines may enroll in the Stork's Nest. Participants earn points for healthy behaviors such as keeping medical appointments, WIC participation, breastfeeding and school attendance. These points are redeemed for needed baby items such as diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs and car seats. Call 515-558-9950 for more information.
The Storybook Project recruits, screens and trains volunteers to work with incarcerated parents and/or grandparents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, Iowa and the Newton Correctional Release Center (CNRC) in Newton, Iowa. Once per month, volunteers work with the mother, grandmother or father. The parent/grandparent and volunteer choose a book from the Storybook library that is appropriate for the child. The parent or grandparent reads the book while the volunteer records the reading onto a digital voice recorder. The book and CD are mailed to the child. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing to the Storybook Project, call 515-288-1516.
VNS of Iowa provides transportation services to children and families for the purpose of keeping medical and dental appointments as well as keeping mental health appointments. Those eligible include children under the age of 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid/Title 19. We recommend that the requests for assistance be made at least two working days before an appointment. The number to call to arrange for transportation is 515-558-9972.
Notice of VNS of Iowa Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Click here to read the Notice of Privacy Practices.
With Risa's help, both parents have learned to manage their addictions and are taking steps to further their success. Their family has been reunited, and they're very grateful to have support from the Family Safety, Risk and Permanency Services Program to get themselves back on track as sober, responsible parents.