12
Jun
2024
Linn County Rotary
Biaggi's
320 Collins Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
United States of America

5:30 - 6:00: Club Social & Business Meeting
6:00 - 6:30: Speaker

Families Helping Families is a unique nonprofit in Cedar Rapids, IA that serves Iowa’s Children in Foster Care. We do this by providing basic needs like gently used or new clothing, shoe vouchers for new shoes, haircut vouchers, new school supplies, tutoring and activity scholarships. We are open 8-3 M-F and Sundays, 1-3, we are staffed by board members for extra shopping hours. Although we don’t see enough of our teens to help them with clothing needs. 

In the State of Iowa, there are 10,000 children who are living in Foster Care at any given time. Last year, we provided over 4700 services to the youth who are living in out of home placement. On average, we serve about 3000 kids state-wide each year. Families Helping Families does not receive any state or federal funding. All of our dollars raised are through grant awards, corporate sponsors or generous community members who believe that the work we are doing matters. 

There is a myth that foster parents are making money by fostering. Often, the clients that we serve and see frequently are Relative Placement cases where the grandparents, cousins or aunts and uncles are stepping in to care for the youth and unless those caregivers go through rigorous training, they do not receive any financial assistance. While there are some stipends available to licensed foster parents, it does not put a dent into all the needs a child has. We firmly believe that all children deserve dignity and therefore our role is to help foster their physical needs and emotional spirits. We know that bad-apples get publicity, but most of the Foster Care community is outstanding and in much need of support, (SPT-  AND, based on what I know…it isn’t usually homes of the very affluent that tend to be very involved as foster parents!)