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At a meeting on May 21, 2006, the Board of Directors of Parents Anonymous® of Iowa, Inc. voted to create a new umbrella organization, Family Directions of Iowa, Inc. More than a name change, this decision has afforded a new strategic direction and created a multi-faceted agency capable of offering new programming to serve more of the community’s needs. Family Directions of Iowa supports and educates parents through community-based services across Iowa.
The agency works to utilize Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention dollars and to seek other grants to initiate new programs and projects for parents and children in neighborhoods throughout Iowa. Family Directions of Iowa also partners with United Way of Central Iowa to support Early Childhood Learning and Born Learning initiatives.
Community participation is a guiding factor in the success of parenting education and support programs. Whenever possible, community participants and volunteers are enlisted to help families. Our community program services encourage other parents to work together to keep children safe. Community member participation also provides access to local resources and gives families other opportunities and suggestions to meet their specific needs. Children have a greater likelihood of safety when families, friends, community residents, businesses and organizations work together.
2007 marks the 31st year the agency has offered nationally-accredited Parents Anonymous® programs in Iowa. The creation of the new umbrella agency Family Directions of Iowa, Inc. will make it possible for us to expand our scope of services. We look forward to building our capacity to provide leadership opportunities that give parents a voice in creating successful families in communities across Iowa.
Felicia Mullin, President of the Board of Directors
Suzanne Renfrow, Executive Director
Our Mission is to promote strong and healthy families in Iowa.
Our vision is partnering our services with community support to ensure strong families.
Improve the lives of parents and children
Promote Parent Leadership
Maintain a dynamic board
Develop strong relationship with court system
Lobby for family needs
Raise funds and increase visibility in the state
Organization Board of Directors 2005-2008
Employee and Family Resources, Retired
Attorney at Law
Brown Winick Law Firm, Lobbyist
Attorney at Law
Principal Financial Group
State of Iowa
Julie Eich, CPA
Thompson & Eich
Iowa Protection and Advocacy
Dow Jones Corporation, Retired
Urbandale School District
Guidance Counselor, Retired
Martha A. Tanner
Iowa State University
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs
Suzanne Renfrow, L.B.S.W.
Sue supervises program staff and volunteers, as well as administrative staff. She ensures that all objectives of partnerships and grants are successfully accomplished. Ms. Renfrow is a Licensed Bachelor of Social Work, having worked in the field of human services since 1976 as a county social worker, a family therapist specializing in home based services, and as the program coordinator of Parents Anonymous® of Iowa prior to her appointment as Executive Director. Ms. Renfrow works in strong collaboration with other community-based family service organizations to successfully fulfill the commitment to provide Iowa families with the support and direction they need.
Dave is responsible for maintaining and monitoring community program operations. Group facilitators and children’s program workers and volunteers report directly to him for any needed updates or changes to specific program operations. He also provides support to the Iowa Parent Leadership Team. Mr. Dhainin does extensive work in the community to promote program services and reach families through community partnerships.
Desiree Lagerquist, B.A.
Jacque Hawk, B.A.
In-Home Parent Educator, Polk County
Jacque provides home-based child development and parent education services to parents with infants, toddlers and/or young children (from birth to five years of age). Ms. Hawk, a Parents As Teachers instructor, works in collaboration with other Parent Educators through Polk County Empowerment and Visiting Nurse Services.
Kelley Skerik, B.A.
Stork & Family Nest Coordinator, Madison County
Kelley coordinates all aspects of the Stork and Family Nest Program, an incentive-based education program designed to promote healthy behavior among women during pregnancy. The program encourages women to participate in prenatal care, educational classes, and well-baby appointments following the birth of their child. Additionally, the program serves families with children up to the age of 5 to support early childhood learning and ready for school initiatives.
Sarah Anker, B.S.
Parents As Teachers Parent Education, Madison County
Janelle Keffer, B.A.
Parents As Teachers Parent Eduation, Boone County
Janelle provides home based child development and parent education services to parents with infants, toddlers and/or young children (from birth to five years of age). As a Parents As Teachers instructor, Janelle works in Collaboration with other Parent Educators through Boone County Empowerment and Visiting Nurse Services.
Jamie Brown, A.A.
Parents as Teachers Parent Education, Boone County