Child Abuse Prevention Services celebrated a hard-earned recognition during a ceremony Thursday at the Marshalltown Public Library.
The agency's Building Healthy Families program received an Iowa Family Support Credential from the Iowa Department of Public Health. CAPS is one of 22 agencies in the state to receive the credential.
The agency had to pass 139 different standards in a rigorous credential process.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Janet Horras, right, of the Iowa Department of Public Health, presented Kelly Newcomb, of Child Abuse Prevention Services, and other CAPS staff members with a special credential Thursday at the Marshalltown Public Library.
"We worked really hard to receive this credential," said Linda Havelka, associate director of CAPS and leader of the Building Healthy Families program. "We are confident that we are providing a quality program to our families."
The Building Healthy Families program has a group of case workers who visit the homes of families with children prenatal to age 3. They give advice on parenting skills, help children reach their target goals developmentally, and make sure children are living in a safe home.
The credential process took three years and will help the agency in the future with state funding.
"It means that they meet the definition of a promising program," said Janet Horras of the IDPH, who presented the award Thursday night. "It really puts them in a special category."
Havelka sees this credential as a building block for the future of the program.
"It's just a stepping stone," Havelka said. "We are going to continue to work on quality programs to continue to meet the needs of the families and the community."