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Local Organizations Team Up on United Way Program

This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was published August 5, 2015 on

Two local organizations are working together to extend in-home services to more area families with the help of a $37,500 grant from United Way of the Midlands.

“Thanks to this grant from United Way of the Midlands, we will be able to foster a partnership with FAMILY Inc. and serve more families and children in the Council Bluffs area,” said Debbie Orduna, director of In-Home Family Services at Boys Town Iowa. “The goal of this program is to work with families before they’re involved with the (child welfare) system.”

Acting on referrals from local schools, Boys Town will identify stressors families are facing and, if needed, refer people to behavioral health or substance abuse treatment providers, Orduna said. The agency will also provide transportation to behavioral health appointments and school or housing meetings.

FAMILY Inc. will provide medical services – such as oral health screenings, physical well being checks and health education – and transport clients in need to medical appointments, she said.

“It is through programs such as this one and true community collaboration that we are able to make the greatest impact on children and families,” said Sarena Dacus, executive director of FAMILY Inc. “We know this is the beginning of a critical partnership between family support and direct public health services.”

Boys Town’s IHFS Program has been work to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children since 1989, while FAMILY Inc. has provided maternal and child health services to families in Pottawattamie and Mills counties in southwest Iowa since 1991.