Iowa Ideas 2023

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Human & Social Services

In-demand needs, resources, and gaps in access.

    Creating Political Barriers to those who need help

    A look at how newly passed regulations can face challenges when practiced at the local level, using SNAP benefits and free lunch program as examples. How do restrictions impact those that take the step for assistance, but are turned down or faced with too many obstacles? How can barriers be addressed so those that need it most can benefit?

    October 12, 2023 at 10:10AM

    • Luke Elzinga

    • Keenan Crow


    Teens in mental health crisis

    This session will look at the continuous climb in the number of teens needing access to mental health resources and the challenges in accommodating this demographic. As Iowa’s mental health facilities continue to be limited in space and funding, what creative partnerships and solutions can be explored? How can clients and families have the resources they need during crisis and after?

    October 12, 2023 at 11:15AM

    • Kim Scorza

    • Dr. Richard Whitaker


    Intersection: Creative Ways to address food scarcity

    Creative ways to address food scarcity. The number of people seeking help from foodbanks has continued to increase. While there have been grants for facilities, can Iowa do more to help their peers experiencing food scarcity. We’ll look at what’s being done in Iowa as well as whether there are additional programs that could be implemented or expanded that have worked other places.

    October 12, 2023 at 1:20PM

    • Linda Gorko


    Life after incarceration

    How are restorative programs working for people currently serving in and upon leaving prison? This session will look at how areas of need for an individual are identified and if the programs in place are truly setting people up for long-term success. Who are the key partners in tracking what’s working and ways to strengthen the need for these individuals to truly thrive?

    October 12, 2023 at 2:25PM

    • Michelle Heinz

    • Peggy Huppert


    Housing for all

    The process and challenges when it comes to renting, buying, and maintaining a home. What resources are available for people at various stages of risk? How can assistance be more accessible-before the step of eviction or foreclosure?

    October 13, 2023 at 8:30AM

    • Carrie Woerdeman

    • Denise Fuller


    Intersection: Social needs and partnerships between schools and non-profits

    The ability to reach students and their families about available resources while gathered consistently at school. Who leads these partnerships? What communication or practice of information distribution is most effective? How can nonprofits build trust among the students, faculty, and staff?

    October 13, 2023 at 9:40AM

    • Maggie Hartzler


    Homelessness and wrap around services

    A client and resource perspective on need analysis/intake experience, and when wrap around services are considered. Are service based organizations consistently considering multiple needs when encountering a client? What are the challenges when collaboration for services is the best course of action?

    October 13, 2023 at 10:45AM

    • Sara Buck

Human & Social Services Articles

  • Most Iowa not-for-profits were in “survival mode” in 2020 but found creative ways to keep doing their jobs, raise funds and keep their supporters engaged, even when they couldn’t see each other in-person. Many businesses closed their doors or cut back during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Food shouldn’t be something people have to worry about or go without because they have to choose between a meal or paying the rent and their water bill. But it happens on a daily basis across the United States and here in Iowa. Food bank officials have many stories about how many working families cannot provide one meal, not to mention three a d...
  • In difficult times, we search for answers, meaning or messages of hope. Sometimes we find clichés, and sometimes they are what we need. There is a counseling concept that helps us cope with challenges by replacing negative beliefs or catastrophic thinking with messages of optimism or hope that change our view of our reality. These messages of ho...
  • A holistic look at the needs and opportunities for youth, from early childhood to young adult. How can human service agencies collaborate for immediate and long term needs of a child? Where can innovation and creativity respond to the growing needs of total child wellness and what ideas are taking shape? Panelists include: Tisha Ritter, YPN; Dan...
  • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity was a major issue for families across the state. Then the pandemic came and has stretched many programs even further. How is food insecurity trickling into other aspects of life? What opportunities can Iowans adopt to help reduce the insecurity? Panelists include: Deann Cook, Unite...
  • Panelists include: Emily Walker Blomme, Foundation 2, James Lee III, Boys &amp; Girls Club, Cedar Valley; Debbie Craig, Four Oaks. Moderator: Adam Sullivan, The Gazette. This session was part of the 2020 Iowa Ideas Conference presented by ITC and held Oct. 15-16, 2020. This session originally occurred at 10 a.m.-11 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2020. The tw...
  • Carson King is the accidental fundraiser turned philanthropist. What started as a joke at ESPN's "College Gameday" for the Iowa vs. Iowa State game in 2019 led to $600 dollars within a half hour to his Venmo account. King then decided to donate all the funds sent to his account to the University of Iowa's Stead Family Children's Hospital. Over t...
  • While all for the greater good, how can collaboration among nonprofits enhance mission, services, and overall success of clients served?  How do organizations maintain individual identity yet recognize the importance of shared services? Will collaboration/partnerships become an expectation as we look forward to grants and other funding opportuni...
  • Elder abuse and neglect is likely underreported and can be challenging to prove for law enforcement. How common is elder abuse and neglect in Iowa? What's being done to help shine light into these areas as Iowa's population ages? What can be done to prevent it from happening in the first place? Panelists Include: Chantelle Smith, Assistant Iowa ...
  • A state ombudsman's report into the death of Natalie Finn – who died of starvation while in the state's foster care system – outlined a series of reforms and policy changes needed to help lower the risk of abuse or death in Iowa's foster care system. What – if anything – has changed to better protect kids? How has COVID-19 impacted both the moni...

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