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Nancy Krause

Nancy Krause

Every parent wants the best for their child.

But not every parent has the resources or support network most of us may take for granted.

New parents face many stressors as they welcome a child into their lives -- lack of sleep, additional expenses and balancing other responsibilities with the needs of a newborn. Without the support of family and friends, all of these things become even more difficult.

That’s why organizations like Lutheran Services in Iowa answer the call for thousands of Iowa parents. Through in-home parenting education and support groups, families receive guidance to build stable, positive home environments where their children can thrive free from the risk of abuse or neglect.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a cause at the core of LSI’s early childhood services. LSI’s in-home parenting education has been proven to reduce stressors for families, decrease the risk of child abuse and connect parents to vital community support like food pantries, affordable housing and career-building resources.

In 2018, LSI staff provided 14,743 home visits to more than 1,000 families across Iowa. Through these services, parents were able to start careers, enroll in college courses and connect with other families in their community to build a support system.

When families feel at their most vulnerable with nowhere else to turn, we walk with them and remind them they are not alone.

Preventative services in Iowa are improving health and wellness for families, increasing school readiness in young children and spreading positive parenting methods that prevent child abuse.

You might be thinking that aside from being a good friend or parent, there's nothing you can do to help break the cycle of child abuse in Iowa. But you can. Donate to your local food pantries. Volunteer to be a mentor at your local parenting support group. Reach out to the family you know is struggling. Connect with organizations like LSI and ask if they have a need for diapers, formula or baby clothes.

Meeting the needs of vulnerable families is the first and most crucial step to avoid situations of abuse or neglect. Together, we can change the future for Iowa kids.

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Nancy Krause is director of LSI’s early childhood services. She can be reached at Nancy.Krause@LSIowa.org.

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