Community Plan “Hand in hand we can make a difference.”

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Fremont and Page Counties reside within the Council Bluffs Department of Human Services Service Area. Below are statistics that are kept by the Iowa Department of Human Services on children for the Council Bluffs Service Area in comparison to the State percentages for the reporting period ending June 2013.

Council Bluffs Service Area Average



Children in care are safe from abuse



Children are safe from re-abuse



Children are reunified timely



Children who do not re-enter foster care



Children are adopted timely



Children are stable in placement



Council Bluffs Service Area Digital Dashboard – Data Source; June 2013

Other Descriptive Information

Fremont County has no Department of Human Services office located within the county. Residents must travel to Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County) to meet with their DHS Income Maintenance workers. The State of Iowa closed more full-time DHS offices at the beginning of SFY’11 which resulted in the loss of the Page County Office. Residents must travel to Red Oak (Montgomery County) to meet with their DHS Income Maintenance workers.

Fremont County has one hospital - Grape Community Hospital located in Hamburg, but does not deliver babies.
Page County has two hospitals, Clarinda Regional Health Center and Shenandoah Memorial Hospital. Only the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital delivers babies.
Section II: Community Needs Assessment

Development and Distribution of the Corner Counties Community Survey

The Corner Counties Early Childhood Area Board and the Early Childhood Advisory Committee worked together throughout State Fiscal Year 2012 to create a community survey that was specific to the area. The surveys were distributed from May 2008 through September 2008 throughout all communities within the Early Childhood Area. The Board and the Committee felt it was important to survey as many individuals as possible, including parents, grandparents, community members, and service agencies in order to obtain a broader perspective as to existing needs and also to establish whether or not the general population was aware of services that are currently present within the communities. The surveys were distributed at businesses, child care centers, home care providers, preschools, elementary schools, churches, civic organizations, county fairs, and home visitation and parent education programs.

Analysis of Collected Early Childhood Data

The Corner Counties Early Childhood Area Board and the Early Childhood Advisory Committee compiled the information collected and have shared this with community members and partners throughout both counties. A copy of the survey can also be viewed on the Early Childhood website.

Through the analysis of the data it was evident that the preponderance of individuals that had responded were white, married, parents, college graduates, and employed full-time.
The biggest needs identified, by the largest percentage of responses from those surveyed were:

  • Education on Discipline – 49%

  • Child Development – 40%

  • Health Insurance – 43%

  • Budgeting Education – 37%

  • Nurturing Education – 37%

  • High quality daycare centers – 30%

  • Adequate pediatric services – 28%

  • High quality preschools – 25%

  • Parent Support (non-financial) – 24%

Other result areas of interest were:

  • 95% of children in the homes of those that completed the survey are covered by some form of medical insurance.

  • 66% of those children have an MD as their medical provider.

  • 79% of those children see their medical provider for routine medical exams.

  • 72% of those children have some form of dental coverage.

  • 48% of those children visit the dentist 2-3 times per year.
  • 28% of those that completed the survey travel more than 20 miles outside of their community to have their children seen by a dentist.

  • 31% of those that completed the survey stated they were very satisfied with the educational experience their child(ren) receives at preschool.

  • 61% of those that completed the survey were not aware of the Quality Rating System for child care providers and preschools.

  • 67% of those that completed the survey were not aware of the Quality Preschool Program Standards.

Other Data and Resources Reviewed

The Corner Counties Early Childhood Advisory Committee and the Early Childhood Area Board also reviewed the Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan (CHNA & HIP) reports submitted to the Iowa Department of Public Health by Southwest Iowa Home Health (Fremont Co. Public Health) and the Page County Public Health Agency. Both entities, through the means of their assessments, had identified as two of their three goals: 1) to reduce the smoking rates among county residents; and 2) to reduce the county’s obese population.

Also reviewed was the Community Assessment Report that had been managed and prepared by West Central Community Action/Head Start Director and Assessment Team that had been updated with information from 2002 to 2006. This report indicated that the greatest challenges that children and families face in our communities are 1) Employment, 2) Parenting Skills, and 3) Substance Abuse. This report also indicates that those surveyed generally were not knowledgeable about preschool programs within their communities. Those surveyed also were most often unsure if childcare programs exist within their communities for low-income families. Other results indicate that the respondents and their families receive a physical exam (63.6%) and see a dentist (61.9%) each year. Most do not exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes (56.4%). Only 47.8% of those surveyed practice preventative health habits sometimes.

The results of the Child Care Resource and Referral of Southwest Iowa Training and Needs Survey for 2009 were shared with the Early Childhood Area. The respondents to this survey were child care providers. Areas of interest to the Committee and the Board were:

  • 40% of those surveyed have a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.

  • 2.3% of those surveyed have a Bachelor Degree or higher in Early Childhood.

  • 42.5% of those surveyed responded the number one reason preventing them from attending training was that classes are not available in their area.

  • 52.5% of those surveyed indicated that the training topic in regard to child development and interaction that was of interest to them was Developing Observation Skills.

  • 40.9% of those surveyed indicated that in regard to Business Practices and Program Management the topic of most interest was: State rules and regulations and Writing policies and procedures.

  • 60.9% of those surveyed indicated that in regard to training topics about families and communities the topic of most interest was: Meeting needs of children with mental disabilities.

  • 61.1% of those surveyed indicated that the advanced professional opportunities that interested those most were: Obtaining a higher level in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS).

In addition to the assessments and surveys that have been acknowledged, numerous local and state statistics were reviewed.

The review of the assessments also reinforces the past motivation the Corner Counties Board has had, and continues to have to allocate funds for the Child Care Nurse Consultant position. The Child Care Nurse Consultant provides support services to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, prevent child injuries, health emergency protocols, assistance with medication and care for children with special health needs to be provided to home based (registered child care providers) and/or licensed day care centers and preschools.

Priorities of the Corner Counties Early Childhood Board

The Early Childhood Area Board and the Corner Counties Early Childhood Advisory Committee worked collectively to reform their priorities throughout State Fiscal Year 2009. Analysis of collected data and numerous resources and statistics, supported the need for the revision of the Board’s priorities and indicators. This also motivated the Committee and Board to develop strategies that they will use in the efforts to attain their priorities. The account and explanation of previous priorities and indicators follows.

Previous Priorities

New Priorities


Health status of children


Health status of children.


Family Support Opportunities


High quality family support and parent education opportunities.


High quality child care/preschool environments


High quality preschool environments with capacity to serve all preschool age children within the local Early Childhood Area.


Support for research-based, evidence-based, or best practices approach


High quality child care environments with adequate capacity.


Professional development opportunities

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