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April Nonprofit Spotlight: Child Abuse Prevention and Services

Young Professionals and Child Abuse Prevention

Child Abuse Prevention LogoDo you want to make a difference? Do you ever find yourself wondering how you can do so in your community? This year, YPC's Charitable Committee would like to help by spotlighting a set of Des Moines area nonprofits each month here on the YPC blog. Below you will find a listing of some local nonprofits, along with a summary of what they do and how you can help them out! Read on to learn how  YOU can make a difference in your community today!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. Child abuse can take many forms, including denial of critical care (food, shelter, clothing), physical injury, illegal drugs in a child's body due to caretaker action or inaction, and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, thousands of children in Iowa are affected by child abuse each year. However, there are many organizations in Des Moines that are dedicated to both preventing child abuse and providing services for children who have been abused. Listed below are some of these organizations. If child welfare is an issue that speaks strongly to you, please consider contacting one of these organizations and getting involved!

Organization: Prevent Child Abuse Iowa


What They Do: Prevent Child Abuse Iowa focuses on prevention of child abuse. They raise community awareness of the cause, provide on-going training and educations to community groups serving families, and support the work of local organizations in alliance with their mission.


  • Donations
  • Volunteers for specific events


Organization: Polk County C.A.N. (Child Abuse and Neglect) Prevention Council


What They Do: The C.A.N. Prevention Council seeks to support families in creating safe environments for children through funding of free parenting classes for everyone. The Council offers a number of classes focusing on different aspects of parenting. Other programs that have been facilitated by the C.A.N. Prevention Council include the Child Abuse Prevention Program at Bidwell Riverside, Parents Anonymous, and the Young Moms Program and the Young Women's Resource Center.


  • Donations
  • Volunteers--both one-time commitments for special events, and long-term commitments

Organization: Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS)


What They Do: YESS is the largest youth shelter and only crisis nursery of its kind in Iowa and serves over 1,000 children a year. They provide crisis intervention and stabilization, emergency shelter, case management, counseling, mental health therapy and community referrals. Not all children and families served by YESS are affected by abuse, but it is one of the common situations they encounter.


  • Donations

**Coming up on May 2 is YESS's annual Duck Derby, their largest fundraiser of the year. Visit http://www.duckrace.com/desmoines for more information, and consider adopting some ducks to make a difference in children's lives!**

  • Volunteers: Unit Mentors, Recreation Volunteers, Special Project Volunteers, and YESS Duck Derby Volunteers


Organization: Children & Families of Iowa (CFI)


What They Do: CFI has many programs in the Des Moines area. The categories include Domestic Violence Services, Teen Programs, Family Support Programs, Early Childhood Development Services, Mental Health Services and Integrated Health Home Services. CFI's Family Support Program, Creating Safe Homes for Children, conducts home studies, supports foster and adoptive parents and relative caregivers, and provides safety planning for families in crisis as well as life and parenting skills training.


  • Donations of money or other items, such as household items, children's items and personal hygiene supplies
  • Volunteers to help sort donations, serve as mentors to children and teens, help run events, provide training to victims of domestic violence, and serve on the Board


  • For more information on donating or to donate online, visit http://cfiowa.org/give-cfi/
  • For more information on volunteering, contact CFI's Foundation Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator at (515) 697-7968.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of Des Moines nonprofits in the category of Child Abuse Prevention and Services. If you would like to share your knowledge of additional nonprofit organizations working to prevent child abuse or provide services to children, please do so in the comments!

Young Professionals Connection (YPC)

The Young Professionals Connection (YPC) promotes an environment that attracts and retains young professionals in Greater Des Moines (DSM). YPC connects young professionals to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. YPC members have unique opportunities to grow personally and professionally and forge lasting relationships. They engage, connect and form a foundation for their future in DSM. YPC is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.