The board of directors at United Way of Story County (UWSC) approved the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa’s (VNS) application to become a partner agency at its November meeting. VNS will provide the Foster Grandparent Program in Story County, and the agency has also been approved as an ASSET (Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team) agency.
For 40 years, up until this year, Mid-Iowa Foster Grandparent Program served many low-income seniors in Story County. The program matched seniors to organizations that worked with special needs children in schools and day cares. In the spring of 2013, UWSC and other ASSET funders (city of Ames, Story County and Iowa State University’s Government of Student Body) learned that the program would close June 30 due to financial concerns and sequestration.
In June of 2013, the Corporation for National & Community Service announced that funding was available to begin a foster grandparent program through a new provider. UWSC met with Story County agencies to encourage submissions of applications for funds, but no existing agencies were able to do so. VNS, located in Des Moines, was willing to apply for funding and expand its current Foster Grandparent Program to include Boone, Dallas, Marshall and Story counties. A part-time employee has now been hired to serve Story County.
"The program provides a way for seniors to continue with purposeful work and provides them with some income to help meet their needs," says Jean Kresse, UWSC president and CEO. "It is a program that benefits both the young and the old. It is a program we need in Story County and will be supported for many years through the ASSET process."
VNS provides medical and social services for women, children and families, adults and seniors, and communities across Iowa. VNS also collaborates with several Story County partners, including Ames Community Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Story County, ChildServe, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Nevada Elementary Schools and Roland-Story Community Schools.