Volunteers Needed for Northeast Iowa Certified Respite Provider Program

Respite Options of Northeast Iowa—providing foster parents with some time off from the day-to-day challenges of parenting—is looking for adult volunteers to complete two-day, free trainings in Waverly or Dubuque. Waverly trainings will be offered January 9 and January 23, with Dubuque trainings taking place February 6 and February 20.

“We need a wider circle of providers, and we’re hoping to attract even more college students and other interested adults,” said Nancy Magnall, project coordinator.

Respite Options of Northeast Iowa provides foster parents with an in-home certified care provider enabling them to get away for a day, weekend or longer vacation. Previously, they had to leave their children in another foster home when they needed to be away.

The program, started in 2010 in partnership with Wartburg College, has since expanded to serve 23 counties in the northeast quarter of Iowa with partnerships with the Loras College and Luther College social work departments. Funded through a contract with the Iowa Department of Human Services, the expansion requires more respite providers to serve the additional foster families.

Providers must be at least 19 years of age at the time of application and 20 years old to provide respite, complete an application and certification process, and be able to make a one-year commitment to the program. While this is an unpaid position, respite providers do receive a small stipend and help with mileage costs when they travel to do respite.

Attendance at both days of training is required. Potential respite providers must also complete CPR/First Aid training and training for Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse. All of the training is provided free of charge. Those interested in becoming certified respite providers should contact Magnall at (877) 467-4100, (319) 352-3600 or magnall_ifapa@msn.com.

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