The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is collaborating with three community colleges to provide assistance to expecting and parenting students. Des Moines Area Community College, Indian Hills Community College and Kirkwood Community College will each receive $360,000 for one year. IDPH is one of 16 grantees to receive funding for the program intended to improve the health, educational, social and economic outcomes of expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers and their families.
“In Iowa, nearly one-third of Iowa mothers 24 years or younger started college, but did not finish. We believe this grant will make it easier for expecting or parenting students to not only attain their educational and career goals, but also focus on the health of themselves and their families,” said Addie Rasmusson of the IDPH Bureau of Family Health.
The Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health administers the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) program, which is funded by the Affordable Care Act. Funding is used to fill gaps, not duplicate services, in the areas of personal health, child health, self-sufficiency education and employment, concrete supports and parenting support. Colleges are proposing activities such as putting high chairs in the student cafeterias, updating lactation rooms on campus and creating “Zen rooms” where parenting students can relax and relieve stress.
For more information about the IDPH Pregnancy Assistance Fund program, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/family-health/assistance-fund.