Iowa's Awesome Families: News & Updates

Kassie and Tammy have always had a passion for seeing children succeed.


Kassie is an employee at Iowa KidsNet, where she supports foster and adoptive parents. Tammy works at ChildServe, an organization that assists children with special healthcare needs.


The two have raised three children—Morgan, Cayden, and Avery—but they decided to consider foster parenting and adoption.


It didn’t take long for them to know they made the right choice. Through...

Iowa KidsNet is hosting two upcoming information sessions for Native American community members to learn more about foster care.

Native American tradition is rooted in the belief and practice that all members of the extended family have an obligation to care for children. Iowa KidsNet is looking for parents interested in fostering and connecting children to their culture.

The first information session will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, at the Four Directions...

More than 400,000 children in the U.S. are part of the national foster care system and more than 23,000 of those individuals age out of the system each year. The foster care transition toolkit was created by the U.S. Department of Education to provide youth in foster care with the resources and assistance they need to transition to independence.

Take a look at the main tips listed in the toolkit:

Transition planning

  • Develop this plan during the...

Ames, Iowa—Iowa KidsNet recently had the opportunity to speak in front of the congregation at Cornerstone Church in Ames.

For years, members of the church have been dedicated to providing children with loving homes through Iowa’s foster care and adoptive family systems, and during a presentation last week, Iowa KidsNet representatives thanked the church for its support.

More than 6,000 children in Iowa do not have a forever home. But thanks to the Cornerstone community...

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to rethink what it means to step up in our communities in one of the most challenging and rewarding ways possible: providing homes to the thousands of teens and children in Iowa’s foster care system.

Foster care is brimming with beautiful human-interest stories of courage, hope and family. Some are heartrending. Others are heartwarming. But each story speaks to the importance of supporting the most vulnerable in our community. If you would...

Ames, Iowa—Iowa KidsNet will join Ryan Berg, author of No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, & Other Transgressions, for a panel discussion on the challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care. The discussion will be part of an event held Monday, Nov. 9 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Iowa State Memorial Union in the Great Hall.

Berg will discuss his book and the challenges facing homeless LGBTQ youth, including aging out of the foster care system.


Ron and Aleen have been faithful foster parents for 48 children in the past 16 years, and they have no plans to slow down.

Most recently, they cared for a teenage girl who had been through past trauma and emotional experiences. During that time, the teen needed more intensive care, and she went to a treatment facility.

“Having caring foster parents gave her something solid to hold on to. She lost her parents and everyone close to her. Foster parents give teens like her...

October 14, 2015

Des Moines, Iowa—Iowa KidsNet is proud to join child welfare advocates and families across the country in celebrating November’s National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness for the more than 107,000 children in the United States who are waiting to be adopted from foster care and to recognize the people who make a difference in their lives.

“Iowans who serve as foster or adoptive parents can make a lifelong difference for children and teens in...

September 30, 2015

The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) has released its prelimiary fiscal year 2014 data.

Numbers at a Glance, as of September 30, 2014:

  • 415,129 children in foster care
  • 264,746 children entered foster care
  • 238,230 children exited foster care
  • 107,918 children are waiting to be adopted
  • 50,644 children were adopted from foster care...

Welcome to a new series on the Iowa KidsNet website where we'll feature Iowa foster and adoptive families and share some of their experiences caring for Iowa children. Thanks to all Iowa families who serve their communities in this important way!

Better than winning the lottery

Selfless support of a child’s birth family: that’s what great foster parents can often provide.

After becoming licensed to provide foster care in 2012, the Benekes knew they wanted to make...