Iowa's Child Dakota - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's Child Dakota


By Ron Steele


Dakota's emotional rollercoaster life has left him wondering where he'll end up. He's twelve, and is legally free for adoption. His desire right now is to find a new family.

Dakota's adoption specialist for the Iowa Department of Human Services is Erika Troyna, of the Charles City office. Of Dakota she says, "Dakota is a fun-loving young man. He's very charming. A lot of humor enters into conversations I have with Dakota. One thing he has talked about over and over is his strong desire to have a family. To belong somewhere and to find someone who will stick with him, regardless of the ups and downs."

Dakota is just one of the many ‘Waiting Children' in Iowa. These Iowa kids are legally free for adoption through the State of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Human Services. To find out more about Spencer, and other ‘Waiting Children' call 1-800-243-0756 or contact: or

Iowa KidsNet is there to help Iowa kids. Though only a little more than one year ago, the Iowa KidsNet project is already having a positive impact helping Iowa kids live in a safe environment and reach their full potential. This is a unique partnership of six-non profit Iowa agencies, headed by Four Oaks, to help Iowa children and families.

The Iowa foster care system served more than 11, 700 children in just one year. Startling statistics, which emphasize the need to make sure all Iowa kids live in a safe and loving environment. Iowa KidsNet is headquartered at the Four Oaks complex in Cedar Rapids.

Some of the other agencies are Quakerdale, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Family Resources, Children's Square USA/Child Connect and Boys and Girls Home and Family Services.

In addition, Iowa KidsNet gets support from Youth and Shelter Services, The Avalon Center, Young House Family Services, Children and Families of Iowa and American Home Finding Association.

The Iowa Department of Human Services awarded Iowa KidsNet a contract to serve as an adoption and foster care recruitment tool, and to create safe, permanent connections between children and families through foster care.

Unfortunately, Iowa currently has more children in foster care than families available to provide them a safe environment while in foster care.

The need for foster and adoptive parents in Iowa remains great. In fiscal year 2006, the State of Iowa, through various agencies, served 11,748 children in the Iowa foster care system, On any given day in Iowa, some five-thousand children live in Iowa foster homes. Those are truly amazing statistics.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has embarked on a new, more comprehensive, initiative regarding foster care and adoptions. D-H-S recently extended the contract for Iowa Kidsnet, the new statewide collaboration of non-profit agencies dedicated to the safety and permanency of children and families. This network consists of almost a dozen agencies. Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids is the lead agency in this new effort to recruit and retain resource families who are interested in foster care and adoption of Iowa children. Iowa Kids Net also works with the long-running Iowa's Child Special Needs Adoption program on KWWL-TV. 

To learn more about Iowa KidsNet and becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you can easily contact Iowa KidsNet on its toll-free number 1-800-243-0756. If this number sounds familiar, it should. It's the same toll- free phone number which has been used by Kidsake over the past few years. Iowa KidsNet is replacing Kidsake, and will build on the successful efforts of Kidsake under this new recruitment and retention effort.     

Anne Gruenewald is Chief Executive Officer of Iowa KidsNet. Contact Anne on the internet at:

This website will also show you many of Iowa's ‘Waiting' Children. These are children in the Iowa foster care system currently available for legal adoption,

Online Reporter: Ron Steele

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