April 12th Meeting

We had an incredible meeting on April 12th with special guests the First Lady Susanne Shore, Federal Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner, and State Senator Joni Albrecht, and many other special speakers. There were over 120 partners collaborating together with a beautiful cooperative spirit to connect the progress our community is making in helping vulnerable families with multiple state and even federal efforts to continue to build a sustainable and effective prevention system.

You can view the presentation here.

Also, view all of our notes for April here.

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Bring Up Nebraska

On Thursday, April 12, 2018 First Lady Susanne Shore and Jerry Milner, who as Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families serves as the administration’s top official overseeing child welfare funding and policy, will be in attendance at the Dakota County Connections meeting. They will be joined by State Senator Joni Albrecht, Mayor Rod Koch, and other dignitaries.

Together they will champion Bring Up Nebraska, a statewide prevention initiative, and recognize the prevention efforts and successes taking place in Dakota County. Commissioner Milner believes that Nebraska, and Dakota County in particular, are models in community-based prevention work. He looks forward to sharing what he experiences during his visit with other states and communities.

Over 50 business and community leaders will be in attendance to see first-hand the groundbreaking work that is being done at a local level in regards to prevention, as well as to learn more about the roles organizations and individuals in our community can play in order to prevent problems from becoming crises for children and families.

WHO: First Lady Susanne Shore, Commissioner Jerry Milner, Dakota County Connections, and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

WHAT: Bring Up Nebraska

WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:00am central

WHERE: Cardinal Conference Center, 4401 Dakota Ave., S. Sioux City

About Dakota County Connections

Dakota County Connections is a community collaborative comprised of local partners who believe that strong community partnerships are the key to safe, healthy, and successful lives for all people in Dakota County. It’s for that reason Dakota County Connections is committed to raising awareness, improving access to resources and building relationships.

About Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and Bring Up Nebraska

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults, and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state’s most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. In partnership with community collaboratives and state and national partners, we are proud to be leading Bring Up Nebraska, a statewide prevention initiative designed to give local community partnerships the ability to develop long-term plans using the latest data to prevent life’s challenges from becoming a crisis for Nebraska families and children.


March 8th Meeting

Another outstanding collaboration is on the books! Thank you to all who attended our March 8th meeting, and a special thank you to Erica DeLeon for her wonderful presentation on “One Siouxland”.

See Erica’s presentation here!

Here are the photos:

DCC.3.8.2018 Lots of great collaboration! IMG-1699 DCC 3.8.2018


February 8th Meeting

Thank you to all who attended our February 8th meeting. We were so fortunate to have had such informative and interesting speakers from Nebraska Appleseed, Immigrant Legal Center & WellCare Health Plans.

Thank you again. Your participation made it another fantastic collaboration!


Dakota County Connections Meeting Dakota County Connections Meeting Dakota County Connections Meeting Nicole Cusick with WellCare Health plans Nicole Cusick with WellCare Health plans Dearra Godinez with the Immigrant Legal Center Christa Yoakum with Nebraska Appleseed



Introducing Bring Up Nebraska, a Statewide Prevention Initiative




Go to www.nebraskaimpact.com for volunteer opportunities or get involved with your local collaborative.

Provide a financial gift to a community collaborative or learn more about Bring Up Nebraska by visiting www.bringupnebraska.org.

Find out more about how you and your community can join Bring Up Nebraska by contacting Jennifer Skala at jskala@nebraskachildren.org.


Dakota County Connections Library Display

Dakota County Connections had a display up in the South Sioux City Library. The display shared information about the different services the program provides for the community.


Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

This brief video explains the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, the groundbreaking research revealing the link between childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence.


Scholarships for Single Parents

Attention Single Parents!

Are you ready to continue you education, but you need financial assistance?

Scholarships & Certification Grants awarded annually.

Proceeds from United Way of Siouxland’s Annual Women’s Power Lunch provides funding to make these awards possible.

Award Eligible Schools

  • Briar Cliff University
  • Morningside College
  • Northeast Community College
  • Wayne State College
  • St. Luke’s College
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College

Call Women Aware at 712.258.4174 for more information.

Click to download the PDF.


October: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month

October is SIDS Awareness Month.  Read on to learn more about safe infant sleep and tips that families, early care and education providers can take to help keep babies healthy and safe.

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month!

By Katherine A. Beckmann, Ph.D, M.P.H., Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Health and Development

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood

About 3,500 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. These deaths are the result of unknown causes, Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB), and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is defined as an unidentified cause of death in a baby younger than one year, even after the performance of an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the infant’s and family’s clinical histories. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between one and four months of age and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before six months. However, SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby’s first year. Approximately, 20 percent of SIDS-related deaths occur in child care settings.

The Safe to Sleep® campaign (formerly known as Back to Sleep®) aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce to the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Over the past two decades, we’ve made great progress in helping to reduce the risk of SIDS by more than 50 percent across the country, as a whole. However, disparities still exist.  For example, African American infants are twice as likely as white infants to die of SIDS. Similarly, American Indian/Alaska Native infants are three times as likely as white infants to die of SIDS.

How can you make a safe sleep environment?

  • Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including naps.
  • Have the baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else. Try room sharing—keeping baby’s sleep area in the same room next to where you sleep
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet
  • Keep soft objects, toys, pillows, crib bumpers, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area
  • Dress your baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable, and leave the blanket out of the crib. A one-piece sleeper or wearable blanket can be used for sleep clothing. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.

What can you do to spread the word?

Now is a great time to start planning October events to get the word out about safe infant sleep! Here are ideas and free resources to help you plan SIDS Awareness Month activities:

  • Community events: Set up a booth at community events, such as health fairs, state fairs, or downtown markets.
  • Educational seminars: Organize an educational seminar or presentation with specific populations, such as African American congregations, early childhood education students, first responders, or older community members.
  • Fundraising events: If you’re hosting a fundraising event, include Safe to Sleep® materials in the registration packet.
  • Public Service Announcements: Ask your local radio or TV station to share information about SIDS. If you have local stories to include, broadcasts with testimony from parents affected by infant death can be particularly powerful.
  • Display Resources: Create a display with information or brochures for use in children’s hospitals, barber shops and hair salons, obstetrician offices, and pediatrician offices.
  • For Familieso   Parents’ Guide to Safe Sleepo   A grandparents brochure on safe infant sleep (English and en español)

    o   A safe sleep environment one-pager (English and en español)

  • For General Education Training:o   A Safe Infant Sleep video in English and en español.o   Healthy Native Babies Project materials for American Indian/Alaska Native communities

    o   Brochures for general outreach as well as African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic communities

For more information, please visit http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov, http://www.cdc.gov/sids/index.htm, and http://www.healthychildcare.org/SIDS.html.


Learn About Parent Child Interaction Therapy of Siouxland On YouTube!

Check out Parent Child Interaction Therapy of Siouxland on YouTube!

PCIT of Siouxland is an organization that utilizes the treatment of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for conduct-disordered young children that improves the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. In PCIT, parents are taught specific skills to establish a nurturing and secure relationship with their child while increasing their child’s prosocial behavior and decreasing negative behavior.