Family to Family Iowa

Family Navigators

Meet Amy an Iowa Family Navigator
Amy
Family Navigator

Meet Amy, an Iowa Family Navigator

Amy is a Family Navigator and is also employed by Green Hills Area Education Agency as a Parent Coordinator with the Parent & Educator Connection. She helps families who have children with special needs ages birth to 21 work through the IEP/504 process. Amy covers the following counties: Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, Taylor and Union. She and her husband have three daughters and one son. Their son is served by the Intellectual Disabilities Waiver. He has respite and supported community living (SCL) goals which are served through Consumer Choice Options (CCO). Amy says, “I enjoy working alongside parents to find the resources and support they may need for their child’s success in whatever endeavor they are involved in.”


Meet Angela an Iowa Family Navigator
Angela
Family Navigator

Meet Angela, an Iowa Family Navigator

Angela is a Family Navigator and employee of Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (www.ifapa.org). She provides information and resources to foster, adoptive and kinship families throughout Iowa. She says she "enjoys the opportunity to help families get the support and resources they need to successfully parent children with diverse needs in their home." A social worker for the past 25 years, Angela worked previously for the Iowa Department of Human Services, giving her a good understanding of the child welfare system in the state. Angela is based in Des Moines but serves families across the state.


Meet Angie an Iowa Family Navigator
Angie
Family Navigator

Meet Angie, an Iowa Family Navigator

Angie is a Family Navigator at Child Health Specialty Clinics in the Fort Dodge area. Angie and her husband have a daughter with spina bifida and cystic fibrosis and a son with cystic fibrosis.  She says, "I have discovered that finding services and supports can be difficult, so my hope is that I can help families get the services and supports they need quickly. I also let parents know that they can call if they just need someone to talk to about what's going on."


Meet Anji an Iowa Family Navigator
Anji
Family Navigator

Meet Anji, an Iowa Family Navigator

Anji is a Family Navigator/Family Support Specialist with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa (www.vnsia.org), serving families in Polk, Dallas, Warren, Madison and Marion counties. She supports all families with an expertise in assisting families with Home- and Community-Based Waiver Services, 504/Individualized Educational Plans and positive behavior modification for children. Anji is strength-based in her work with families. Anji has a son on the Children’s Mental Health Waiver and also has work experience in serving persons with intellectual disabilities and severe/persistent mental health issues. “No child is defined by their special needs,” Anji said. “Parents can help their child succeed while having their own lives, too.”


Meet Anne an Iowa Family Navigator
Anne
Family Navigator

Meet Anne, an Iowa Family Navigator

Anne has six children, including a daughter who is deaf.  She has been a Parent Guide for the Guide By Your Side program since 2009.  She serves on two boards that help advocate for the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children: Community Hands, which helps fund interpreter costs; and Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which provides year-round opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children to build confidence and leadership skills.  She says, “Empowering deaf and hard-of-hearing children is my passion.”

 


Meet Anne an Iowa Family Navigator
Anne
Family Navigator

Meet Anne, an Iowa Family Navigator

Anne is with Family to Family Iowa and Child Health Specialty Clinics, serving as Family Navigator for ages 0-25 with Family to Family Iowa and ages 0-3 for Child Health Specialty Clinics with Early ACCESS. She has been a Family Navigator for seven years. She came to Child Health Specialty Clinics as an experienced foster/adoptive parent of children with special needs. Anne says, “Helping families find the resources, information and solutions that are right for them is rewarding work. I especially like helping families realize their own unique strengths.”


Meet Becka an Iowa Family Navigator
Becka
Family Navigator

Meet Becka, an Iowa Family Navigator

Becka has been doing service coordination for Early Access* for two years.  She has a master’s degree in social work and a special interest in early childhood.  She and her husband have two young children.  She says, “I continue to be amazed at the resiliency of both the children and their families.”

* Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners.”


Meet Billi an Iowa Family Navigator
Billi
Family Navigator

Meet Billi, an Iowa Family Navigator

Billi has been a Family Navigator since 2008 at Child Health Specialty Clinics/Community Circle of Care in Clinton and Jackson counties.  Billi and her husband have two boys, one with special health-care needs.  She enjoys working with families and says, “There is no better feeling in the world than knowing you made a difference in someone’s life.  I love working with families, and, although I don’t always have the answer, I will strive to help the family find someone who does.” 


Meet Carol an Iowa Family Navigator
Carol
Family Navigator

Meet Carol, an Iowa Family Navigator

Carol has been a Family Navigator for six years. She has experience in working with children with special needs as a foster parent and foster-parent liaison, in a PMIC facility and in an emergency shelter. Her areas of expertise are epilepsy, learning disabilities and special education. She says, “I like helping people and feel good when I can share my knowledge and expertise with our families to help them.”


Meet Christie an Iowa Family Navigator
Christie
Family Navigator

Meet Christie, an Iowa Family Navigator

Christie is a Family Navigator and employee of Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (www.ifapa.org). She provides information and resources to foster, adoptive and kinship families throughout Iowa. Christie and her husband have eight children, two in whom have special needs. They have been licensed foster/adoptive parents for 21 years. Christie has been an IFAPA Peer Liaison for 16 years. About her work, she said, “I enjoy helping families with special-needs children utilize all the resources and services that are available to them."


Meet Christine an Iowa Family Navigator
Christine
Family Navigator

Meet Christine, an Iowa Family Navigator

Christine is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics in the Quad Cities area. She has been a Family Navigator for almost five years and also serves families in the Early ACCESS* system.

She and her husband have two children and one therapy dog. She serves all families, but her areas of expertise are Williams Syndrome and other genetic diagnoses, autism and school planning, including IEPs.  She says, "I enjoy helping families 'uncover' resources and see beyond a diagnosis and to the unique individual qualities of each and every child. It’s also great to empower families and eventually each kiddo to self-advocate for their own specific needs."

* Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners."


Meet Cyndi an Iowa Family Navigator
Cyndi
Family Navigator

Meet Cyndi, an Iowa Family Navigator

Cyndi has been a Family Navigator since September 2004. She and her husband are the parents of a special needs child, Paul, who was born prematurely, suffered a brain injury during delivery and had cerebral palsy and seizures. He passed away five years ago this May. Cyndi also works in the Child Health Specialty Clinics Council Bluffs office as a clerk. She loves being outdoors, fishing, walking and volunteering as a nationally certified firefighter and EMT for two volunteer fire departments.


Meet Darla an Iowa Family Navigator
Darla
Family Navigator

Meet Darla, an Iowa Family Navigator

Darla is a Family Navigator in southwest Iowa. She and her husband have two sons; the younger son has special needs. "Helping families who share many of the same feelings and concerns that I have is a very rewarding experience,” Darla said. “I learn something new with each family."  Darla has been a Family Navigator for over two years.


Meet Dawn an Iowa Family Navigator
Dawn
Family Navigator

Meet Dawn, an Iowa Family Navigator

Dawn has been a Family Navigator for Child Health Specialty Clinics in North Central Iowa for over 10 years. She and her husband are the parents of a daughter born at 25 weeks. She has experience with the Ill and Handicapped Waiver, the development of 504 plans, feeding difficulties, and home oxygen. She also has knowledge regarding Nonverbal Learning Disorder and musculoskeletal problems related to prematurity, and the therapies used to help these problems. Dawn said, I enjoy helping children with special needs get to their best possible future by working with them and their families.”


Meet Diane an Iowa Family Navigator
Diane
Family Navigator

Meet Diane, an Iowa Family Navigator

Diane is a Family Navigator with Child health Specialty Clinics in the Council Bluffs area. As a social worker for the past 25 years and mother of a child with special needs for the past 12, she feels strongly that teaching and empowering families to advocate for their needs is very important. “The family may be in this ‘system’ for a very long time,” she said, “and giving them a voice to ask for what they need and challenge the ‘status quo’ is a tool that will serve them well.” She currently serves families with in the Iowa Early ACCESS system. Diane and her husband have two children.


Meet Erika an Iowa Family Navigator
Erika
Family Navigator

Meet Erika, an Iowa Family Navigator

Erika is a Family Navigator in the Iowa City area.  She has a background in counseling and has worked with children of all ages and their families. Her area of expertise is Autism Spectrum Disorders, especially Asperger’s Syndrome. Erika and her husband have three children. She is passionate about working to support families because she knows what a difference it makes to have a connection with someone who has been there and truly understands the challenges parents face when raising a child with special needs.


Meet Jan an Iowa Family Navigator
Jan
Family Navigator

Meet Jan, an Iowa Family Navigator

Jan is a Family Navigator and Early ACCESS* Service Coordinator at Child Health Specialty Clinics in Oelwein. She has been a Family Navigator for four years. She and her husband have three children; the youngest, now 25, has developmental disabilities and has successfully transitioned to independent living and full-time work. Jan says, I am always happy to be of service and support to anyone who needs my help and encouragement as they navigate their way through community services and natural supports in order to achieve their goals.”

* Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners.”


Meet John an Iowa Family Navigator
John
Family Navigator

Meet John, an Iowa Family Navigator

John is a Family Navigator/Family Support Specialist with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa serving families in Polk and Dallas counties. He brings a varied experience to his work, including church ministry, law enforcement and his passion as an artist. John has worked with VSA Iowa, a state organization on arts and disability, and currently has an art studio in Des Moines. John is known for his innovation and his “out-of-the-box” approach. John supports all families with an expertise in ADHD as John, his children and grandchildren all have that special need. John said that he is committed to “creating an environment that allows a child to be successful.”


Meet Julie an Iowa Family Navigator
Julie
Family Navigator

Meet Julie, an Iowa Family Navigator

Julie is a single mom of five children, two of them adopted.  As an employee of Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association ( www.IFAPA.org ), she supports families in Linn, Jones and Benton counties with training, support groups  and local resources. She has also been a foster parent for 11 years and has worked with special-needs children through The Arc of East Central Iowa (www.arceci.org/).  “My own children have had special needs, which helps me to work with other children with special needs,” she says.  “I enjoy helping and watching children and families grow to be healthy and nurturing.”


Meet Julie an Iowa Family Navigator
Julie
Family Navigator

Meet Julie, an Iowa Family Navigator

Julie has been a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics’ Health and Disease Management team* for 15 years. She and her husband have three children. The youngest, 25, is on the Intellectual Disabilities Waiver and lives in a group home. Her areas of expertise are waivers, Medicaid programs and transitioning to adulthood. She says it is important to her “to make sure that families of children with special health-care needs have the knowledge to help their child succeed in life.”

* Child Health Specialty Clinics, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is part of Iowa’s statewide public health system that facilitates the development of family centered, community based, coordinated systems of care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners.”


Meet Karla an Iowa Family Navigator
Karla
Family Navigator

Meet Karla, an Iowa Family Navigator

For the past three years, Karla has served as a Family Navigator/Family Support Specialist with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa (www.vnsia.org), serving families in Polk and Dallas counties. Previously, Karla worked as a Parent Partner, gaining a strong understanding of the Iowa Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services. She supports all families with an expertise helping families face economic challenges and supporting parents with mental health needs. She is the mother of four boys; the two youngest have been diagnosed with SED. Karla said, “I enjoy meeting families where they are, finding resources, and helping them set and meet their goals.”


Meet Kathy an Iowa Family Navigator
Kathy
Family Navigator

Meet Kathy, an Iowa Family Navigator

Kathy has been a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics in the Bettendorf office for six and a half years.  She also serves children as a service coordinator through the Early ACCESS system. Kathy and her husband have four sons; the youngest suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a serious illness as a toddler.  Kathy’s areas of expertise include brain injury, helping families with waiver services, school issues and community resources.  She says, “It is very rewarding when you can give a family a helping hand when they may need it the most.”

* Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners.”

 


Meet Kelly an Iowa Family Navigator
Kelly
Family Navigator

Meet Kelly, an Iowa Family Navigator

Kelly is a Family Navigator/Family Support Specialist with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa (www.vnsia.org) serving families in Polk and Dallas counties. Kelly is trained in facilitation of wraparound services and family team meetings, providing excellent engagement skills with families and a good understanding of the Iowa Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services. She serves all families with expertise in Home and Community-Based Waiver Services, positive behavior supports and 504/Individualized Educational Plans.


Meet Linda an Iowa Family Navigator
Linda
Family Navigator

Meet Linda, an Iowa Family Navigator

Linda is a Family Navigator for Child Health Specialty Clinics/Community Circle of Care in Dubuque and conducts a support group there for families of children with behavioral diagnoses. She and her husband have four children and five grandchildren. An employee of Child Health Specialty Clinics for 25 years, she said, “I like helping families and thoroughly enjoy one-on-one meetings with them.  I think my favorite thing to do is family team meetings.  It is so delightful to hear back from families that things are improving.  I enjoy finding resources and helping parents develop their own parenting skills. It is great to be able to positively support families.”


Meet Lisa an Iowa Family Navigator
Lisa
Family Navigator

Meet Lisa, an Iowa Family Navigator

Lisa has been a Family Navigator for Child Health Specialty Clinics for six years, working with Health and Disease Management Waiver Services and at the Regional Center in Ottumwa. Lisa has life experience from caring for her daughter with special needs for 18 years, and has a passion for sharing this knowledge with other families to help them care for their children. Lisa and her husband also have a son, age 21, who she says has been a great support to them and to his sister.


Meet Martha an Iowa Family Navigator
Martha
Family Navigator

Meet Martha, an Iowa Family Navigator

Martha has been a Family Navigator for Family to Family Iowa since 2010. Her area of interest is children with behavioral/mental health conditions.  She says, “It is a privilege to learn with families about resources and strategies for resilience as they cope with special health-care needs.” 


Meet Mary Kay an Iowa Family Navigator
Mary Kay
Family Navigator

Meet Mary Kay, an Iowa Family Navigator

Mary Kay has been a Family Navigator since 2008 at Child Health Specialty Clinics/Community Circle of Care in northeast Iowa. As a former teacher, her area of expertise is addressing school needs. As the mother of a son with special health-care needs, she also specializes in transitioning to adulthood. She said she has learned “from all of my experiences that I don’t have all the answers but will walk side by side with families to try to find the answers and resources they need. It is important to let families know they are not alone on this journey.”


Meet Patty an Iowa Family Navigator
Patty
Family Navigator

Meet Patty, an Iowa Family Navigator

Patty is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics in the southwest Iowa area. She and her husband have three children. Patty serves all families, but her area of expertise is Shaken Baby Syndrome. SBS became her passion 11 years ago after her son was shaken by his daycare provider at the age of five months old. She says, "Helping children and their families cope, locate supportive resources, and ignite hope is very rewarding. When you can get a child to smile and know you have made an impact in their life you have done your job and made a difference." 


Meet Rachel an Iowa Family Navigator
Rachel
Family Navigator

Meet Rachel, an Iowa Family Navigator

Rachel is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics in the Carroll area. She has been a Family Navigator for four years, serving families in the Early ACCESS* system. As a Navigator she has had experience working with families to address their concerns, assess priorities and develop family-centered goals. Rachel and her husband have three children; the youngest was born nine weeks early and spent nearly seven weeks in the hospital. As the parent herself of a premature child, she says she is “passionate about helping families realize their hopes and dreams for their child.”

* Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners.”


Meet Sharon an Iowa Family Navigator
Sharon
Family Navigator

Meet Sharon, an Iowa Family Navigator

Sharon is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics at the Oelwein Regional Center. She has been a Family Navigator for six years, serving families at the regional clinic and through Health and Disease Management. Sharon says she enjoys working with families and “helping them be the best that they can be, no matter what challenges they encounter along the way. Sharon and her husband have five children.


Meet Suzanne an Iowa Family Navigator
Suzanne
Family Navigator

Meet Suzanne, an Iowa Family Navigator

Suzanne is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics in Council Bluffs. She has a background in nursing and serves families of children birth to age 3 in the Early ACCESS* system who are premature, drug exposed or medically complex. She said, “I like working with the whole family and together identifying strengths, concerns and priorities and when needed assisting them in finding services and resources available to them.” She and her husband have three children.

*Early ACCESS, a Family to Family Iowa partner, is Iowa’s system of early-intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. See entry under “Resources--Community Partners."


Meet Tammy an Iowa Family Navigator
Tammy
Family Navigator

Meet Tammy, an Iowa Family Navigator

Tammy has been a Family Navigator since 2008 at Child Health Specialty Clinics/Community Circleof Care in northeast Iowa. She and her husband have five children and have been foster/adoptive parent for 16 years. She specializes in children with behavioral issues and those in foster care or out-of-home placements.  She says, “I enjoy helping families recognize the good in each other so they can reach their potential.  It is worth all the work to see their smiles at the end of the journey together!”


Meet Terry an Iowa Family Navigator
Terry
Family Navigator

Meet Terry, an Iowa Family Navigator

Terry is a Family Navigator and is also employed at Heartland AEA 11 (www.aea11.k12.ia.us) as the Parent and Educator Connection Lead Coordinator. She has worked at Heartland AEA 11 for 22 years, providing information and resources to families, educators and community providers in Marion County. Terry and her husband are the parents of two adult children. Their older child has cerebral palsy and is on the Brain Injury Waiver.


Meet Theresa an Iowa Family Navigator
Theresa
Family Navigator

Meet Theresa, an Iowa Family Navigator

Theresa is a Family Navigator for Child Health Specialty Clinics in northwest Iowa. She says her work of finding resources for families of children with special health-care needs "has provided a way to give back what our family’s been given. It’s a passion for me." Theresa and her husband have six children, two of whom have special needs. She serves all families, but her areas of expertise are autism and cerebral palsy. Theresa has been a Family Navigator for 11 years.


Meet Vickie an Iowa Family Navigator
Vickie
Family Navigator

Meet Vickie, an Iowa Family Navigator

As a Peer Liaison for Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, Vickie provides peer support to foster and adoptive parents in Warren, Polk, Dallas and Boone counties. She has been a foster parent for 15 years, providing a home mainly to young children with special medical needs. Additionally, she works with at-risk teens in a high school setting. In the past, she has been a case manager for a county pilot project serving adults with mental illness. Additionally, she has worked in direct care, serving medically fragile children, kids and adults with autism, and adults with intellectual disabilities. She said, “I was blessed to be born with a ‘helping’ personality, and I enjoy assisting families find resources by researching, brainstorming and networking.”


Share your questions, ideas or thoughts with an Iowa Family Navigator by contacting us online today.

Family to Family Iowa
ASK Resource Center
5665 Greendale Road, Suite D  |  Johnston, Iowa 50131
Toll-free (800) 450-8667  |  Fax (515) 243-1902
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The network of supports and services
for Iowans with special needs.