Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a community-based approach to child protection. Partnerships work to prevent child abuse, neglect, and re-abuse, safely decrease the number of out-of-home placements, and promote timely reunification when children are placed in foster care. Community members, professionals, and families work together to develop and implement local programs, services, supports, and policies that positively impact families and protect children from abuse. The long term focus of the Community Partnerships is to protect children by changing the culture to improve child welfare processes, practices, and policies. The Community Partnership approach involves four key strategies; shared decision making, neighborhood networking, indvidualized course of action, and policy and practice change, which are implemented together to achieve desired results.
Iowa’s Community Partnership approach grew from initial work in Cedar Rapids in 1995 and now encompasses the entire state. Several new policy and practice changes in Iowa have been promoted, piloted and implemented through Community Partnership efforts. Family Team Decision-Making, Parent Partners and Iowa Youth Dream Teams are examples of these efforts. Trainings, professional development opportunities, and train the trainer programs have been developed and implemented to support improved practices and ensure quality and consistency across the state. State and regional networking opportunities, workshops and forums create an on-going learning community of stakeholders. The Creston and Leon CPPC sites began in 2007 and currently 39 CPPC sites exist, which include all 99 counties in Iowa.