This Year's Project: LSI's Greatest Need
About Our Organization
Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) is a nationally accredited non-profit human services agency staffed with highly skilled professionals. For more than 150 years, LSI has delivered services that improve our communities. This impact is achieved through child abuse prevention programs, residential treatment for children with severe mental health issues, intervention and skill-building programs for families in crisis, services for people with disabilities, foster care and adoption and refugee community services.
Our mission is to “respond to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service.” Based on this commitment to service, LSI actively seeks out opportunities to improve our communities without prejudice. LSI serves people of all ages, genders, nationalities, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations.
LSI has been present in Sioux City for more than 20 years and provides a variety of services to Woodbury County and western Iowa based out of that location, including Early Childhood Programs for children, youth and families and Foster Care and Adoption services.
Current Project: LSI's Greatest Need
Every child deserves a safe, loving home. LSI’s Early Childhood and Foster Care and Adoption Services help to make that happen.
LSI needs your support to restore our building and expand services! Some of our priority areas include renovation and updating office equipment and furniture, purchasing new office and program supplies, and expanding our services to reach more needy children and families. We are currently located in a church building that was built in 1951. With additional funds, we would be able to expand services to children, adolescents, and adults. Currently, LSI provides a variety of services to the Siouxland community, including:
Early Childhood: LSI’s Early Childhood programming provides intensive in-home visitation services to at-risk Woodbury County families to increase parental awareness of child health and development, improve parental involvement, and increase family self-sufficiency and stability in order to improve child outcomes. LSI believes that strong families make strong communities. Children who are safe and well cared for perform better in school, parents are more productive, and the enormous cost of providing more intensive services or out-of-home placements, such as foster care, is avoided. Reducing the stress within the home directly reduces the incidences of child abuse.
LSI has provided these services to Woodbury County for more than 20 years. Seventy-seven Woodbury County families (representing 139 children) participated in LSI’s Early Childhood services in 2018.
Foster Care and Adoption: LSI’s Foster Care and Adoption services are provided for western Iowa children who have been abused or are at risk of abuse and must be separated from their families. LSI must recruit and support foster and adoptive families to meet the needs of these children coming into care. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide safe, stable, loving environments for children in need and support to those individuals that are providing their care.
LSI has provided Foster Care and Adoption services since 2007; previously as a member of Iowa KidsNet and most recently as the lead provider of these services in the Western Service Area that includes Woodbury County. There were 975 referrals for Iowa children needing foster care placement in Western Iowa in 2018. LSI currently serves 100 licensed foster and adoptive parents and over 100 youth in foster care in Woodbury County.
In order to provide the support and education needed to promote the positive outcomes for children that each of these programs aims to achieve, regular in-person visits are conducted with participating families across the county; more than 1,600 visits were conducted in 2018.
The children and families served by these programs are some of the areas most vulnerable, including:
• 513 children served by these programs in 2018 were under the age of 5
• 26% (249) of the children referred for Foster Care in 2018 were due to abuse/neglect or denial of critical care; 38% (375) were referred due to parental substance abuse
• 71% of currently participating early childhood families possess a high school diploma or less
• 100% of currently participating early childhood families live at 185% of poverty or less ($46,435 per year for a family of four)
An example of a Woodbury family impacted by LSI’s services is Lexi*:
As a child, Lexi experienced years of trauma and struggled to find a healthy way to cope. She was first introduced to LSI as a teenager in foster care, when she began using LSI’s Behavioral Health Intervention Services. The in-home visitation program helped Lexi build skills like healthy communication with her foster parents, problem-solving, and anger management.
The service helped Lexi feel better through her high school years but as a young adult, it was difficult to adjust to the many changes in her life. She served a brief prison term and when she learned she was pregnant, Lexi knew it was time for a change. She reconnected with her foster parents, who were receiving support from LSI Foster Care and Adoption at the time. They reached out to their worker, who introduced to the family to LSI’s Early Childhood Services. Lexi was relieved that once again, LSI was standing in her corner, ready to lift her up and support her on the road to a brighter future. She immediately signed up to receive the services.
Since then, the services have helped her to welcome her first child and feel confident raising her baby in a healthy, happy home. She has started building her career and recently signed the lease on her first apartment. “I feel empowered now, thanks to LSI’s help,” Lexi says. “LSI is the reason I’m here today.”
Thank you for your generosity in considering us during this BIG GIVE campaign!