FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below.

If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. What is Promise Partners?
  2. Who runs Promise Partners?
  3. Who decides which programs to invest in?
  4. How can my agency become a member of Promise Partners?
  5. What’s the difference between Promise Partners and other nonprofits?
  6. Does the Promise Partners provide direct support and services to children and families?
  7. Where does Promise Partners’ funding come from?
  8. What is Decategorization?
  9. What is Early Childhood Iowa?
  1. Promise Partners is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) and Quasi Governmental agency that brings people and communities together to advance child safety, family stability, and positive youth development. We partner with local nonprofits, government, schools, and social service agencies to address our community's most pressing needs. We believe that, with coordination and collaboration, services and initiatives are much more effective.

    Promise Partners was formed to serve as an umbrella organization to build bridges among these groups who share a common goal- supporting children to achieve their highest potential. Our Mission: Empowering a caring community that promises the well-being of every child.

    The name of our agency reflects our continued belief that the best problem solving for children and families occurs at the local level with a collaborative, partnering efforts from all parts of the community: non-profit, government agencies, civic and faith based organizations, businesses, families and individuals. Together, we can ensure that more young people experience more of the Promises: Caring Adults, Safe Places, a Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Serve.

  2. Our knowledgeable, well-trained staff works with a number of partner agencies. They carry out the planning and implementation of initiatives and programs.

    A volunteer board of directors sets policy and strategic direction, as well as financial practices and operational issues. Our local board is comprised of the required health, education, human services, elected official, faith, business, parent, citizen members, as well as representatives of the Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services respectively, and officials with the authority to represent county governments.

    Community partners participate in the focuses on "big picture" planning, resource assessments, gap analysis, and prioritizing needs and issues. They make recommendations for policy priorities to Governance Board.

    Our Executive Director is Patricia Russmann.

    The Chair of our Governance Board is Melvyn Houser.

  3. Who decides which programs to invest in?

    A review committee of Governance Board members and experts from our community carefully screen and select the programs funded. Their recommendations are reviewed and approved by our Governance Board.

    After selection, these programs are rigorously monitored to ensure they produce positive, measurable results. Our progress is tracked on Results Scorecard so we know the impact of their contributions in our community.

    The majority of the funds we have available to invest in our community plan comes with restrictions and required performance measures which limits the services/programs we are able to fund.

  4. All community agencies, nonprofits, and volunteer groups are encouraged to participate in the Community Planning Committee/Coalition. There are no membership fees or applications to participate.

  5. What’s the difference between Promise Partners and other nonprofits?

    Promise Partners is infrastructure, umbrella organization used to oversee state and local initiatives in Pottawattamie County. We mobilize others and convene partner agencies, community leaders and policymakers to make broad, systemic changes like no other organization can on its own.

  6. Does the Promise Partners provide direct support and services to children and families?

    The large majority of our work is with various agencies to improve access to support services for children and families. In limited instances, our staff provides direct services and programming around youth leadership, voice, and substance abuse prevention.

  7. Where does Promise Partners’ funding come from?

    Approximately $2 million of funding is generated through the Child Welfare Decategorization Program, Early Childhood Iowa, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. Additional funds are generated in grants through the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa West Foundation.

  8. Decategorization (also known at Decat) is designed to redirect child welfare and juvenile justice funding to services which are more preventative, family-centered and community-based in order to reduce use of restrictive approaches that rely on institutional, out-of-home and out-of-community care. Iowa Code Section 232, which was initially enacted in 1993, states that the Governance Board must include representatives of the Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services respectively, and officials with the authority to represent county governments. Decategorization is designed to redirect child welfare and juvenile justice funding to services which are more preventative, family-centered and community-based in order to reduce use of restrictive approaches that rely on institutional, out-of-home and out-of-community care.

  9. Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) was formerly known as Empowerment Iowa. This was established by the state legislature in 1999. The legislature appropriated funds to support state and community partnerships and collaboration among education, health, and human services for children ages 0- 5. The vision of Early Childhood Iowa- Pottawattamie County is that "Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful."