The mission of the Iowa Helping Community Policy Group is to advance federal and state policies that recognize and support those in the helping fields -- paid and unpaid -- in their vital roles in society.
We advocate for and with those on the frontlines providing help to children, seniors, and those in-between grow, develop, participate in their communities, and live in dignity. These "helpers" are society's essential workers, the "workforce behind the workforce," a core part of Iowa's economy and infrastructure, and the embodiment of Iowa's caring culture.
The Iowa Helping Community Policy Group is a voluntary, nonpartisan group that includes individual members and group representatives. Individual members include those who provide frontline helping services, the people they serve, and those who care about them. Individuals can join by signing onto the Iowa Helping Community Policy Group's facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/751446435533986
Organizational members affirm the mission of the Group and share pertinent organizational information and activities with the Group and share the Group's information and activities with their own members. Founding organizational members of the Iowa Helping Community Policy Group are:
Common Good Iowa, EastersealsIowa, Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, Iowa Caregivers Association, Iowa Federation of Labor, Iowa Mental Health Planning Council, Iowa School Mental Health Alliance, Iowa State Education Association. National Association of Social Workers – Iowa Chapter, Please Pass the Love
The Iowa Helping Community Policy Group engages in public and policy maker education, coalition-building and communication across the different helping communities. We educate, advocate, and mobilize in support of federal and state policies that advance the recognition of and support for those in the helping community.
The Group emphasizes the value of this workforce to the people served and to Iowa's overall economy -- and the need for public policies to invest in the size, quality, and compensation of this workforce.
The Iowa Helping Community Policy Group began in June, 2020 to raise attention during the election to the importance of investing, at the federal and state levels, in strengthening the essential workforce of frontline helpers,
Through guest opinions, public forums, letters-to-the-editor, and candidate outreach and engagement, the Group increased the visibility of and need for policy response to support this workforce as part of media election coverage and candidate policy statements and plans.
After the election, the Group moved from electoral education and advocacy to both federal and state legislative and executive branch activity, setting out federal and state policy agendas, developing policy briefs and presentations, and meeting with Iowa's members of Congress, Iowa executive branch and legislative branch officials, and policy groups and advocates,
The Iowa caregiving and education workforce includes direct care workers providing home and community-based services and nursing home and hospital care for seniors and those with disabilities, child care and preschool teachers for young children, community and public health workers providing outreach and education and support services, and other health, education, and human service personnel.
These workers represent one in eight of all workers in Iowa (12 percent) and are a growing part of the workforce. Currently, however, they also represent many of the lowest paid positions in society. Most rely, in significant measure, on federal and state funding to do their jobs.
The Mission and Q & A paper in the resources provides more information about the Iowa workforce and its importance to the state.
The Iowa Helping Community Policy Group is working at both the federl and state levels to advance its mission. The webpages provide detailed information on our work.
At the federal level, the Helping Community Policy Group supports investments to expand the size, raise the compensation and recognize the value of frontline workers in child care, direct care (home and community-based services and care in institutions), and public and community health. The FEDERAL POLICY page provides more specific information on these proposed investments and the Group's actions to advance them.
At the state level, the Group is calling for effective implementation of new federal funding in child care, public health, and direct care. This includes recognition of this workforce as a core part of Iowa's economy and inclusion of frontline workers, the people they serve, and others committed to strengthening this workforce in the planning, implementation, and oversight of new investments. The STATE POLICY page provides more specific information the Policy Group's proposals to and actions with Iowa state government.
Join the Iowa Helping Community Group Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/751446435533986