Mission, Vision, Values & History

COMMITTED TO HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

We are committed to comprehensively helping children and families through all of their struggles. We assure success through the use of innovative care that brings the child, family and community together in a wide-ranging way to build a stronger tomorrow. 

Values

Our Mission

Four Oaks assures children become successful adults.

Our Vision

Expect Success.

Our Symbol

The Four Oaks symbol represents the family, the community and the agency standing together with the child to build a future strong as the mighty oak.

Our Philosophy

Four Oaks services are focused on and rooted in the family. We empower children and families to achieve stability, self-sufficiency and permanency.

About

News

Find our latest news and updates.

Locations

Looking for an office near you? Find a complete list of our locations located throughtout Iowa.

History

Learn more about the history of Four Oaks and how we came to be the organization we are today.

Leadership & Board

Find a list of current leaders and board of directors.

Embrace the potential.

Children and families come to come to us for help for many reasons, which is why each family we serve receives integrated personalized care. Each child is cared for as a unique, special someone who matters. Children may come to us with psychiatric and emotional problems; they stay with us until they feel secure. Some have been in trouble with the law, got into drugs or ran away from home; that’s when we work with them to teach them healthier ways to live. Others have challenges in the classroom; we teach them in a way that works for them. And when kids need a safe, secure home, we find foster care or a forever family.

Kids, family, community and you.

We know that when children hurdle all obstacles to success, whether it be housing, education, family stability or safety, our families, homes, neighborhoods and communities are stronger. Four Oaks believes in a family-centered approach. Children need adults to guide them. Sometimes, adults need help with parenting. We work to heal and to help families become stronger.

Four Oaks relies on our dedicated team and on the community to build a support system for each child and family to be successful. From schools to businesses, service clubs to churches – all are vital to creating a community that is committed to allowing our best asset – our children, to succeed.

Partnerships

PARTNERSHIP
OF AGENCIES

The Four Oaks Enterprise comprised of Four Oaks and Affordable Housing Network, Inc., work together to best serve children and families across Iowa. By combining resources and collaborating across programs and sites, we are able to create a continuum of care to address a variety of barriers to success. This comprehensive approach creates improved, more long-lasting results for those we serve.

Four Oaks

Committed to helping children and families and assure their success through the use of innovative care to build a stronger tomorrow.

Affordable Housing Network, Inc.

Provides decent safe and sustainable housing which promotes stability for families and individuals, and creates community.

Efforts

HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SUCCEED

It’s more than our mission – it’s the passion that permeates everything we do. From a home in rural Cedar Rapids in 1973, Four Oaks has grown to become one of Iowa’s strongest organizations devoted to helping children and families succeed through an extensive network of programs. We now serve children and families across all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

TotalChild

Four Oaks uses a holistic approach to addressing children’s needs, which has transformed the organization into a high performance, outcome-based culture.

Our Impact

Four Oaks helps thousands of families and children each year succeed through our programs and services.

Trauma Informed Care

Instead of asking a child, “What’s wrong with you?” we ask, “What happened to you?”. It’s a small, but significant shift in recognizing why a child is acting a certain way.

Successful Outcomes

Creating successful outcomes is at the heart of our services. Read a few of our stories.

History

Our Proud History and Roots

November 1973
November 1973
“Boys Acres” was developed at a small building in Bertram, Iowa and supported by a group of local businessmen who believed they could make a difference in the lives of children. They helped provide a home-like setting for ten young boys between the ages of 10 and 15 who had no other place to go. They attended school in Cedar Rapids and were involved in extra-curricular activities.
November 1973
1979
1979
As the new Executive Director, Jim Ernst brought strong leadership and an expanded vision to the organization. The group home program was redesigned to become a residential treatment program for pre-adolescents and was the first of its kind in eastern Iowa. Other services followed that assisted Boys Acres residents to transition back to home or into foster homes.
1979
1980-89
1980-89
Beginning in the early 1980s, the agency continued to improve its quality of service to children and families by expanding the types of programs and treatment options available. While maintaining the residential treatment structure, expanded options included the specialized foster care, which offer structured family environments for troubled children when they could not live at home.The agency changed its name to Four Oaks in 1984 and used the oak tree to represent the family, the community and the agency standing together with the child to build a future strong as the mighty oak. Ensuring the family is included in the treatment of the child serves as the hallmark of the Four Oaks philosophy.In 1987, Four Oaks broke ground on the Smith Center, the organization’s Cedar Rapids headquarters. Opening in 1988, fifteen children from the Bertram facility were moved to the new Smith Center, and within two weeks, the facility was at capacity serving 40 children.
1980-89
1990-99
1990-99
Four Oaks continued to improve its service by expanding locations as well as the programming it offered to children and families. Throughout this decade, Four Oaks opened new residential treatment locations in Monticello and Independence, and new hubs for community based services and day treatment in Dubuque, Iowa City, Waterloo and Central Iowa.
1990-99
2000-09
2000-09
As Four Oaks entered the new millennium, it began providing much needed prevention services that help kids and families overcome obstacles and avoid the need for intervention and/or treatment services. Four Oaks was able to provide a broad continuum of care ranging from prevention to intervention to treatment.In 2001, Jane Boyd Community House, the current location of after school and summer prevention programming for youth, became part of the Four Oaks family.In 2005, a new vision was developed that has become the driving force of the agency. The Four Oaks “Expect Success” vision is an innovative approach to children in order to assure their success in childhood and adult life.In 2007, the Affordable Housing Network, Inc. (AHNI), an affiliate agency of Four Oaks, was founded. The organization managed the successful Block by Block program in Cedar Rapids in the wake of the devastating floods of 2008.
2000-09
2010-2015
2010-2015
Four Oaks took child and family care to the next level with the launch of the innovative TotalChild® approach. This comprehensive and long-term approach for helping children and families is based on the idea that when children hurdle all obstacles to success, families, homes, neighborhoods and communities are stronger. This approach is unique in the fact that it helps and monitors children through their 18th birthday. Former President & CEO Anne Gruenewald spearheaded the creation of this new approach.
2010-2015
Fall 2021
100th Anniversary
Four Oaks celebrated 100 years of Jane Boyd. Jane Boyd has provided mission-driven services focused on ensuring the success of children and families. Guided by founder Jane Boyd’s core mission of serving the academic, emotional, and social well-being of youth and families in our diverse community, the Jane Boyd Community House continues to provide essential services focused on developing successful and productive adults.
Fall 2021
Present Day and Beyond
Present Day and Beyond
Four Oaks continues to expand on the TotalChild® approach throughout its services and locations. The one constant throughout Four Oaks’ long history has been innovation and unique ability to change and evolve to best serve children and families.
Present Day and Beyond

Contact

NEED HELP OR WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Are looking for help for a child you love or maybe you want to find a way that you can help make a difference in your community. Whatever the case, we are thankful you are here. Please contact us and let us know how we can help.