Celebrating 10 years of TotalChild

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In 2011, Four Oaks radically transformed the way it approached its service delivery.

The organization recognized that in order to better guarantee long-term results for children and their families, it needed to look at the whole child; the TotalChild.

This unique approach to service delivery that addresses four key risk factors in a child’s life, including childhood basic needs, education and work, family, and community, was developed by Four Oaks Enterprise President & CEO Anne Gruenewald, who is retiring in 2021 after 40 years of service to the Four Oaks Enterprise.

Gruenewald realized that human-services agencies had spent too long concentrating their efforts on helping children based on a single factor and instead needed to focus on addressing all the barriers to success that a child may face. She also recognized the importance of helping and monitoring children’s progress into adulthood.

In 2022, Four Oaks is preparing to launch the third phase of TotalChild, designed to reach and maintain health and wellbeing for three generations.

“It’s based on the idea that when children hurdle all obstacles to success, our families, homes, neighborhoods, and communities are stronger,” Gruenewald said. “TotalChild looks broader and deeper at the obstacles facing youth so that we can bring them to stability in the short-term and help them to become successful adults in the long-term.”

After its successful launch in 2011, Four Oaks introduced the second phase of TotalChild, TotalChild Workforce, in 2017 which focused on supporting teens and young adults through high school graduation, into and through post-secondary training or education, and into a stable job and self-sufficiency by age 26.

“TotalChild has transformed the way Four Oaks approaches its service delivery and as we celebrate 10 years of TotalChild this year we recognize and thank, Anne, for all that she has done to ensure the success of Iowa’s children and families,” Lydia Brown, Four Oaks Board Chair, said.