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The Iowa Department of Human Services in 1989 developed the Decat program -- an abbreviation for decategorization, the process of allowing local child services organizations to make decisions about the children and their families in the community.

Decat was formed in response to the increasing numbers of children being placed in foster care. Working with child welfare and juvenile justice services, Decat serves the needs of area youth, communities and families. It is a firm belief of Decat that children are better raised in homes with their families than by the government. Decat also recognizes that problems within a family are often more apparent to community members than the state government. Through collaboration of community leaders, Decat offers special services to help families raise and educate their children, thereby reducing government dependency.

The HAWC Partnerships for Children Area serves families in the counties of Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek and Clayton. Empowerment is money the state is allocating for the broad goal of providing services collaboratively to families and children from birth through five years of age. The state has set indicators of what it is committed to spending the money on:

A) Early childhood environments to increase quality and accessibility of child care.

B) Health to increase the health status and decrease the incidence of child abuse and neglect.

C) Parent education and support to increase parental involvement with their children and encourage early intellectual stimulation of very young children and increase the access of children (and families) to an adult mentor.

Information about the HAWC Partnerships for Children Area activities can be found in the meeting agendas, minutes and notices located here. Please contact the HAWC Partnerships for Children office for more information on any of its services.

Our Mission
Promote quality early care, wellness, education and intervention opportunities for children and families through community collaboration and support.

Our Vision
Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.

Allamakee, Clayton, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties
1111 Paine St., Suite H, Hawkeye Plaza, Decorah, IA 52101

HAWC Partnerships for Children
Early Childhood Iowa/Decat
Phone: (563) 382-4447
Fax: (563) 382-1870

E-mail Michael at: hawcmb@neitel.net or
Meagan Hammell at: hawccl@neitel.net