The year that American Home Finding Association (AHFA) was established, brown plaid suits were on sale for $3.75, vacant land in Wapello County was selling for $20 to $50 per acre, and Dain Manufacturing (now John Deere-Ottumwa Works) started in Ottumwa. Three office locations and 117 years later, the true mission of American Home Finding Association has not changed. AHFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families of Southeast Iowa.
At its inception in 1899, AHFA provided adoption and foster care services; today, improving the quality of life for children and families in our area requires a much wider scope of services. Through our Bright Ideas Enrichment Fund, the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation has helped American Home Finding Association leverage federal program dollars and charitable donations to provide an array of high quality services and programs.
- Foster Grandparent program pairs seniors (55+) with exceptional or special needs children. The foster grandparent helps the child with reading skills and other homework. Currently, 33 volunteer “Foster Grandparents” give over 33,000 hours of service annually.
- Backpack Food program provides nutritious food to qualifying students. Adequate nutrition at home will have a direct and positive effect on students’ behavior, attendance and academic performance in school.
- Emergency Shelter Care services and facilities designed for immediate response to the needs of the eligible children and their families. The services range from crisis intervention to emergency sheltered care.
American Home Finding Association also supports their mission through the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program which provides a network of local health care for pregnant women, children from birth through age 21 and their families. Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a federally-funded program that provides food, education and counseling to low-income and nutritionally at-risk women and children, is coordinated through the AHFA office in Ottumwa. AMP or Achieving Maximum Potential works with youth ages 13 and up who have been involved in foster care, adoption or other out-of-home placements. The program builds life skills, leadership opportunities and educational/vocational options. Finally, AHFA supports individuals beyond their time in foster care. The Iowa Aftercare Services Network helps foster care alumni ages 18-21 move towards stability and self-sufficiency by addressing barriers and developing skills in education, employment, housing, health, life skills, and relationships.