History of Cedar Valley's Promise 
Cedar Valley’s Promise (CVP) is a grassroots movement to improve the lives of our children through community-wide involvement. It connects parents, neighbors, businesses, governments and youth-serving organizations to provide all children with the support, assets, and resources necessary to achieve their fullest potential.

Cedar Valley’s Promise grew out of several area initiatives in 1998 concerned for the welfare and healthy development of all its children and to mobilize resources throughout Black Hawk County for their benefit.

The 13-member Policy Board of community leaders is committed to bringing together volunteer, private and public services to mobilize resources to benefit our children and families in Black Hawk County (the Cedar Valley).

Cedar Valley’s Promise encourages community groups and individual citizens to commit themselves to action and publicizes opportunities to do so. It identifies existing community resources and initiatives, identifies duplication in services for youth, and acts as a catalyst to strengthen community support for youth/children. It provides guidance for health, education, and human services, and for the establishment of healthy community relationships.

The Cedar Valley’s Promise vision is that
“Each individual in the Cedar Valley will achieve their maximum
potential while living in our safe, healthy, and supportive community.”

The Cedar Valley’s Promise mission is that
“Parents, families and communities, united for the love of our children, will be informed and wholly involved in nurturing our children to ensure access to resources needed for optimal development.”

These fundamental resources are:
1. Ongoing relationships with caring adults.
2. Safe places and structured activities.
3. A healthy start for a healthy future.
4. Marketable skills through effective education.
5. Opportunities to serve.

Cedar Valley’s Promise has articulated four underlying beliefs:
1.  The time from conception to age five is critical for human development since the basic cognitive, social, and emotional foundation is established in those years.
2.  Families are the primary care givers and educators of their children.
3.  Families are able to identify their basic needs and must be given the opportunity to acquire resources necessary to meet those needs.
4.  Families, schools, and the community must work together in partnership to insure the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and behavioral well-being of children and youth.

Major activities and achievements we have been engaged in over the past year will add up to big differences over time. These include:

· The establishment and strengthening of ongoing partnerships with community members
Initial communication of the plan was to a broad array of organizations including county and state government, private and service organizations, and businesses.  Since the plan has been published it has received overwhelming acceptance by these groups.

· Comprehensive Community Plan
A five-year Comprehensive Community Plan for children ages 0-18 has been developed based on data collection. The Comprehensive Plan identifies risk factors, needs, community resources, and community service gaps and recommends how community resources can be directed and redirected to fill service gaps and meet children’s needs. Task teams are working on strategies to address the identified outcomes/results.

    Developing the Plan provides our community with:
    ¨ short-term and long-term solutions, based on the strengths of our community and its families, to the problems of youth.
    ¨ a holistic approach to resource allocation.
    ¨ a common theoretical basis for prevention and juvenile justice systems.

    The Cedar Valley’s Promise Comprehensive Plan will: 
    ¨ Mobilize the entire community to share responsibility for its children. 
    ¨ Foster community consensus on an action plan.
    ¨ Lead to the reinvestment of resources in the most cost-effective “front end” programs and services.

    The CVP Comprehensive Plan is based on five principals:
    · We must strengthen the family.
    · We must support core social institutions.
    · We must promote positive behaviors through prevention.
    · We must intervene immediately and effectively when problem behaviors occur.
    · We must identify and control the small group of serious, violent and chronic juvenile offenders.

· Cedar Valley’s Promise designation as an Early Childhood Iowa area.  The Early Childhood Iowa Board designated the Cedar Valley’s Promise Policy Board as the Early Childhood Iowa Board for Black Hawk County. As such, it will coordinate education, health and human services programs for young children and families in the county. We will participate in the continuing development of a continuum of supportive services that address the unique needs of the 0-5 age group.