Four Oaks Family & Children Services


Mission: Four Oaks exists to help Iowa’s children and families. We assure success through the use of innovative services that bring the child, family, and community together to build a stronger tomorrow. Four Oaks supports our community members from infancy, through childhood, into young adulthood, and all the way to independence.  Assuring children become successful adults is 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.  At Four Oaks, we believe in building broad-based opportunities for youth and families to succeed. To accomplish this goal and to carry out our mission – “to assure children become successful adults” – we rely on community volunteers who share their time and talent making a difference at Four Oaks.

Location: Grinnell (1.5 miles from Grinnell College)

Needs: Creative ideas are welcome!  Grant writing, fundraisers, design and facilitate training seminars for staff such as car seat training, building confidence and social skills exploring housing options for ages 18-21 freshly out of foster care.  Kinship Navigator program needs assistance with an online support group for caregivers, specifically family members who have taken in a child unexpectedly.  Direct service with clients is possible, requires Mandatory Abuse Reporting Training (supplied).



  • One-time events: yes
  • Ongoing: yes
  • Groups possible? Group volunteer activities are customized to each organization.


When is service needed:   year-round

Number of hours: Flexible, as much or as little as is possible


  • In-person: yes
  • Hybrid in-person/virtual possible: yes
  • Fully virtual possible: yes


Prerequisites: Background check, Mandatory Abuse Training (provided online) for direct service with clients.  Driver’s license and good driving record if assisting with transporting clients.

Background check required: Yes

Equipment/logistics needed: Due to the sensitive nature of some of our opportunities, background checks may be required prior to some volunteering opportunities.  Must be at least 15 years old with a parent or guardian present, or at least 18 years old without a parent or guardian present.  Must be able to pass background checks in accordance with the Code of Iowa (criminal and child abuse records; sex offender registry).  Must agree to uphold the confidentiality of our clients.   Must commit to an established amount of time.  Must have a genuine interest in the mission of Four Oaks.


Training supplied: All training as needed is supplied, and much of it is available virtually and self-paced, some such as Trauma Informed Care training requires in-person.


How to apply: Email

Contact: Dianna Townsend, Director, Family Centered Services,


Operation information: 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.  Trauma Informed Care approached holistically for each individual’s needs.

Address: 120 West St Grinnell, IA 50112

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