Southwest Iowa Families

(left to right)--Sandy Geer and Bernie Wagoner with Southwest Iowa Families, based in Clarinda.

(Clarinda)--Making a powerful and positive impact on the lives of people in Southwest Iowa-that's Southwest Iowa Families based in Clarinda.

Bernie Wagoner, Southwest Iowa Families Clinical Director, understands the benefits of having a service like this in the rural area, as Southwest Iowa Families serves folks within a 60-miles radius of Clarinda.

"It's a big advantage to be able to access the services of a professional person right here in the rural area rather than having to drive to the city," she says.

Services include but are not limited to Bright and Beautiful Beginnings which includes Positive Family and the Nest program, Incredible Years-Dinosaur School, Counseling/Mental Health Therapy and more.

Administrative Director, Sandy Geer, describes the Positive Family Program.

"It's an intensive, home-based service. We have workers who go into the home of children age 0-5.  They're helping 'mom' learn appropriate discipline for that child.  When to get immunizations, safe car seats, all those things."

What about the Nest program?

"The Nest Program is for parents who are expecting, until the child is one," says Sandy. "They come to educational classes once a month, with different topics, they'll talk about shaken-baby syndrome and car seat safety and of course immunization is important in those classes too."

Bernie says with regards to counseling and mental health therapy, whether you're 5 or 95, you can be helped through Southwest Iowa Families.

"Occasionally we have a young child who may come in for some behavioral services, or through parent-child interaction therapy. We also occasionally have a client who may be 90-something years old-elderly people who may be struggling with problems related to depression, grief or sometimes making an adjustment to the nursing home." 

And there's always plenty of compassion for children.

"We serve a lot of children in this agency, probably almost half of our clients clinically are children. We do some marriage and family counseling for couples who are struggling with their relationship, a lot of people are seen here who are having problems related to depression and anxiety.  We have a few individuals who are dealing with severe and persistent mental illness," she says.

In other words, the dedicated team at Southwest Iowa Families is doing a tremendous job of taking care of people here in the rural area, with access to help and services, all without having to travel to a major metropolitan area.

If you'd like more information on Southwest Iowa Families or would like to make a financial contribution, call 712-542-3501 or go to  

For even more insights, take a look at Sandy and Bernie's informative video here at