Iowa Legislators, Including Dave Heaton, Recognized as Child Advocates

Written by Theresa Rose on April 17, 2018

Award recognizes legislators who have collaborated on behalf of Iowa families

 Des Moines, IA – Prevent Child Abuse Iowa recognized four state legislators with a Child Advocate Award at the Child Abuse Prevention and Family Support Conference at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on April 10. PCA Iowa sought award nominations for legislators who have contributed their piece to child protection and family support, demonstrated collaboration with members outside of their party, and a record of collaboration with community partners.

Child Advocate Award recipients include Representatives Sharon Steckman and Dave Heaton and Senators Jeff Danielson and Mark Segebart.

Representative Dave Heaton (Mount Pleasant, IA) was awarded for his bipartisan cooperation throughout his political career which includes 23 years in the Iowa House of Representatives. Some of the hallmarks of Rep. Heaton’s career include the development of Early Childhood Iowa and robust dedication to home visiting services for our families. He has been described as a tireless worker, especially in his advocacy for children and mental health. Rep. Heaton was celebrated with a standing ovation in honor of his dedication to the field and retirement from public office.

Representative Sharon Steckman (Mason City, IA) was awarded for her embodiment of what it means to take a bipartisan approach in the Iowa legislature for the benefit of Iowa children and families. Throughout her 10 years of services in the Iowa House of Representatives she has taken the framework of doing what is best for Iowa children and families by putting herself in their shoes. As a former public school teacher, her time as an educator is reflected in her work in state government. Rep. Steckman is admired for her collaborative approach to serving her constituents by engaging in meaningful communication to best represent children and those who touch the lives of kids every day. Rep. Steckman was instrumental in passing the suicide prevention bill recently signed by Governor Kim Reynolds.

Senator Jeff Danielson (Cedar Falls, IA) was honored as a Child Advocate due to his career in the Iowa legislature for the past 13 years and his message that “the most important work we do in Iowa is raising kids. It should include keeping them safe and protecting them from child sex abusers.” Sen. Danielson is admired for his bipartisan approach in the legislature and work in his home district with trauma informed care and the Blackhawk County ACEs coalition. His leadership in the state legislature has led to bills like “The Safe at Home Act”, which aims to protect victims of sexual assault and abuse, domestic abuse, trafficking, and stalking by keeping their home address private.

Senator Mark Segebart (Vail, IA) has long advocated for children and families in Iowa, including serving on various boards such as Buena Vista, Crawford and Sac County Early Childhood Iowa Empowerment Board and the Crawford Early Childhood Center Board. A member of the state legislature since 2013, Sen. Segebart has worked across the aisle to create a collaborative environment for the benefit of children and mental health causes. Sen. Segebart is honored with a Child Advocate Award in recognition of his work to create an Iowa that helps children and families.

In the spirit of this year’s conference theme, “Connecting the Pieces”, the Child Advocate Award is a recognition of the collaborative effort it takes for communities to create safer, more nurturing environments for children. PCA Iowa thanks the Child Advocate Award winners for their leadership and dedication in strengthening Iowa families.