A Differential Response System is an approach used by the Iowa Department of Human Services to have more than one way of responding to allegations of child abuse.

The Iowa Department of Human Services began its Differential Response (DR) System in January 2014. The new system consists of two pathways, Family Assessment (FA) and Child Abuse Assessment (CA), to respond to allegations of neglect and abuse.

·        DHS Website:  Differential Response

·        DR Assessment Outcome and Service Provision FlowChart

The Community Care program is a statewide contract that is currently held by Mid-Iowa Family Therapy. 

·        The purpose of this program is to strengthen families by building on the family’s resources and developing supports for the family in their community and to reduce concerns for families that create stress and negatively impact the relationship between family members.  Community Care’s program is voluntary and it requires a referral by DHS after the completion of a suspected child abuse investigation.

·        DHS Website:  Community Care

The Parent Partners program is a statewide contract that is currently held by Children and Families of Iowa that celebrates parents who have overcome obstacles through change, recovery, and accountability.  These parents use their skills to mentor families who are currently going through the child welfare system for their child. 

·        Parent Partners network within communities and partner with DHS, child welfare staff, and agencies while demonstrating advocacy and effective communication while holding families accountable. 

·        This approach includes validating parents’ experiences and opinions to make changes in child welfare that will assist families in reuniting and keeping their children safe.  They meet with social workers, counselors, attorneys, and others regularly to assess progress. 

·        DHS Website:  Parent Partners

·        Parent Partners Service Areas

Recruitment and Retention of Fostered and Adoptive Families (R&R)  is a state-wide contract, currently held by Four Oaks, with the purpose of building and maintaining a sufficient number of foster and adoptive families who have the skills, training, and ability to care for children who need out of home care. 

Five major components of the R&R contract:

·        Recruit and retain resource families

·       To preform foster home licensing and adoption approval activities

·        To match children in need of care with the most appropriate family

·        To provide support to foster families

·        To provide support to adoptive families who have children receiving or eligible to receive adoption assistance

·        DHS Website:   R &R

·        Iowa KidsNet Website

Safety Plan services provide supervision of children who are assessed by a DHS worker to be conditionally safe and in need of services to move them from being conditionally safe to a safe status. 

·        This transition will be done during a time-limited Child Protective or Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Assessment by providing a sensitive assessment and interventions. 

This is to ensure that children will be safe and to ensure that without these services, the removal of the children from the home or current placement will occur.

·        DHS Website:  Safety Plan

Family, Safety, Risk and Permanency (FSRP) services are family-centered services which focus on promoting the safety, permanency (permanent living situation), and well-being of children. 

·        This is done by providing the means to preserve families, managing families being brought back together after a child has been removed from their home, or finding a different permanent means of family connections. 

·         A different permanent family connection can be done my making or maintaining an adoptive or guardianship placement for a child that cannot return home.

·        DHS Website:  FSRP

·        Safety Plan/FSRP Map: House Districts

·        Safety Plan/FSRP Map: Senate Districts

Child Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) are short term and temporary interventions provided to CWES’ target population. 

CWES target population is made up of:

·        Children up to the age of 18 years old under the supervision of the DHS or Juvenile Court Services 

o   These children need temporary care and can be lawfully placed in emergency juvenile shelter care 

·        Law enforcement referrals 

These services are provided by the child welfare system and the CWES array ranges from the least restrictive approaches, for example, family conflict, to more restrictive emergency services including foster families or emergency juvenile shelter care.

·        DHS Website:  CWES

·        CWES Map:  House Districts

·        CWE Map: Senate Districts

·        Shelter Map:   House Districts

·        Shelter Map: Senate Districts 

Foster Group Care offers a safe and protective living environment for eligible foster care children.  Care for the eligible children is provided in 24 hour licensed facilities seven days per week.  These facilities offer room, board, and life skills development. 

Foster Group Care facilities:

·        Offer a stable living environment where children can thrive

·        Engage families to help eliminate conditions that may have led to a child being removed from their home

·        Provides rehabilitation needs for children 

·        DHS Website:  Foster Group Care

·        Foster Group Care Map: House Districts  

·        Foster Group Care Map: Senate Districts  

Supervise Apartment Living (SAL) is the least restrictive foster care placement in Iowa. 

Living arrangements for youth: 

·        Cluster living arrangement

o   Up to 6 youth can live in the same building and are supervised 24/7 

·        Scattered-site living arrangement

o   Youth are placed in their own living arrangement, such as an apartment, and have access to staff 24/7

These living arrangements provide youth with an environment in which they can experience living in the community with less supervision than other types of foster care.

Agencies with SAL in Iowa:

·        Florence Crittenton Home - Sioux City, IA

·        Hillcrest Family Services - Dubuque, IA

·        Lutheran Services in Iowa, Bremwood - Waverly, IA

·        Quakerdale - Waterloo, IA

·        Woodward Youth Corporation - Woodward, IA

·        Youth Homes of Mid-America - Johnston, IA

·        Youth and Shelter Services, Inc. - Ames, IA

Medicaid Services

Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) is a statewide service in Iowa and is part of outpatient programming.

·        BHIS program provides community based services that are designed to address the behavioral needs of children and adults that have a mental illness diagnosis. 

·        The main goal of the BHIS program is to assist individuals and their families in building more skills to manage behavior and regain a relationship and positive functioning within their home and their community. 

·        BHIS serves individuals who qualify Medicaid

The Pediatric Integrated Health Home (PIHH) program provides care and family support services to children and youth with mental health challenges and support to their families.  The children and youth that the program serves are Medicaid members and have a Severe Emotional Disorder (SED) that impacts their lives at home, in school, and in their community.  This is an approach to care that provides families with a team of professionals that work together to meet the needs of children and youth based on a System of Care (SOC) principles. 

System of Care principles assure that all services are:

·        Child-centered

·        Family focused

·        Family driving

·        Community-based

·        Culturally adequate and responsive  

        Pediatric Integrated Health Home Map

A Psychiatric Medical Institution for Children (PMIC) is a non-locked institution that provides 24 hour continuous care and diagnostic or long-term psychiatric services to children and youth. 

·        All PMICs provide mental health and/or substance abuse services and must be licensed within the state of Iowa.

·        PMICs are made up of a team of professionals to direct programs including diagnostic services, psychiatric services, nursing care, and rehabilitative services to meet the needs of children and youth. 

·        Each child has their own medical care plan that is to be followed.  The social and rehabilitative services must be done under the direction of a qualified mental health professional.

·        PMIC Map: House Districts

·        PMIC Map: Senate Districts