Iowa Department of Human Services A Brief Overview
Vision The Iowa Department of Human Services makes a positive difference in the lives of Iowans we serve through effective and efficient leadership, excellence, and teamwork.
Mission The Mission of the Iowa Department of Human Services is to help individuals and families achieve safe, stable, self-sufficient, and healthy lives, thereby contributing to the economic growth of the state.
Mission We do this by keeping a customer focus, striving for excellence, sound stewardship of state resources, maximizing the use of federal funding and leveraging opportunities, and by working with our public and private partners to achieve results.
Four Guiding Principles Customer FocusWe listen to and address the needs of our customers in a respectful and responsive manner that builds upon their strengths. Our services promote meaningful connections to family and community.
Guiding Principles cont’d ExcellenceWe are a model of excellence through efficient, effective, and responsible public service. We communicate openly and honestly and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct.
Guiding Principles cont’d AccountabilityWe maximize the use of resources and use data to evaluate performance and make informed decisions to improve results.
Guiding Principles cont’d TeamworkWe work collaboratively with customers, employees, and public and private partners to achieve results.
Core Functions Child and Adult Protection Provide an array of services and supports to strengthen families and communities to increase the likelihood that children and adults are safe in their homes and communities, are healthy, and have consistency and continuity in their lives. Activities may include: child and dependent adult protective services, community based/prevention and support services, foster care, family centered services, child care assistance, and facility based care for children in needs of assistance and delinquent youth. DHS operates two state juvenile centers (Iowa Juvenile Home and Eldora State Training School).
Core Functions cont’d Economic Support Provide direct and in-direct economic supports to needy families to assist them in having sufficient resources to meet and provide for basic needs leading to maintenance of good health, safety, and consistency and continuity in their homes, work and communities. Activities include cash assistance, food stamps, Family Investment Program for employment and training opportunities, child care assistance, quality child care, child support, refugee services, and administering community Empowerment grants to enhance early childhood services.
Core Functions cont’d Health Care & Support Services Provide publicly funded child and adult health coverage, through the Medicaid, hawk-i, and Health Insurance Premium Payment programs, and partnering with public and private entities to secure access to services. Provide individual, community and facility-based health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment and services for people with developmental disabilities. Activities include funding community based services, targeted case management, acute
Core Functions cont’d Health Care & Support Services cont’d psychiatric inpatient care, outpatient psychiatric services,outpatient and in-patient substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment, nursing, food and nutrition, pharmacy, and medical services. DHS operates four state mental health institutions (Cherokee Mental Health Institute, Clarinda Mental Health Institute,Independence Mental Health Institute, and Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute), two state resource centers (Glenwood Resource Center and Woodward Resource Center), and the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders located at Cherokee Mental Health Institute.
Core Functions cont’d Resource Management Provides leadership in the management and support of the delivery of quality services to Iowa’s citizens so they can be safe, healthy, stable and self-sufficient thereby contributing to the economic growth of the state. Activities include corporate leadership and management, results-based planning, policy development, field and institution operations, organizational and employee development, program management, fiscal management, support services, and data system management.
Intake Process - Purpose • The purpose of the Department’s child welfare intake process is to obtain available and pertinent information to ensure requests of Child Protective Services (CPS) and Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) that meet the criteria for assessment are accepted and that reports that do not meet the legal requirements are appropriately rejected. The Department’s intent is to accept and process valid reports but not to fringe on constitutional right to privacy.
Intake Policy • It is the purpose and policy of Iowa to provide the greatest possible protection to children who may have been abused or are at risk for abuse and those children in need of assistance. • Children in Iowa need protection from abuse. Child protection and strong families are the responsibility not only of the family itself, but also of the larger community, including formal and informal service networks. • Child safety comes first!
Sources of Reports • The Department shall receive child abuse reports from mandatory, permissive, and anonymous reporters.
Intake Referral Options • Information. The person is ineligible for services through the Department. The reporter will be given information on community resources to contact. • Child Protective Assessment. Accepted criteria are met to initiate an assessment to examine whether abuse or neglect of a child has occurred. • CINA Assessment. The person appears to have a child in need of assistance and to meet basic eligibility factors. At this point the case is assigned for a CINA assessment.
Information • The reporter is provided with resources in the community to contact as the family is not eligible for services through the Department.
Child Protective Assessment Child Abuse Criteria - “3 Cs” • Child – Under the age of 18 • Caretaker • Category of Abuse
Child Protective Assessment Child Abuse Criteria There are 9 Categories of Child Abuse • Physical Abuse • Sexual Abuse • Mental Injury • Denial of Critical Care • Child Prostitution • Manufacture and/or Possession of a Dangerous Substance • Presence of Illegal Drugs in a Child’s Body • Bestiality in the Presence of Minors • Cohabits with a Registered Sex Offender
Child Protective Assessment • Completed in 20 business days • Case Disposition • Assessment Finding: Not Confirmed, Confirmed - Not Registered, Founded • Risk Level: Low, Moderate, High • Age of child victim: Age 5 or Under, Age 6 or Older
Child Protective Assessment Not Confirmed Cases • Low Risk, Any Age – Close Case • Moderate to High Risk, Any Age – Consider Community Care
Child Protective Assessment Confirmed – Not Registered Cases • Low Risk, Any Age – Close Case • Moderate to High Risk, Any Age – Consider Community Care
Child Protective Assessment Founded Cases • Moderate to High Risk, Any Age – Open for DHS Services • Low Risk, Decision Age Dependent • Age 6 or Older – Consider Community Care • Age 5 or Under – Open for DHS Services
CINA Assessment • When a caller contacts the Department regarding a child who may need services, the call will be handled as a CINA intake.
CINA Assessment Criteria • If there is reasonable belief that one of the following situations exists, then a CINA Assessment can be initiated: • The child is in need of medical treatment to cure or alleviate or prevent serious physical injury or illness, and the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide such treatment. • The child is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate serious mental illness or disorder or emotional damage as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others; and the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide this treatment.
CINA Assessment Criteria cont’d • The child has been as subject of or a party to sexual activities for hire or has posed for a live display or pictorial reproduction that is designed to appeal to the prurient interest; and the child’s caretaker has not had knowledge of, encouraged, or permitted these acts. • The child is without parent, guardian, or other custodian because the parent is deceased. • The child’s parent, guardian, or custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of the child’s care and custody. • The child for good cause desires to have the child’s parents relieved of the child’s care and custody.
CINA Assessment Criteria cont’d • The child is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate chemical dependency and the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide this treatment. • The mental capacity or condition of the child’s parent or guardian results in the child not receiving adequate care. • Completed in 20 business days
CINA Assessment • Outcomes of the CINA Assessment • Information and/or Referral to Community Resources • Recommendation for court involvement through a Child in Need of Assistance petition (CINA)
Safety Potential Sources of Danger • Persons that Feel Threatened • Others in the Home • High Crime Neighborhoods • Persons Involved in Serious Illegal Activity
Safety cont’d Times of Greatest Danger • First Home Visit • Participant under the influence of alcohol or drugs • History of violence • When you are far away from a source of help
Safety cont’d • Be observant of your environment • Be calm and confident (be aware not anxious) • Carry a cell phone
Safety cont’d • Watch for weapons • Plan your escape route • Trust your instincts
Personal Safety Tips • Dress Appropriately • Don’t Wear Expensive Jewelry • Wear Flat Shoes or Boots • Carry Essential Identification Only • Limit the Amount of Cash you Carry • Avoid Carrying Credit Cards • Avoid Carrying Personal Information
Travel Safety Tips • Keys in Hand • Check the Interior • Keep the Doors Locked • Hide Valuables • Park in Well Lit Areas • Safety Kit • Gas Tank Full
Do • Appear confident and in control • Leave the environment if your instincts tell you to do so • Treat the participant with respect and dignity • Ask who else is in the home
Don’t • Turn your back • Appear fearful • Complete a home visit with someone under the influence • Complete a home visit with someone inappropriately dressed • Commit listening errors
Home Visits Before you go on a home visit…. • Read all information available • Search for any threats or incidents of violence, substance abuse, or mental illness • The best predictor of potential for violence is past violent behavior • Make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are visiting, and when you will return • Think through your plan for the visit • Talk about whether safety concerns are based more on actual risks or on unfamiliarity with the family or area or whether this is a situation in which you should have a colleague or police accompany you
Home Visits cont’d While you are outside of the home…. • Look around and “size up” the environment and neighbors. • Park in a way that ensures your car will not be blocked in • Watch for hostile dogs. • Identify an escape route back to the car and out of the area. • Be alert. • Avoid looking vulnerable.
Home Visits cont’d While you are inside of the home…. • Sit close to an exit. • Keep your keys in your pocket. • Ask who else may be in the home you don’t see. • Maintain a polite, calm, impartial tone • Repeat yourself and explain your purpose. • Keep a non-threatening body posture. • If the client or others in the home appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, stop the interview and leave.
Home Visits cont’d While you are inside of the home (cont’d)…. • If anyone shows you or indicates to you they have a weapon, encourage the person to put it down and then calmly leave. • Be aware of signs that violence may be imminent. • Do not attempt to touch a client who seems to be escalating toward violence. • Be prepared to trust your intuition. After you leave the home…. • Check under your car and in the backseat before getting in. • If you had a home visit with threats of violence, you need to document these carefully. However, do not stay in front of the house or in the neighborhood to write your notes.
Verbal Violence De escalating verbal violence…… • Use a calm, courteous voice. • Keep a slow conversational pace. • Do not argue • Do not use humor. • Allow the client to back away or leave. • Allow the client to vent, acknowledge his/her feelings. • If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. • Do not make reassurances • Maintain physical distance. • If you feel threatened, stop the interview calmly and leave
Juvenile Court System Two Types of Legal Proceedings: Civil and Criminal Juvenile Court falls under Civil
Types of Hearings • Removal • Adjudication • Disposition • Review/Modification • Permanency • Termination of Parental Rights
Removal Hearings • Means of Removal • Ex-Parte (no other parties present) • Emergency (Police Officer, Doctor, Juvenile Court Officer) • Consent of Parent Hearing must be held within 10 days.
Adjudication Hearings • Hearing determines if the Court can intervene • Grounds for filing a Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) Petition The Court may: 1. Adjudicate based on CINA grounds 2. Dismiss petition 3. Suspend
Disposition Hearings • Determines what should be done for the child and what services to offer. • A plan is identified on how the Department will reunify the family. • Recommendations are made by the Department.
Review/Modification Hearings • Review Hearings • At least every six months following the disposition, the court case is reviewed and the progress or lack of progress that has been made in the family is assessed. • Modification Hearings • These are held when the direction of the case needs to be changed, or the circumstances change. • This hearing can be held at any time in the case following the Disposition.
Permanency Hearings • At the time that a child has been out of the home for twelve months, and each twelve months after, a Permanency hearing must be held. • At a Permanency hearing the judge may make one of three decisions. 1) The child returns home. 2) The case is forwarded to a Termination of Parental Rights hearing. 3) Or, the child remains in care.