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Appendix I: Individual Analyses of State Policies

Key Factors
Family Foster Care
Agency Policy/Regulations

Iowa: Policy Manual
Out-of-Home Settings Section
Reference to Iowa Code Chapter 232.71B, Subsections 4 and 10

Does the policy address the investigation of allegations of maltreatment in foster care as a distinct investigatory process?
  • Foster family and childcare homes are addressed in the same policy section and are separate from group facilities and childcare centers.
Is kinship/relative care addressed in the policy?
  • No language addresses placements with kin or relatives.
What agency/unit is mandated to conduct the investigation?
  • The child protection workers of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) conduct the investigation.
Is there a team approach? Who is on the team?
  • Yes, the CPS worker collaborates with the "licensing or registration worker" on an investigation of a DHS home and with the licensing worker from the private placing agency if the investigation is conducted in a non-DHS home. These workers conduct a "joint assessment."
What are the key activities of agency staff?

DHS CPS worker:
  • The policy defines routine investigation tasks regarding interviews of the reported child, foster parents, and other children or people in the home.

  • If possible, the CPS and licensing workers make a joint initial visit.

  • The CPS worker notifies the foster family licensing worker immediately of assessment findings.
DHS foster family licensing worker:
  • Helps in addressing the safety of children in the foster home;

  • Investigates regulatory violations;

  • Provides the investigator relevant information regarding the home;

  • Assists in gathering assessment information, when possible;

  • Provides support to the foster parents, as appropriate;

  • Addresses regulatory issues and documents relating not to the child abuse but to compliance with regulatory issues.
What time frames are identified?
  • No special time frames are noted.
What decisionmaking processes are described?
  • The license to provide foster care may be revoked if a foster parent is named on the Central Registry.

  • The DHS completes an evaluation of persons named on the Central Registry to determine if they pose a risk to children in the foster home.

  • The policy includes a flow chart regarding a check of the Central Registry.

  • No group decisionmaking process is identified.
Is the CPS/licensing interface clear?
  • Yes. Cooperation and communication between CPS and regulatory staff occur throughout the process. The roles of these different parties are clear.
What actions are taken regarding the reported child(ren) during the investigation?
  • The policy refers to standard investigation procedures.
  • The investigator and licensing worker both address child safety concerns.
What actions are taken regarding other children in the home?
  • The policy refers to standard investigation procedures.
  • The investigator and licensing worker both address child safety concerns.
What actions are taken to protect the rights of foster parents throughout the process?
  • No actions are described that protect the rights of foster parents.
What supports are provided to foster parents throughout the process?
  • The licensing worker is expected to provide support to the foster parents. No specific direction is given regarding how to provide that support.

This policy is not extensive. The focus on including licensing workers throughout the investigation is notable.

Supplemental Materials
  • Child Abuse Assessments in Facilities is a handbook targeted to facilities, not foster homes.

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