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DHS Exploring Changes

Posted: Monday, December 26th, 2011 at 6:25 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

The Iowa Department of Human Services is looking at ways they can make long term changes to the way they investigate cases of child abuse. Roger Munn, with the IDHS Main Office, says that right now when they receive a call about child abuse, they send out an assessor. The assessor investigates the child abuse report by interviewing the family involved and anyone the child might know. If they find any credible information that a person has abused or neglected a child, that person is added to the child abuse registry. There does not need to be a criminal charge. IDHS wants to change this system to allow them to provide services to families without conducting an investigation. Roger Munn says sometimes adding a person to the child abuse registry isn’t the best way to help. Their investigators can now report that the abuse that occurred was minor and isolated. He says they want to find a way to provide help to these families, who they don’t believe will commit abuse in the future, without putting them on the child abuse registry, which makes it difficult for those people to find jobs. The IDHS is merely exploring this idea; there are no formal plans yet. For more information on this subject, listen to our In Touch program at