This page presents the views of the two candidates running to become Iowa’s governor in 2018. Incumbent candidate Governor Kim Reynolds (R) and retired businessman Fred Hubbell (D) answered the coalition’s questions on seven important child and family policy issues. All responses are printed without editing.
A thank you to both candidates for responding to these important questions.
What actions will you take to reduce the number of children who are subject to abuse and neglect, and how will you ensure that youth aging out of the foster care system have a promising future?
|Reducing number of children subject to abuse and neglect:
- Where allegations are less serious, connect families with community care services.
- Focus on early intervention and prevention services to strengthen families by building on the family’s resources and developing supports in the community.
- Brought in third party reviewer, The Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group, to evaluate Iowa’s child welfare system and make necessary policy changes to ensure cases are adequately assessed and investigated. For context, the following are a few examples:
- Broadening the scope of what investigators are looking for in an
investigation (call comes in re: malnourishment; rather than just looking in the cupboards for food, train social workers to recognize other signs of abuse)
- Treating repeat calls (multiples calls re: same child/family) as separate, but connected, cases to indicate a larger issue.
- Hired a director with years of experience in advocating for children impacted by the child welfare system.
- Team is reviewing mandatory reporter training to ensure the reporters are trained to understand and identify the signs of abuse.
Kids aging out:
- Focus first on finding permanency/permanent adoptive families as quickly as possible.
- Provide supports to prepare children in foster care for independence through teaching life skills, budgeting, how to pay bills, etc.:
- Preparation for adult living (PAL): contracted provider teaches life skills, etc. to children, regardless of where they reside
- Supervised apartment living (SAL): children in the foster system have an opportunity to gain independence through supervised apartment living – first through cluster homes with 24/hour staff and later by living alone in an apartment
- Aftercare network keeps kids in touch with their peers, provides continued access to providers, etc.
||Iowa should be properly funding the the Department of Human Services and our entire child protective system, which are strapped for resources preventing adequate oversight and abuse prevention. Additionally, we must ensure the foster care system has frequent monitoring, including educational and medical assessments, so every child is able to live in a safe, secure environment that empowers their success.