Officials from the Iowa Department of Human Services released a summary Tuesday of a self-evaluation that looked at the department’s child welfare system. D-H-S spokesman Roger Munns, says the assessment took a year to complete.Munns says the system graded well in being able to track people in the system.He says that includes areas where they have a case plan for every child in the system, they also graded high in recruiting foster parents, and being able to have an updated history of children in the system. Munns says there are areas for improvement.He says the federal government wants the vast majority of children to not re-experience abuse once they’ve entered the system. He says Iowa meets that in pockets of the state, like Cedar Rapids, where they’ve started a special program. But Munns says Iowa’s not alone in not measuring up in that area.He says they set the bar so you have to be in the top 25 percent of the states in all indicators, and he says no state has met that standard yet. Like other state agencies, D-H-S has suffered budget cuts, but Munns says that won’t keep them from improving service.He says you have to have resourcefulness along with resources to make the necessary changes. The D-H-S will issue a plan for improving its system by this summer, and Munns says they’ll have two years to make all the improvements.
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