A program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that’s reduced the number of children being sent to group homes may be tried in Iowa soon. Republican Senator Maggie Tinsman of Bettendorf has visited the program, and has a glowing review. Tinsman says Milwaukee is providing “wrap around services” — a government counselor works with the entire family to try to fix problems and utilitize government programs that might help. It might mean enrolling the child in an after-school program, or helping the parent find a job. Tinsman says the current foster care system isn’t working. Tinsman says the kids seem to go from a group home, to the reformatory for juvenile delinquents and then to an adult prison. Iowa Department of Human Services director Kevin Concannon says improving life in a troubled home has long-lasting impact.Concannon says it is an unfortunate reality that even when children are removed from “horrific” homes and put in the foster care system, the kids — once they reach adulthood — go back home again.
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