Department of Human Services Director Charles Krogmeier announced Wednesday the final two regional offices that will remain open under his plan to streamline the agency from eight to five. D.H.S spokesman Roger Munns says the decision was made based a variety of logistical reasons.
Munns say the final two will be in Davenport and Council Bluffs, and the offices that will be closing are in Ames, Dubuque and Sioux City. Munns says this won’t impact other D.H.S. offices. He says the decision doesn’t impact the hours of operation or location of the local county officers, as he says workers will continue to investigate child abuse and neglect and provide help to those seeking government aid. Munns says it will just mean less regional oversight on those local offices.
Munns says there are other streamlining decisions still ahead. Munns says the director wants to consolidate the regional child abuse intake function of the offices as they now have intake units in each of the eight regions and that needs to be centralized. Munns says the childcare payment and eligibility programs are also being reviewed for consolidation, and there are some decisions that will be made after the legislature takes action.
Munns says they don’t know how many of the county offices will be less than full-time, as he says right now one-third of the offices are not full-time. He says there “could be many more than that”, but that all depends on the legislature and the budget money available. Each of the five new regional D.H.S. offices will have fewer staff than any of the current regional offices, which have between eight and 10 employees each. The realignment takes place April 1st.