Some state workers started their work week in different offices today after fire destroyed the Department of Human Services Warren County office in Indianola Sunday. D.H.S. spokesman, Roger Munns, says they scrambled to be sure this Monday was not too out of the ordinary for the people who need services.
“We’re hoping to make our services seamless for our people who we normally do business with, it obviously is a disruption for us,” Munns says. The social workers in the Warren County office are moving to temporary offices in surrounding counties and the people who handle government benefits will temporarily work out of Des Moines.
While the building was destroyed, Munns does not believe any vital records or papers were lost. He says the applications for benefits are routinely sent to Des Moines for scanning and child welfare records are stored in the central computer.
Munns does not want anyone with concerns to think they can’t get through to the department because the office is not open. “This does not affect at all the process of receiving and processing the important calls about allegations of child abuse or defendant adult abuse, those calls are all handled here in Des Moines in a centralized unit,” Munns explains, “And if there are complaints that we are required to investigate — there will be no delay in doing that.”
You can call 800-362-2178 from anywhere in Iowa to report abuse. If you have questions regarding a pending case in Warren County, you can call the D.H.S. office in Des Moines at 515-725-2600.
Munns was not sure if the cause of the fire has been determined, but said he believed investigators do not suspect the fire had been intentionally set.