DHS officials: Six youth remain at Iowa Juvenile Home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DHS officials: Six youth remain at Iowa Juvenile Home

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TOLEDO (KWWL) - With just weeks until the Iowa Juvenile Home closes its doors for good, state officials confirm there are still six youth at the facility.

Spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) Amy Lorentzen McCoy said Tuesday some of the 21 youth from the home "may find placement through providers who have treated them previously."

When asked if youth were being placed at facilities they had failed at prior to the Iowa Juvenile Home, McCoy issued the following statement:

"Based on the recommendation of the joint treatment planning teams or juvenile court officers, some of the youth from the Iowa Juvenile Home may find placement through providers who have treated them previously. This is in keeping with the Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force recommendations, which included exploring new methods of funding and improved capacity through providers who have committed to the long term behavioral and treatment needs of these youth.

The joint treatment planning teams can include for CINA: social workers, private providers, prior-authorization contractors, parents, guardian ad litem; and for Delinquent: JCOs, private providers, prior-authorization contractors, parents, guardian ad litem. Some youth and providers have face-to-face interviews so they can ask one another questions about placement.

Keep in mind, the courts approve any change in level of care."

McCoy said all new placements for the residents of the Iowa Juvenile Home have been in Iowa facilities.

Meanwhile, places like Four Oaks and Lutheran Services of Iowa have opened their doors for some of the youth from the Iowa Juvenile Home.

"Four Oaks' focus is on helping children become successful adults," said President of Four Oaks Anne Gruenewald said in a statement.

The remainder of her statement reads as follows:

"A legislative policy change more than two years ago required Iowa children with high risk mental health issues to avoid being sent outside the state for treatment. Since that time, Four Oaks was asked to develop intensive services, with specialized training, to serve several of these youth who qualified for out-of-state care. This intensive service has been effective with these youth, and allows children to be closer to their families and communities during their treatment.

Because of this history, Four Oaks and other agencies were asked by the Department of Human Services to receive children from the Iowa Juvenile Home who needed this intensive high level of mental health service. We can’t release confidential information, but we can tell you that we will do our very best to assure these children get the help they need at a traumatic time in their lives."

DHS officials said they don't know when the final six placements of youth from the Iowa Juvenile Home will be made; however, state officials still plan to shutdown the facility on January 16.

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