This blog’s new publication, Looking at Iowa’s Child Welfare Data to Inform Policy Choices, is now available. The publication uses data from Iowa Department of Human Services sources to analyze reports and assessments of child abuse, the number of types of abuse, county-specific figures, and child welfare services and costs. Several of the tables linked in the report are posted below.
The report concludes that recent increases in service levels and drug-related cases, along with variation in abuse rates among Iowa’s counties, raise concerns about the state’s ability to respond adequately. This concern is heightened with the widely reported increased service demands in 2017 and lack of additional state revenue to meet the demand.
The report also raises questions about how well Iowa is preventing child abuse before it occurs. Are there sufficient resources to support families earlier, and are those resources used most effectively? Will those resources be reduced to meet child welfare service demands?