In a crisis, you as a foster parent will almost always need to contact your foster child’s placement worker (from the Iowa Department of Human Services or Juvenile Court Services) and your Family Connections case worker.
When you receive a placement, make sure you have the emergency contact numbers for the worker and keep this information in a convenient and accessible place.
If you are unable to contact your child’s DHS worker or your case worker, please contact the on-call number for DHS or your service area.
If you need to report child abuse or neglect, please call the Iowa Department of Human Services child abuse hotline at 1.800.362.2178.
DHS Service Numbers:
Western Area – 844-574-7787
Northern Area – 844-380-2484
Eastern Area – 844-380-2533
Cedar Rapids Area – 844-380-2534
Des Moines Area – 844-380-2485
Here is some guidance on how to handle the following kinds of crises:
If your family has an emergency such as a death or severe illness in your family; a need to travel to be with an ailing parent; or other emergency, call your Family Connections case worker.
Together you can determine if you need respite so you can address the situation, if your family needs to be placed on hold for a time, or if your current foster placements may need to be moved to another home as your family deals with the emergency. Please remember the child’s placing worker will need to approve any move of the child, such as going to respite or moving to another home.
If you feel you cannot have the child remain in your home, let the DHS worker know. Then contact your Family Connections case worker so we can help find temporary respite for the child until the DHS worker can make a referral for another home.
In a medical emergency, there are situations where you will need to obtain medical treatment immediately (such as calling 911 for a car accident or life-threatening illness). You’ll also need to contact the child’s placing worker. Please also contact your Family Connections case worker so they can support you as needed.
If you are unable to reach the child’s worker (or supervisor), you can also call your Family Connections case worker (or supervisor), and we will assist you in locating a DHS supervisor.
If a child in your care treats someone in your family inappropriately (either physical aggression or sexual contact), contact the child’s placing worker and your Family Connections case worker to help you develop a safety plan to keep all children in your home safe.
Please contact the child’s placing worker (or supervisor) immediately. Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate to contact law enforcement immediately as well. Please also contact your Family Connections case worker so we can help you as needed.
Please contact the child’s placing worker (or supervisor) immediately; the worker will then decide next steps. Your Family Connections case worker can also be there for you if needed.
If behavior warrants, call law enforcement. Next, call your child’s placing worker. You may also wish to call your Family Connections case worker or the child’s FSRP worker (Family, Safety, Risk and Permanency services) or BHIS worker (Behavioral health intervention services) if he or she has one.
There is foster parent insurance available through a DHS contractor to help foster parents with these types of claims. Contact EMC Underwriters at 1.800.437.6005 to submit a claim.
Please contact your Family Connections case worker to help you navigate the situation.
Please contact your Family Connections case worker so they can help you navigate the system, find available resources, or advocate on your behalf.
Please contact your Family Connections case worker so they can help you navigate the system or resolve this situation.
Please contact your Family Connections case worker. You may also need to find out what policies your child’s school or daycare has regarding lic or bed bugs. If you are having problems with bed bugs, your Family Connections case worker will likely encourage you to call a pest control company and can give you the contact information for your foster parent insurance provider so you can check if your situation will be covered.