Division of Adult, Children and Family Services

Division AdministratorWendy Rickman
Division Phone Number(515) 281-5521
Mailing Address
DHS - ACFS, 1305 E. Walnut, Des Moines, IA 50319-0114

Our Mission:
To provide leadership, guide state policy and advocate for persons served in the child welfare, juvenile justice, dependent adult abuse, and child care systems.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • The safety of children is the paramount concern that must guide all child welfare services.

  • All children need families to grow up in, and all families need the support of a community to raise their children.

  • All children and families have strengths.  Effective services are customer-focused and individualized based on a careful assessment, and are built on the strengths and needs of the child and family.

  • Foster care is a temporary setting and not a place for children to grow up.

  • The child welfare system must focus on results and accountability.

  • We want to develop a work culture that is team-oriented, open and inclusive, built on joint problem-solving and partnerships, and focused on continuous learning and respect.

Our Core Responsibilities:

  • program policy and budget development
  • leadership and advocacy
  • State Plans
  • federal data reporting
  • communication and collaboration with stakeholders and other systems serving the same populations
  • service provider regulation
  • interstate compacts
  • child and dependent adult abuse registry

Overview of Services
Services governed by this division are organized into two bureaus: the Bureau of Child Care and Community Services and the Bureau of Child Welfare and Protective Services.

Bureau of Child Care and Community Services
Bureau Chief: 
Currently Vacant

Key work performed by this Bureau includes policy and budget development as well as grants management and federal data reporting for, child care programs, family planning, teen pregnancy prevention, Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, permanency planning. and community empowerment.  The Bureau is also responsible for provider accreditation/certification.

Bureau of Child Welfare and Protective Services
Bureau ChiefJulie Allison

Key work performed by this Bureau includes policy and budget development as well as grants management and federal data reporting for child welfare and child protection prorams.  The Bureau is responsible for the child and dependent adult abuse registries, as well as record check evaluations, the CAPTA and CJA plans. The Bureau is also responsible for family safety, risk, and permenancy services, adoptions, foster care and kinship care and federal data reporting for foster care transition services. The Bureau is also responsible for group care and group care licensing, and interstate compacts.The Bureau is also acts as lead on the federal Child and Family Services Review and federal child welfare outcomes.  The Team is also responsible for the Title IV-B and IV-E state plans. 

Images of people and children