Child Placing and Foster Group Care Agencies Licensing

Iowa law requires licensing of agencies that provide child-placing services (adoption, foster care and supervised apartment living) and children's residential group foster care facilities. The goal is to provide appropriate protection for children who are separated from their families. See the licensing categories listed below. 

Licensing Categories

  • Certified Adoption Investigators - a person who conducts home studies to provide adoption services to individuals and families independent of an agency.
  • Child Placing Agency - an agency that provides adoption, foster care, supervised apartment living services.
  • Group Foster Care Facilities - a facility that provides children's residential group foster care, shelter and detention services.
This excludes the following Habilitation programs; see contact information listed below:
  • ICF/ID (Intermediate Care Facility/Intellectual Disabilities)
  • RCF (Residential Care Facility)
  • RCF/ID (Residential Care Facilities/Intellectual Disabilities)
  • RCF/PMI (Residential Care Facility/Persons with Mental Illness)

Licensing Applications (not for child care)

To request an application for a child-placing or group foster care facility, please contact:
     Carol Gerleman
     Dept of Human Services
     Division of Adult, Children & Family Services
     Hoover Bldg., 5th Floor
     1305 East Walnut
     Des Moines, IA 50319
     515-242-5451
     cgerlem@dhs.state.ia.us
 
To fill out an online Application for License or Certificate of Approval, click Application for License or Certificate of Approval.
 

Licensing Rules

The Administrative Rules pertaining to Licensing are in sections 105, 108, 112, 114, 115, and 116 of the Regulatory Standards chapter of the Iowa Administrative Code.

Licensing List of Iowa Agencies and Facilities, click DHS Maintains a complete list of child-placing agencies and group foster care facilities in Iowa.

Certified Adoption Investigator Applications

To request an application for a Certified Adoption Investigator please contact:
     Carol Gerleman
     Dept of Human Services
     Division of Adult, Children & Family Services
     Hoover Bldg., 5th Floor
     1305 East Walnut
     Des Moines, IA 50319
     515-242-5451
     cgerlem@dhs.state.ia.us
 

To fill out an online Certified Adoption investigator application, click Certified Adoption Investigator application.

Certified Adoption Investigator Rules

The Administrative Rules pertaining to Certified Adoption Investigator are in section 107 of the Regulatory Standards chapter of the Iowa Administrative Code.

Certified Adoption Investigators List

DHS maintains a complete list of Certified Adoption Investigators licensed in Iowa.

Special Services (children/adult services) 

For information on ICF/ID (Intermediate Care Facility/Intellectual Disabilities), contact:
     Catie Campbell
     Dept of Inspections & Appeals
     Health Facilities Division
     Lucas Building, 3rd Floor
     Des Moines, IA 50319     
     515-281-3759
     catie.campbell@dia.iowa.gov
 
For information on any of the following:
  • RCF (Residential Care Facility)
  • RCF/ID (Residential Care Facilities/Intellectual Disabilities)
  • RCF/PMI (Residential Care Facility/Persons with Mental Illness)
Contact:
     Deb Dixon
     Deptof Inspections & Appeals
     Health Facilities Division
     Lucas Building, 3rd Floor
     Des Moines, IA 50319     
     515-281-4081
     deb.dixon@dia.iowa.gov
 

Additional Contacts

For information regarding complaints for children's residential group care, shelters or detentions, contact Deb Dixon at 515-281-4081 or deb.dixon@dia.iowa.gov
 
For information regarding child care centers or registration of child development homes, contact Mykala Robinson at 515-281-0442 or mrobins@dhs.state.ia.us
 
For information regarding the special needs adoption program, contact Tracey Parker at 515-281-8799 or tparker@dhs.state.ia.us
 
For information regarding Iowa Foster & Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA), contactTracey Parker at 515-281-8799 or visit IFAPA at www.ifapa.org or 1-800-277-8145.
 
For information regarding Foster Home Licensing and Special Needs Adoption contact Iowa KidsNet at, www.iowakidsnet.com or 1-800-243-0756.
 
For information regarding International Adoption procedures, visit www.uscis.gov. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Servicesin Iowa is located in the Federal Building, 210 Walnut, Room 369, Des Moines, IA. Business phone is 515-323-2050.
 
For information regarding International and/or private infant adoptions, visit the Iowa Association of Adoption Agencies (IAAA) website at www.iowaadoption.org