Foster Group Care Services

Foster group care is the part of Iowa’s child welfare services continuum that offers a safe and protective structured living environment for eligible foster care children who are considered unable to live in a family situation due to social, emotional, or physical disabilities, but are able to interact in a community environment with varying degrees of supervision. Children are adjudicated either for having committed a delinquent act or as a child in need of assistance (CINA) and court-ordered to this state-licensed out-of-home care provided in licensed facilities. These facilities operate 24 hours a day and seven days per week offering room, board, and age appropriate and transitional child welfare services.
To provide this level of care, Iowa contracts with 15 private partners that were selected using a competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Contracts began in state fiscal year 2012.
Foster group care provides children with a safe and protective setting where they can thrive. Around the clock parenting-type support is provided by qualified and competent staff and programs are designed to suit individual children in placement. The safety, permanence, and well-being of youth are addressed by:
1.     Providing a stable living environment;
2.     Engaging families to help eliminate conditions that may have led to a child’s removal from the home;
3.     Maintaining connections to home and community (in collaboration with the referral entities); and,
4.     Providing for children’s educational, recreational, medical, social, and rehabilitation needs.
Foster group care is responsible to plan the daily activities of the children in care, provide discipline and guidance as needed, and facilitate the development of peer relationships. While in care, children are taught age appropriate skills to help prepare them to return to their communities or to transition to adulthood or future self-sufficiency.
Lengths of placement vary and contractors work with the referral entities, the courts, and families to coordinate efforts toward achieving goals in the child’s case permanency plan. Behavior management and stabilization strategies used shall include collaboration with families in order to facilitate a child’s move back to the community and family reunification, if that is possible and appropriate.
This webpage is intended to provide easy access to FGCS information and resources for FGCS contractors, Department of Human Services' staff, stakeholders, and other interested parties. Questions or comments about FGCS or the information on this site may be emailed to Jim Chesnik at the Iowa Department of Human Services using:

FGCS Questions & Answers                                                                                           

The latest version of the ongoing questions and answers document from the Department relating to Foster Group Care Services can be accessed by clicking this  Ongoing Q&A link.