American Home Finding Association Emergency Shelter Care facility operates under the umbrella of Child Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) which is a contract between the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and AHFA. AHFA also subcontracts with First Resources to provide intervention services designed to help keep kids home whenever possible.
These services are part of a relatively new statewide approach to the child welfare service array. CWES are short term and temporary interventions provided through the child welfare system. These services are all focused on children’s safety, permanence and well-being. They are intended to immediately respond to the needs of the eligible children and their families. CWES approaches range from “Crisis Intervention” such as family conflict mediations or in-home services provided before children require removal from their homes to more restrictive “emergency” services such as Shelter Care. Eligible children are referred by CWES, Juvenile Court Services and Law Enforcement.
AHFA is the lead agency to oversee the CWES Program and shelter placements.
If a child cannot be safely maintained in their home, or their safety is in question, a Shelter placement can be made.
Youth who are in shelter are placed on a level point system, educational plans are developed and shelter staff work closely with the referring Agency to ensure the youth’s goals are being met. Most all other efforts have generally been exhausted before a child is placed into shelter care. This is a needed service and at times the only place a youth has left to go when all other attempts at diffusing the situation have failed.
Judy Davidson, Director