Important Iowa Foster Parent Information Regarding COVID-19

At LSI, our top priority is ensuring high quality care for the children and families we are privileged to serve. LSI Foster Care and Adoption leaders have had recent detailed discussions with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding Iowa’s response to the novel (new) coronavirus, COVID-19, and the increase in cases across Iowa.

In an effort to protect the children we serve, all out of state travel for foster children must be approved by the DHS Service Area Manager. This restriction includes traveling out of the county, as well as crossing the Iowa border with a foster child for any reason. This also includes any travel that may have received prior approval from your DHS Case Manager. We recognize that information is changing rapidly, and we encourage you to contact your LSI Support Caseworker for any updates.

We also recognize that prior to the COVID-19 precautions, a majority of families in our western counties frequently traveled across state lines. However, we must make sure we are following these recommendations from our state. If there are medical reasons for a child to cross the Iowa border (for instance, to therapy sessions or doctor appointments), you must first get approval from the DHS Service Area Manager. Your LSI Support Caseworker or the Director of LSI Foster Care and Adoption, Dawn Luetje, can assist with this (contact information listed below).

If you are requesting any out-of-state travel, we will need the following information:

– Your name
– Your foster child’s name and date of birth
– Where you reside
– Where you will be travelling to
– The dates and frequency of this travel need
– Reason for out-of-state travel
– Your DHS Caseworker’s name
– Your LSI Support Caseworker’s name

The restrictions regarding COVID-19 are also being shared with all birth families. It is important to keep them informed of their child’s safety, and your LSI Caseworker can help you maintain communication and birth family connections according to the child’s DHS case plan. LSI is also developing a prescreening process and virtual visit options that will make it safer and easier for your family to communicate with your LSI team. 

LSI continues to closely monitor the guidance of IDPH, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as our partners like DHS. Trainings that were scheduled to be in-person will now be provided virtually. LSI has been given DHS approval to use video conferencing options, and we are working on more ways to help you meet your training needs. If you have questions on specific trainings, please contact your LSI Support Caseworker Supervisor.

If a child or resident in your home is in a category that is considered high risk per the CDC, please notify Dawn Luetje. Click here to see the categories the CDC considers at higher risk for COVID-19.

We understand this news can create added stress and anxiety. Self-care and access to your supports are important during this time. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued mental health considerations; these can serve as an excellent, trusted resource for you. Click here to access the guide.

Thank you for providing a calm, safe environment for the children in your care during this challenging time.

Important LSI Foster Care and Adoption Contacts
Phone number: 712.263.9341

Dawn Luetje, Director
Dawn.Luetje@LSIowa.org

Becky Groeneweg, Support Caseworker Supervisor, Northern SA1
Becky.Groeneweg@LSIowa.org

Teresa Kanning, Support Caseworker Supervisor, Southern SA1
Teresa.Kanning@LSIowa.org

Amanda Krause, Licensing Supervisor
Amanda.Krause@LSIowa.org

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