Dear Friends of LSI,
After much prayerful consideration, LSI made the difficult decision in 2021 to discontinue our youth residential treatment programs at the Beloit campus in Ames. Beloit occupies a significant piece of LSI’s history and legacy. However, as Iowans’ needs change and we find new and innovative ways to deliver services to children and families, we are shifting our approach.
We continue to provide and grow youth residential services at our Bremwood campus in Waverly. There will always be a need for intensive residential treatment, and we are committed to Bremwood being a center of excellence in this area.
The decision to discontinue services at Beloit was not made lightly or quickly. The LSI Leadership Team and Board of Directors considered multiple factors in making this decision. Here are a few things that were taken into consideration:
• The State of Iowa does not reimburse these services at a sustainable rate. Currently, LSI’s reimbursement rates do not cover the basic costs of service provision and treatment. While our generous partners and donors have helped fill this gap, it is an increasingly unsustainable model and it has become clear that there are better service avenues for meeting the changing needs of children in Iowa.
• Fewer children are being referred into out-of-home care. At the federal and state level, there is a major shift in child welfare philosophy away from intervention and toward prevention. The Family First Prevention Services Act, passed by Congress in 2018, is designed to keep more children safely within their families of origin whenever possible and wrap preventative care around the entire family. This is work that LSI believes in: We already deliver — and are growing — preventative services throughout the state through our community-based mental and behavioral healthcare, in-home early childhood services, and services for children with disabilities.
• It has been a challenge to recruit and retain staff at Beloit considering Iowa’s competitive employment landscape. Ames is regularly among the top cities in the nation in terms of low unemployment rates. This makes it a challenge to retain staff who can address the complex trauma histories and behavioral and mental health needs of the children coming into care.
While this was a difficult decision, LSI’s mission and impact are growing, and that’s something that unites us as Team LSI and you, our faithful partners. Our Bremwood campus in Waverly continues to serve youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. We are also expanding our therapy, early childhood, behavioral health, disability services, and other community-based programs in Ames and Central Iowa.
We need you as we innovate and meet the changing needs of Iowa children and families.
Thank you for your steadfast support. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Green, LSI’s Vice President of Philanthropy and Church Relations at Sarah.Green@LSIowa.org or 515.274.4946.
LSI President and CEO