Plans of Safe Care Infants With Prenatal Substance Exposure and Their Families - Iowa

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 232.68(2)(a)(6); 232.73

The term 'child abuse' or 'abuse' includes a situation in which an illegal drug is present in a child's body as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.

The term 'medically relevant test' means a test that produces reliable results of exposure to cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs, or combinations or derivatives of the illegal drugs, including a drug urine screen test.

Notification/Reporting Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 232.77

If a health practitioner discovers in a child physical or behavioral symptoms of the effects of exposure to cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs, or combinations or derivatives thereof, that were not prescribed by a health practitioner, or if the health practitioner has determined through examination of the mother of the child that the child was exposed in utero, the health practitioner may perform or cause to be performed a medically relevant test, as defined in § 232.73, on the child. The practitioner shall report any positive results of such a test on the child to the Department of Human Services. The department shall begin an assessment pursuant to § 232.71B upon receipt of such a report. A positive test result obtained prior to the birth of a child shall not be used for the criminal prosecution of a parent for acts and omissions resulting in intrauterine exposure of the child to an illegal drug.

If a health practitioner involved in the delivery or care of a newborn or infant discovers in the newborn or infant physical or behavioral symptoms that are consistent with the effects of prenatal drug exposure or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the health practitioner shall report such information to the department in a manner prescribed by rule of the department.

Assessment of the Infant and Family

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 232.71B

If the department determines a report constitutes a child abuse allegation, the department shall promptly commence either a child abuse assessment within 24 hours of receiving the report or a family assessment within 72 hours of receiving the report. Upon acceptance of a report of child abuse, the department shall commence a child abuse assessment when the report alleges child abuse as defined in § 232.68(2)(a)(5)-(11). The primary purpose of either the child abuse assessment or the family assessment shall be the protection of the child named in the report. The secondary purpose of either type of assessment shall be to engage the child's family in services to enhance family strengths and to address needs.

A child abuse assessment or family assessment shall include the following:

  • A safety assessment and risk assessment
  • An evaluation of the home environment
  • Identification of the nature, extent, and cause of the injuries, if any, to the child named in the report
  • Identification of the person or persons responsible for the alleged child abuse
  • A description of the name, age, and condition of other children in the same home as the child named in the report
  • An interview of the person alleged to have committed the child abuse, if the person's identity and location are known
  • A visit to the home of the child named in the report and an interview or observation of the child
  • A physical examination

A written assessment report shall identify the strengths and needs of the child and of the child's parent, home, and family. The report shall identify services available from the department and informal and formal services and other support available in the community to address the strengths and needs identified in the assessment.

Responsibility for Development of the Plan of Safe Care

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 232.71B

Upon completion of the assessment, the department shall consult with the child's family in offering services to the child and the child's family to address strengths and needs identified in the assessment.

The department shall provide or arrange for and monitor services for abused children and their families on a voluntary basis or under a final or intermediate order of the juvenile court. The department may provide or arrange for and monitor services for children and their families on a voluntary basis for cases in which a family assessment is completed.

At the conclusion of a family assessment, the department shall transfer the case, if appropriate, to a contracted provider to review the service plan for the child and family. The contracted provider shall make a referral to the department abuse hotline if a family's noncompliance with a service plan places a child at risk.

Services for the Infant

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Services for the Parents or Other Caregivers

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Monitoring Plans of Safe Care

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.