Important information about Two-Year Licensure from the Iowa Department of Human Services:
The Iowa Code was changed this year to allow a foster family home to be licensed for two years. However, the first and second years of licensure will be limited to 12 months duration, and will require annual renewal. After the first two years of 12 month licensure, the family will thereafter be issued a 2-year license at renewal, unless DHS determines that a 12-month license is required base upon the performance of the licensee. In such cases, DHS will review the licensees performance at the end of the first two years of 12-month licensure to determine whether or not to issue a 2-year license. It is important to note the foster parent in-service training continues to be the required six hours of annual in-service training hours for a one-year license. For a two year license, foster parents will still need to complete six hours of in-service training for each 12-month period, in accordance with their training cycle (see below).
If you have any questions, please submit them to IFAPA. More information on this will be in the Weekly Word.
Q1: When will two-year licensure start?
A1: In order to even out the workload to transition to the two-year licensure, it will be broken out into a two-step process:
Effective November 1, 2012, Iowa KidsNet will be working on foster home licenses due January 1, 2013 for foster families whose last name starts with letters A-K of the alphabet and who have been licensed for at least two years will be issued a two year license upon renewal, unless it is determined that they need a one-year license.
Effective November 1, 2013, Iowa KidsNet will be working on foster home licenses due January 1, 2014 for foster families whose last name starts with letters L-Z of the alphabet and who have been licensed for at least two years will be issued a two-year license upon renewal, unless it is determined that they need a one-year license.
Approval and Notification Process
Q1: How is the decision made that a family should be issued a one-year license?
A1: All foster families will be issued a one-year license for the first two years of their licensure. After the first two years of licensure, the DHS licensing team, in coordination with the Iowa KidsNet licensing/support worker, makes the determination to submit a request for approval of a one-year license from Central Office upon receipt of the Iowa KidsNet licensing packet/home study. The Iowa KidsNet home study will not include a specific recommendation for a one-year or two-year license.
The issues that the DHS licensing team may consider in making the request include, but are not limited to:
Corrective Action in the last 12 months
One or more child unconfirmed/confirmed child abuse assessments during the previous licensing year
Not completing training within the training cycle
Issues pertaining to the safety, health and well-being of the foster children
Once the decision is made to issue a one-year license, the DHS licensing worker completes Form 470-5124, "Request for a One Year License." This form is submitted to the Foster family care program manager; ACFS Division. The licensing worker should attach the Iowa KidsNet home study and any other relevant materials with the form.
ACFS will make a determination whether or not the situation warrants a one-year license and will return the Form 470-5124 to the DHS licensing worker, who will then issue the NOA.
Other licensing rule/manual changes related to 2-year licensure
Q1: How often are record checks required for families who are issued a two-year license?
A1: Record checks will be repeated prior to renewal of the license, whether it is a one-year or two-year license. The administrative rule will be changed to reflect this.
Q2: The current admin rules state that private water supplies need to be evaluated for deficiencies and tested annually. Is that still required?
A2: For those families who have two-year licenses, the evaluation and testing needs to be done prior to re-licensure, not annually. The administrative rule will be changed to reflect this. (testing may still be waived if there are three consecutive tests that show that the water is unsafe.)
Iowa Code 237.5A Foster parent training. Prior to renewal of licensure, each individual licensee shall also annually complete six hours of foster parent training.
Q1: For families with a two-year license, how many hours of training are required?
A1: Nothing has changed in regard to training. Families still need to complete six hours of training per training cycle. Training cycles will still be based on a 12-month period.
Q2: How will DHS know if a family with a two-year license does not complete the training requirements for the first year?
A2: Iowa KidsNet will send DHS a monthly list of those foster families who have not completed the required 6 hours of training for their training cycle. DHS and Iowa KidsNet will decide how to deal with training non-compliance on a case-by-case basis. Foster families will not receive their 2nd year training stipend until the first years required six hours of training is complete.