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There are currently over half a million children in the foster care system in the United States today.
Iowa CPS News Archive
The Iowa news section is your source for the latest in family rights news items,
CPS reform efforts, open court demands, abolition of confidentiality laws that judges
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Iowa News Coverage
Homeschoolers are under attack in Iowa
One of the states that has traditionally been more accepting of homeschooling, Iowa, could soon enact a new rule subjecting parents who choose to exercise their right to educate their kids to regular home visits.
S.F. 138, which was introduced by Democratic State Senator Matt McCoy, requires school districts to carry out quarterly home visits to check on the "health and safety" of children who are homeschooled. The home visits will occur with the parents' consent and may entail interviews and observation. The school district could obtain a court order to enter the residence if parents refuse to comply, however.
February 7, 2017
Area homeschool coop goes to Homeschool Capitol Day
Centerville Area Homeschool Coop took its first out-of-town field trip. Fourteen kids and four parents started the trip with a visit to the Iowa Capitol. The day was filled with activities and very special celebrities to question and learn from.
In the morning hours, after tours of the Capitol building and chatting with new and old friends, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke and reminded the families of the hard times the early homeschoolers dealt with until Gov. Branstad gave Iowa the first homeschool law almost 24 years ago. Then, in 2013, Iowa homeschoolers can now teach driver's ed, thanks to the lobbying efforts of NICHE and grassroots efforts around the state.
April 17, 2015
The Des Moines Register Must Hate Homeschooling
The Des Moines Register once again attacks Iowa homeschooling families and the new freedom they enjoy under independent private instruction.
They wrote an editorial in 2013 bemoaning the change in the law, and a year-and-a-half later they publish yet another editorial which follows a column written by Rekha Basu who balked at the idea of home education, homeschoolers benefiting from education savings accounts (or probably any tax credit or deduction I suppose) and even large families.
April 17, 2015
Iowa Students to Wear Heart Rate Monitors
Students going back to school in Dubuque, Iowa, are going to find it a little harder to slack off in gym. Public middle and high school students will have to wear heart rate monitors in gym class to make sure they are actually being physically active.
"It will be a large portion of their grade, because we want to grade them on what they're actually doing in our class," Dubuque Schools Athletic and Wellness Director Amy Hawkins told ABC News. Teachers will use the information collected from the heart rate monitors to write report cards.
August 19, 2014
Ted Cruz, stoking 2016 talk, plans March trip to Iowa
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite, will speak at a homeschooling rally in Iowa next month, signaling his continued interest in a possible 2016 presidential bid.
The event, which will take place on March 18 at the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines, will be hosted by the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE), a politically-engaged group that has previously hosted presidential contenders. In 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) spoke at a similar "Homeschool Day at the Capitol," as did pizza magnate Herman Cain and former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.).
February 10, 2014
West Branch Man Facing Child Porn Charges
A West Branch man is in jail facing child pornography charges. Iowa City Police said 22-year-old Brady Verlo admitted to having about 400 photos and videos of child porn on his cell phone, and more than 1,000 images on his home computer.
January 19, 2014
Marshalltown Woman Charged After Toddler Found in Parking Lot
A Marshalltown woman is charged with five counts of child endangerment after a toddler was found wandering around a store parking lot.
Police say 26-year-old Ruth Ramirez left five children alone in her vehicle while the wind chill hovered around 3 degrees Tuesday. A customer called police after seeing a car nearly hit a 2-year-old boy in the lot.
January 19, 2014
October: Zombies, Legos and spies at the Altoona library
Zombies and the paranormal invade the library - Edible books, zombies and the unexplained provide an interesting combination of programs for October at the Altoona Public Library.
Discover the facts and fiction behind Greek myths during our Heroes of Olympus program for kids in grades 4-8 at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Those who enjoy Rick Riordan books will want to attend this program.
October 2, 2013
New laws relax oversight of Iowa's homeschoolers
KALONA, Iowa - The sickly sweet smell of cocoa and cooked sugar hangs in the air at Kalona Chocolates, also known as 15-year-old Whitney Hershberger's math class.
Whitney is a homeschool student in what now is a state with some of the most lax homeschool laws in the country. For homeschool advocates, rollbacks on homeschool regulation in Gov. Terry Branstad's 2013 education reform bill were a resounding victory that made Iowa a model for the nation. For those skeptical of the absence of government oversight of homeschool curriculum, testing and teacher qualifications, the rollback smacked of hypocrisy especially because the public education system is entering into a new era of accountability.
September 11, 2013
Iowa grants gun permits to the blind
Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.
The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it's a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.
September 8, 2013
State's homeschool rules a subject of debate
While most of the education debate in the state Capitol this year has been on how to improve teachers and enhance schools, some Iowa lawmakers are focused on a very different educational goal - seeking to reduce regulations for homeschooling families.
Language added to an education bill passed in the Republican-controlled state House in February would remove oversight for some households that homeschool their children. The proposals could complicate negotiations as House Republicans try to reach a compromise with the Democratic-controlled Senate on overall school funding and an education overhaul plan from Gov. Terry Branstad.
April 22, 2013
Iowa lawmakers pressing for tougher homeschool laws
The Iowa Senate is pressing for tougher homeschool laws. Reason.com reported on March 26, 2013 that the Senate is looking to remove the provision that allows homeschool parents to teach up to four unrelated children.
If passed, the law will have a negative impact on homeschool families with working or chronically ill parents. Iowa currently allows homeschoolers to teach up to four children who are unrelated. This provision allows parents who work during the day, parents who have disabilities or chronic illnesses or families with new babies, a chance to homeschool without having to do so directly.
March 28, 2013
New group will assist families who adopt or provide foster care
MUSCATINE, Iowa - A new support group for adoptive and foster families will meet at Muscatine's Calvary Church,
501 Douglas King Memorial Expressway, from 6:30-8 p.m., the first Wednesday of every month, beginning Feb. 6. This faith-based group is designed to encourage and support families.
February 1, 2013
Briar Cliff prof publishes article on Indian Child Welfare
SIOUX CITY associate professor of social work, program director and department chair at Briar Cliff University, has co-authored an article on Indian Child Welfare with Julia Kleinschmit, a clinical associate professor.
Craig-Oldsen also is the principal investigator of Briar Cliff's Siouxland Indian Child Welfare Traineeship Project, which promotes the professionalization of child welfare through support of culturally appropriate undergraduate social work education.
December 30, 2012
Foster care families decline in Iowa
More kids being placed with relatives. "I remember sitting in the Foundation 2 office and them making dozens and dozens of calls, trying to find me a place," said Stacey Struve of northeast Cedar Rapids.
Like its counterparts across the country, the Iowa Department of Human Services over the past decade has made placement with relatives the first choice when children must be removed from a potentially dangerous situation. "If you can keep the child safe and the family together, that is best," said DHS spokesman Roger Munns. "If it is not safe, then we shoot for relative placement, and if removal is required we seek a voluntary removal" before filing a petition to remove a child from parents' custody.
September 13, 2012
DHS makes child safety negotiable
The Iowa Department of Human Services' child protection division has been engaging in a questionable practice that could undermine its very reason for being.
The agency is "settling" cases with perpetrators it had previously investigated and concluded had engaged in "founded" cases of child abuse, even when none of the evidence has changed. The upshot is that children could end up being around child abusers whose prior abuse history is concealed.
August 12, 2012
West Des Moines Man Charged With Indecent Acts With a Child
Child protective workers with the Iowa Department of Human Services have been notified and a West Des Moines man was arrested Sunday night on charges of indecent acts with a child, according to police records.
Byron Alberta Martinez, 29, was charged after he allegedly fondled the breasts of the 11-year-old daughter of a person with whom he had been living.
July 6, 2012
Children removed from home of accused Iowa City couple
Three children have been removed from the home of an Iowa City couple accused of child endangerment resulting in death.
Jorge Perez, 20, and Mireya Balderas, 18, are charged with beating 20-month-old Marcus Balderas to death in April. Iowa City police Lt. Doug Hart said three children related to Perez, ranging from 3 to 9 years of age, have been removed from the home and placed in foster care.
June 13, 2012
Child protection requires some changes
Child protection issues in Iowa are complicated, but that's no excuse to throw up our hands.
Iowa's children are counting on us to work through the complexities and find ways to address disparities and allocate resources in ways that keep them safe, while strengthening families wherever possible.
April 15, 2012
New Ron Paul Iowa Team Names New 'Homeschoolers for Ron Paul? Members
ANKENY, Iowa - The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign announced additional families joining the "Homeschoolers for Ron Paul" nationwide coalition. Today's featured members reside in Linn, Kossuth, and Dallas counties, all Iowa.
"As a homeschooling mother, I support Ron Paul for President because of his 'hands-off' views that allow freedom for parents to school their children as they see fit with minimal government regulations. I also support his proposal of a $5,000-per-child tax credit to be used for schooling - books, computers, etc.," said Mrs. Banowetz."
December 31, 2011
"They were just suspicious of me from the beginning"
It was February 2009 - five weeks before her due date - but his ex's new boyfriend had beaten her so badly that doctors had to deliver the baby. That's how the Iowa Department of Human Services got involved.
Rodgers wanted to take his daughter home with him, but the DHS worker said he would have to go through the agency. She placed the baby with a foster family. It took three months for DHS to confirm Rodgers' paternity. Again, he asked to take his daughter home. Instead, the agency allowed him to visit her. Twice a week. With supervision. Even though Rodgers had no history of child abuse or neglect, DHS would make him jump through more than two years' worth of hoops to prove he was good enough to keep her.
December 31, 2011
"Remove-first" policy hurts families
When little Shelby Duis was found dead at her Spirit Lake home - with massive head injuries, fractured ribs and two broken hands - it sent a shock through the entire state.
Neighbors and day-care workers had warned child protective workers for nearly a year before the 2-year-old's January 2000 death that the girl was being abused. Then, later that same year, an Oskaloosa man came forward to say that he'd told officials for months his 23-month-old son was being mistreated by his estranged wife and her boyfriend before the boy was hospitalized with critical brain and spinal injuries.
December 28, 2011
DHS looks at changing how Iowa investigates child abuse
Iowa's Department of Human Services is exploring ways to scale back the number of formal child-abuse investigations social workers perform every year.
The move, based on recommendations released Friday by a panel of state officials and child-welfare professionals, would constitute the biggest change in how child abuse reports are handled by the state in more than a decade, some officials believe.
December 17, 2011
Ron Paul plans Iowa visit Oct 21-22
After announcing earlier today Ron Paul's Oct. 21 appearance planned at the University of Iowa, the congressman's campaign released more details about Paul's upcoming trip to the state.
In addition to visiting the campus, Paul has a number of events planned in Iowa leading up to the Oct. 22 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Candidate Forum at the state fairgrounds. The visit will incorporate three postponed campaign stops previously scheduled for this week.
October 10, 2011
Doctor's evaluation: With mom, Elliot is in danger
Loriann and Elliot Morgan waited nearly an hour to see the doctor at the Iowa City clinic. When Dr. Resmiye Oral finally opened her door, two social workers involved in Elliot's foster care case walked out.
It was September 2009. Over the previous five months, the public and private social workers hired to work with the family had shifted their concern away from Loriann's progress in drug treatment and toward her 3-year-old's health. Elliot, they learned, had been in and out of the doctor's office dozens of times before he was placed in foster care, mostly with problems related to sinus ear infections.
October 4, 2011
Alert Kidjacked to Iowa CPS news!
Jacked Up: Urgent in IOWA
If any of you know of or have friends or relatives in IOWA, please get in touch with me ASAP~!!! I have a family that is in an emergency situation that desperately NEEDS help TODAY~!!!
May 15, 2010