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The Iowa Department of Public Health says it is exploring options to balance safety of Iowa’s foster children while preserving parental rights. Many foster parents in Iowa have expressed concern over the department’s new requirements to be a licensed foster parent in Iowa.

Foster parents in Iowa, in order to be licensed, will have to have ALL children in their home up-to-date on their vaccinations beginning Sept. 1, 2020.


IDPH said the new requirements were due to Family First, a piece of federal legislation. The Iowa Standard asked IDPH what provisions of the legislation requires mandatory vaccinations for all kids, but no answer was given.

This was the statement from Matt Highland, IDPH’s Public Information Officer.

“Family First is an important piece of federal legislation that has tremendous bipartisan support.  To implement this federal legislation, states were required to submit a plan to federal partners for approval. DHS received plan approval mid-2019.

We’ve heard concerns regarding the assurances agreement letter which operationalized this federally approved plan.  Director Garcia is hearing these concerns and exploring the available options to balance both the safety and well being of Iowa’s foster children while preserving parental rights. We apologize for any confusion this has caused for our foster families and we are grateful for their service in providing safe homes for Iowa’s children in need.”

Author: Jacob Hall


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