Many states provide wonderful resources that often go unused or under-used. There are many reasons for this: Sometimes people are simply not aware of the resources. Sometimes the many people that would benefit from these resources are not referred to them. One resource that could benefit more children, but is not referred to enough, is Blank’s Foster Care Clinic in Blank Children’s Hospital of Iowa. The clinic is centered and housed in the hospital’s STAR Center.
Originally, when the clinic opened, it’s primary function was that of a medical center where children would get physicals and immediate medical attention. This was for children who were removed from their home and if the potential of any sexual abuse was suspected.
But now, the Clinic has expanded and offers so much more to the children than that. They offer full assessments, not just the focused on the physical aspects of health. They offer mental health services, therapy, forensic interviews, nutritional consulting, and extended services when needed for the child. Services are provided with no cost to the family if needed. Dr. Ken McCann, who founded the clinic, told the Des Moines register, “We found this is a population of children that really needed more that maybe what was available in your general pediatric or general family practice clinic.”
The clinic also offers full family support. They provide parents and the extended family services as needed to reestablish the family as a whole.
Unfortunately, this resource is not being used as much as it could be. Only 80 children were seen at the clinic last year, although there are thousands of children in care in the state of Iowa.
So, what can be done to better serve the needs of these too many children? One is to ensure that medical professionals, social workers, and foster care agencies advocate and spread the word about resources available to them. It is very important that we provide our children with the best supports available. More information about foster care and adoption in Iowa can be found here.