Tag: Jerry Foxhoven

Statement on Governor’s explanation of DHS shakeup

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  18 June 2019

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen
on Governor’s latest statement on departure of DHS Director

“The Governor’s latest statement on the departure of Jerry Foxhoven is as clear as mud.

“If the Governor has been working behind closed doors for nearly six months on a new direction, a new team and a new vision for the Department of Human Services, she needs to back up her rhetoric with positive action. This includes outlining her specific plans to:

  • Fix a privatized Medicaid system that is unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable.
  • Reverse course on policies that decimated the state’s successful family planning network, resulting in more unintended pregnancies, more risky births, more teenage mothers.
  • Present a comprehensive plan for adequately funding mental health services for children and adults.
  • Stop dangerous practices and procedures at Glenwood, Eldora and other at state-operated facilities.
  • Rebuild the child protective safety net instead of putting dangerous holes in it.
  • Explain to Iowans why she made the decision to replace Foxhoven (a) when her Administration is in the middle of negotiations with both out-of-state managed care organizations (MCOs) and (b) when hundreds of thousands of Iowans are two weeks away from transitioning to a new MCO.

“Finally, I repeat my call for the Governor to immediately launch a nationwide search for a new Director of the Department of Human Services who is truly committed to watching out for the most vulnerable children and adults in Iowa.

“When then-Director Chuck Palmer resigned in 2017, the Governor posted the opening on the website of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (https://agency.governmentjobs.com/iowa/job_bulletin.cfm?jobID=1755326&sharedWindow=0) and that should be her first step to take in 2019.”

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Statement on departure of Human Services director

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  17 June 2019

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader
on departure of DHS Director

“The Governor needs to immediately launch a nationwide search for a new Director of the Department of Human Services who is truly committed to watching out for the most vulnerable children and adults in Iowa.

“This means finding an advocate who will fight for more resources, push for stronger policies, and ensure that those policies are enforced for the betterment of all Iowans.

“After years of mismanagement and neglect by Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans, Iowans deserve a new Director with the backbone necessary to put quality care and proper oversight ahead of special interests.

“The damage they’ve done to Iowans includes:

  • Creating and supporting a privatized Medicaid system that is unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable. It’s so bad that the federal government has launched an investigation into whether officials in Iowa and other states are providing sufficient and appropriate oversight to ensure that people with Medicaid are receiving the care to which they are entitled.
  • Decimating the state’s successful family planning network, resulting in more unintended pregnancies, more risky births, more teenage mothers.
  • Inadequately funding mental health services for children and adults.
  • Allowing dangerous practices and procedures at Glenwood, Eldora and other at state-operated facilities.

“Finally, it’s especially bad news for Medicaid recipients, health care providers and Iowa taxpayers that the Governor’s Director is leaving (a) in the middle of negotiations with both out-of-state managed care organizations (MCO) and (b) when hundreds of thousands of Iowans are two weeks away from transitioning to a new MCO.”

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New Changes Possible for DHS

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Jerry Foxhoven has been on the job as director of the Department of Human Services for less than three months, and so far has been met with one controversy after another.

The new director is pushing for changes he believes will help prevent children like Natalie Finn and Sabrina Ray from dying under DHS’s watch.

Foxhoven and Senator Matt McCoy, who is advocating for changes as well, will appear on this week's edition of Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press.

"Make sure that anyone who has an adoption subsidy takes the child to the doctor at least once a year. We're looking at other possibilities, but at least that much on a minimum,” Foxhoven said.

Senator McCoy agrees. He would also like DHS to resume control of home studies, which determine whether a family is suitable to adopt in the first place.

“Also in sourcing, what we are currently paying another agency to do and having the department do that and using the funds that we would have paid the outsource agency for," Senator McCoy said.

Right now, DHS pays Lutheran Services of Iowa and Kid Net to conduct home studies, but bringing home assessments back to DHS will create more work for social workers who already have a full plate.

“Most of them are working mandatory overtime just to do the basic things. One hundred fifty-six of them had overtime," Senator McCoy said.

The department needs to hire more staff, but with a budget shortfall, the state doesn't have the money right now. In the meantime, McCoy and Foxhoven are awaiting the results of an independent study to determine what changes can be made without additional funding.

More information should be available after the next legislative session.