F.A.I.R. (Foster Allegation Information Resource)
FAIR Phone Numbers*:
877-788-7255 (Toll-free) / 515-261-7255 (Des Moines area)
* PLEASE NOTE - This phone line is NOT staffed 24 hours / 7 days a week, you may need to leave a message for the FAIR Coordinator.
Foster parents are at a higher risk of abuse allegations than the general population due to:
- Standards for licensed providers
- Close monitoring by DHS due to
placements in the home
- Children in care with difficult
behaviors can increase stress levels
- Children in care may be mad at
- Children in care may have flashbacks
from past abuse
- Lack of information
- Lack of support
About the FAIR Program
The IFAPA Foster Allegations Information Resource (FAIR) program was developed to assist foster and adoptive parents across Iowa who face an allegation of abuse or neglect. The FAIR line is designed to provide support, information and resources to parents during this difficult time.
The IFAPA FAIR program has a toll-free confidential phone line (877-788-7255 statewide or 515-261-7255 Des Moines area). The FAIR Coordinator can answer questions and provide accurate information regarding the assessment process.
The FAIR Program will provide foster parents information, not counseling or legal advice, regarding the assessment process, as well as foster home licensing issues. The FAIR Program is not involved in the Child Abuse Assessment, instead it is a resource for foster parents who need information and have further questions.
The FAIR Program serves as an accurate information source during an abuse assessment by:
- Providing information regarding the Child Abuse Assessment process
- Explaining the rights of foster parents during the assessment process
- Reviewing the expected timing of the assessment and appeal process procedures
Please keep in mind that:
- An abuse allegation does not mean that you are presumed guilty
- You need clear and accurate information for yourself and for your family
- Foster parents are responsible for providing all information to the Child Protective Assessment Worker
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE
About the FAIR Coordinator
- Maintains confidentiality
- IS NOT involved in the assessment process
- WILL NOT provide any counseling or legal services for parents
- Is an experienced social worker
- Has experience licensing foster and adoptive homes
Tips for Parents During an Assessment:
- Keep a log of contacts and calls throughout the assessment process
- Request documentation from others who have information on the issues raised during the assessment
- Cooperate with the Child Protective Assessment worker
- Stay as positive as you can through the assessment process
- Do not blame the child
- Educate yourself on foster care rules and policy
How to Minimize the Risk of Abuse Allegations in Your Home
- Attend the IFAPA Training "Preventative Practices II: Updated Strategies for Minimizing the Risk of Child Abuse Allegations in Your Home". View the IFAPA Training Schedule to find the upcoming dates and locations for this training class.
- Review the materials received from your Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter class
- Read the IFAPA Publication - Child Abuse Assessment: A Guide for Foster Parents
- Read the IFAPA Publication - Confidentiality: A Guide for Foster Parents
Guide for Mandatory Reporters (updated July 1, 2010)
Effective July 1, 2010 a new category "Allows Access to Obscene Material" has been added to the child abuse law. This type of abuse is defined as a caretaker knowingly allowing a child access to obscene material, exhibiting obscene material to a child, or disseminating obscene material to a child, as defined in Iowa Code Section 728.1.
To view the full DHS Guide for Mandatory Reporters, click here.