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Free support option for families with children adopted from foster care

grooters_dave(From David A. Grooters, Mason City Attorney)

The adoption of a child presents many challenges to families. For parents who have adopted their child out of the foster care system, there can be even more. Fortunately, a program exists in Iowa to provide free support to families.

The program is called “Navigator” and is available through Iowa KidsNet. Navigator is a post-adoption support service free to Iowa families who receive an adoption subsidy through the Iowa Department of Human Services. Support specialists can help in ways such as providing behavior management plans and assistance, supporting the relationship between adoptive and birth families, and responding to crisis calls from families.

The brochure for the Navigator program details the following:

Post-Adoption Support Services:

Iowa has many wonderful families who have adopted a child from foster care into their forever family. After adoption, these children and families may still face unique challenges. That’s why Iowa KidsNet provides post-adoption support to Iowa’s foster adopt families through our Navigator program. As a road map for supporting adoptive families, the goal of Navigator is to keep a child and family stable.

Who Qualifies?

Any Iowa adoptive family who receives an adoption subsidy from the Iowa Department of Human Services is eligible for free adoption support services.

What is Post-Adoption Support?

Even after adoption, families may face challenges such as coordinating a child’s treatment needs, managing behaviors or maintaining a child’s relationship with a birth relative. The Navigator program is designed to help you with these challenges. Support can be different for every family, so an assigned Iowa KidsNet support specialist will help you develop a support plan that meets your family’s unique needs and circumstances. He or she can:

– Visit your family at your home
– Develop service goals that meet your needs and help stabilize the child’s placement
– Provide behavior management plans and assistance
– Respond to crisis calls from your family
– Assist and support your family’s relationship with a birth family or kin
– Advocate with schools, DHS and service providers for a child’s treatment or needs
– Coordinate with licensing workers or providers connected to your family

Support for Foster Families:

Iowa foster families also receive free support services from Iowa KidsNet. Foster families are automatically assigned an Iowa KidsNet support specialist upon completion of PS-MAPP training. The goal of these services is to help strengthen placements, prevent disruption and achieve permanency. For more information about support services for foster families, visit .

How to Access Services

With recent changes in child welfare, support services are now easy for families to access.

Call Iowa KidsNet at 1.800.243.0756, and ask about receiving post-adoption support. Your local area staff will then assign an Iowa KidsNet support specialist to you permanently. Iowa KidsNet support services are free to families who receive an adoption subsidy from the Iowa Department of Human Services.

For more information on Navigator, or if you have questions regarding adoption or any other legal matter, please contact David A. Grooters at Pappajohn, Shriver, Eide & Nielsen P.C., 103 East State Street, Suite 800, Mason City, Iowa 641-423-4264 or visit

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