Child Welfare Emergency Services

Child Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) are an array of short term and temporary interventions provided to the service's target population by the child welfare system that focus on children's safety, permanence, and well-being. This CWES array ranges from the least restrictive approaches that can be used to avoid out of home placement, e.g., family conflict mediations or in-home interventions, to more restrictive emergency services including out-of-home placement with relatives, foster families, or emergency juvenile shelter care (as permitted by the Iowa Code). Eligible children are referred by the Department of Human Services (aka the Agency or Department), Juvenile Court Services, and Law Enforcement.

The CWES target population comprises children up to the age of 18 years under the supervision of the Department of Human Services or Juvenile Court Services who need temporary care and who can be lawfully placed in emergency juvenile shelter care pursuant to conditions described in Iowa Code section 232.21. The target population also includes law enforcement referrals. Children in the target population are those who these three referral entities would otherwise refer for shelter bed placement if appropriate, less restrictive alternatives in the CWES array were not available and children who may require emergency shelter placement.
This webpage is intended to provide easy access to CWES information and resources for CWES contractors, Department of Human Services' staff, stakeholders, and other interested parties. Questions or comments about CWES or the information on this site may be emailed to Kristin Konchalski at the Iowa Department of Human Services using:
1.     CWES Questions & Answers                                                                                           
The latest version of the ongoing questions and answers document from the Department relating to Child Welfare Emergency Services can be accessed by clicking this Ongoing Q&A link.
2.    Map of Iowa displaying the counties covered by SFY 2016 contactors
A map of CWES in Iowa may be accessed by clicking on this link to the CWES map.
Additional Child Welfare Emergency Services Information


Your child has just been put in foster care with the Department of Human Services (DHS). As a parent, you have many questions. Click The State Has My Child booklet or The State Has My Child booklet - Spanish version for more information on what happens next.