Iowa DHS moves forward with work on children’s well-being

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Mother daughter photo from Tribune Media

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is moving forward with initiatives aimed at improving children’s mental health and well-being, but officials say they won’t be able to estimate the potential cost of the effort until it’s developed more fully.

The Iowa Department of Human Services and other state agencies have been working together to formally tackle components of a long-term goal to change how children in Iowa access services related to their mental health and well-being. Officials contend services can be more effective if the two issues are addressed together.

State officials began soliciting outside work this month to help develop children’s mental health crisis services. Additional bidding will be available soon for so-called learning labs that could help improve children’s well-being.

The Iowa Legislature approved at least $300,000 last session toward the planning efforts.