Become an Iowa DHS Volunteer Today!
The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking volunteers in our Des Moines Services Area, which includes Boone, Story, Dallas, Polk, Adair, Madison, Warren, Marion, Adams, Union, Clarke, Lucas, Ringgold, Decatur and Wayne counties.
Under DHS, Iowa Volunteer Services aims to provide leadership, guide state policies and create advocacy for people served in the child welfare, juvenile justice, dependent adult abuse and child care systems.
The Mission of DHS is to help individuals and families achieve safe, stable, self-sufficient and healthy lives, thereby contributing to the economic growth of the state. We do this by keeping a customer focus, striving for excellence, sound stewardship of state resources, maximizing the use of federal funding and leveraging opportunities and by working with our public and private partners to achieve results.
Protecting Dependent Adults
The DHS’s goal is to maximize positive outcomes with dependent adults by protecting well-being, empowering independence and supporting quality of life. We currently have a high need for volunteers to serve as guardians or conservators for protected persons. Volunteers are needed for the dependent adult particularly when family members are not available, not willing to serve or cannot provide adequate protection.
Protected persons are people identified, medically or physically, to be a dependent adult, which means, relying on another to meet all needs applicable. Persons who meet the definition of “dependent adult,” who have either been abused or neglected by a caretaker or have neglected themselves, are assessed by DHS.
“Dependent adult” means a person 18 years of age or older who is unable to protect the person’s own interests or unable to adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet essential human needs, as a result of a physical or mental condition which requires assistance from another, or as defined by Department rule.
A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make decisions for the person of the dependent adult about their physical care and non-financial matters such as medical treatment, education, living arrangements, etc. Guardians work with professionals from DHS and other service agencies to make placement and treatment decisions for the protected person. Thus, a guardian may be asked to sign admission requests for hospitals, complete applications for government assistance and monitor the individual’s treatments and condition.
A conservator is a person appointed by the court to handle the property, assets and income of a protected person. Conservators help manage a protected person’s finances, including estates. Conservators make all financial decisions for the protected person and manages their income accordantly.
Dependent Adult Services
Dependent Adult Protective Services (APS) receives reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of dependent adults. Concerns of possible abuse are evaluated or assessed by DHS. The program endeavors to provide for the safety and protection of adult who are, or suspected to be, victims of maltreatment and make referrals to assist alleged victims and their families in locating community supports to meet their needs. Every action taken by APS must balance the duty to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult with the adult’s right to self-determination. Older persons and persons with disabilities who are victims of mistreatment should be treated with honesty, caring and respect.
Volunteer today to make a difference in the lives of some of our communities’ most at-need individuals. If you have knowledge of basic human needs and you can celebrate people and expand your horizons, then make the move to close the gap between you and your community members that need a helping hand. As you aspire to a greater cause, you will also inspire your peers.
To report abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of a dependent adult, please call the toll-free number below.
Dependent Adult Protective Services
(800) 362-2178 (toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
If a person is in imminent danger, call 911.
For more information on Volunteer Services, visit iowadhsvolunteer.com. For more information on volunteering, email Amanda Hardin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (515) 725-2743 or visit the Iowa Department of Human Services - Polk County River Place Office at 2309 Euclid Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310 on Monday- Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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