The Department of Human Services in Iowa handles both the licensing of daycare operators and child abuse/neglect investigations in Iowa. When a person who operates a daycare is accused of child abuse or child neglect in Iowa, they face both the standard concerns anyone would face, as well as concerns about their livelihood and ability to continue operating a daycare.
In every Iowa DHS investigation, there are risks for the person who is accused of abuse or neglect – no matter how innocent of any wrongdoing they may be. That is because Iowa DHS has the advantage when speaking to a person who is being investigated, and will often produce inaccurate reports. Those reports can even be the basis for a criminal prosecution or other court action.
Certain child abuse findings, if not overturned upon appeal, can result in a person being barred from participation in daycare by DHS. For a person who has built their business around operating in-home daycare or a daycare center, the effect of a child abuse report can be severe.
The good news is that the same unreasonableness that is often present in a DHS report is what can allow a person to prevail when appealing. The deadlines for filing an appeal of an Iowa DHS child abuse assessment are strict, and missing the deadline will result in a loss of the ability to appeal. As such, any daycare operator who is accused of child abuse or neglect is well advised to seek an attorney at once.