DES MOINES -- The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Monday the department was consolidating three services, including a statewide child abuse intake unit that will be based in Des Moines.
The new unit with 34 employees will consolidate eight units around the state with 44 workers. Intake units currently are located in Dubuque, Davenport, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Ames, Des Moines, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.
DHS Director Charles Krogmeier said the consolidation would help ensure the department is consistent in its response to calls of possible cases of child or dependent adult abuse.
"We want to make sure that complaints of abuse are evaluated the same, no matter where they originate," Krogmeier said in a statement.
The consolidations are part of a reorganization of the vast state agency. On Monday, DHS officials announced that 23 additional county DHS offices would go from full-time to part-time operations, including Plymouth and Cherokee
Counties in Northwest Iowa.
In 2002, 34 county offices were converted to part time. Internet applications for benefits, along with other changes, have reduced the need for in-person visits to county offices, officials said.
Those counties going to part-time status include the following: Page, Decatur, Appanoose, Monroe, Mills, Madison, Marion, Keokuk, Washington, Poweshiek, Crawford, Boone, Tama, Jones, Jackson, Delaware, Hardin, Plymouth, Cherokee, Wright, Bremer, Kossuth and Winnebago counties.
DHS is also consolidating a group that processes certain Medicaid applications in Council Bluffs and a unit that determines eligibility for subsidized child care in Des Moines to replace regional groups.