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Ensuring Help for Vulnerable Young Women

February 21, 2014
Steve Sodders - Iowa State Senator (Dist. 36) , Traer Star-Clipper

With all of the recent changes at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, it's important not to lose sight of the original mission of the Home: to provide effective care for some of Iowa's most vulnerable and troubled young women. That's why we're working on legislation to improve the services the state provides to female juvenile delinquents, assist in their rehabilitation and prepare them to be good members of their communities.

Some of the things we'd like to see include equitable services for Iowa's young men and women, effective oversight of the Iowa Juvenile Home, and accreditation of the Home through the American Correctional Association. In addition, we are calling on the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education to ensure a high-quality education is provided to the young women in the Home and tailored to their individual needs. Legislation to achieve these goals has been filed in both the House and Senate (SF 2084 and HF 2164).

Throughout discussions regarding the Iowa Juvenile Home, our goal has remained constant: to enhance the health and safety of Iowa's troubled young women. The Home has helped many over the years, and we know many more young women will be put on the right path through the hard work of the Iowa Juvenile Home in the future.

We must continue to focus on having a stable, safe home for delinquent girls. That is my goal as we move through the process of insisting the Home stay in Toledo. I am listening to what advocates have to say about better living cottages for the girls so that we can upgrade existing facilities.

It's time to implement a more effective and more accountable approach to helping young women in need so that we can ensure they have the best possible opportunity to succeed.



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