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Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) is offering Behavioral Health Intervention Services to families in-person, with additional safety precautions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

While COVID-19 has made a significant impact on lives, the pandemic has created a significant risk for children and families in abusive home environments. With fewer in-person interactions with teachers, caregivers, and other regular support systems, Iowa has seen a drop in the number of reported child abuse cases throughout the pandemic. According to data from the Iowa Department of Human Services, the number of child abuse reports on March 1 totaled 1,254. As of May 24, that number had dropped to 745.

“Many parts of our daily life look different as we adjust to a new normal, but the need for critical family support remains,” said Marlie Atwood, LSI’s Director of Clinical Services. “LSI is still there to answer the call and wrap care around Iowa families.”

LSI’s BHIS programming provides weekly in-home or community-based visits for families of children with severe emotional or behavioral disorders. Together with an LSI social worker, families practice skills like anger management, positive decision-making, and healthy communication. The service is provided at no cost to families receiving Title 19 Medicaid. To address COVID-19, LSI has also incorporated extra safety measures to keep children, parents, and LSI social workers healthy. LSI therapists are also still available to provide teletherapy sessions for families, as well.

This programming has immediate openings for new clients. To get started, families can visit LSIowa.org/BHIS or call 888.457.4692.