Federal report finds Iowa ‘biased’ toward institutional care for intellectually disabled

Glenwood Resource Center [KTIV photo]

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa
Federal investigators say the State of Iowa has failed to provide the “most appropriate setting” for intellectually disabled Iowans who are residents at state-run facilities in Glenwood and Woodward.

A report from the U.S. Department of Justice concludes Iowa’s system is heavily biased toward placing Iowans with profound intellectual disabilities in an institution. About 300 adults with intellectual disabilities and behavioral disorders are residents at the state Resource Centers in Glenwood and Woodward. The report finds that with the right services, nearly all of them could live in a community setting instead and the cost of that care would be less.

Iowa Department of Human Services director Kelly Garcia says Iowa has a long history of relying on institutional care and the findings are not a surprise. Garcia says her agency is working to build an array of services to help intellectually disabled Iowans live as independently as possible.