Attorney’s Office

Child in Need of Assistance - Intake Division

This division of the Polk County Attorney’s Office is responsible for the screening of requests for the removal of children and the filing of Child in Need of Assistance petitions. Referrals are made by the Department of Human Services after a Child Protective Assessment has been initiated.

If the State is seeking the removal of a child or children from a custodian, the State must establish that there is clear and convincing evidence that the children are likely to suffer serious injury or death as a result of the parents/custodians/legal guardians actions or inactions.

In making a decision as to whether or not a Child in Need of Assistance petition should be filed, the State must establish that there is evidence to support one or more of the eighteen grounds for the filing of a petition under Iowa Code Section 232.2(6). Often times there are situations in which adequate safety measures have been enacted so that a Child in Need of Assistance petition is not necessary. In these instances the Department of Human Services strives to provide families with additional services and resources to alleviate future concerns.

Additionally, the Juvenile Intake Division screens mental health commitment requests on juveniles. The Intake Division also provides information to concerned citizens, parents, medical professionals and school personnel on how to best address child welfare related issues. The Intake Division can not provide legal advice to individuals pursuing their own legal matters nor can the Intake Division disseminate information about past or current cases.

Contact Us

Polk County Attorney's Office
Polk County Justice Center
222 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: (515) 286-3737
Fax: (515) 286-3428
Email: ctyatty@polkcountyiowa.gov