Organization: Iowa AMP – Achieving Maximum Potential
Location: Headquarters in Ames, Iowa
Representing: 6000 youth in foster care
Program Vision Statement: A state where youth are embraced, supported and valued by their community and become healthy citizens.
Program Mission Statement: The mission of AMP is to surround youth with supports as they transition to adulthood by using education, mentoring, life-skills instruction and leadership development. It is our goal to empower all youth to become self-advocates and active community members.
2014 Legislative Victories:
HF2463 – Human Services Appropriations Bill
- Additional funding to expand services for youth and to conduct a review of the feasibility of and benefits associated with expanding foster care, kinship guardianships, and subsidized adoptions to be available on a voluntary basis to young adults who become age 18 while receiving child welfare services.
- Creation of A Child Welfare Services Committee
HF2388 – Continuity of learning for children receiving foster care services.
- The area education agency board is encouraged to employ a child welfare liaison to provide services and guidance to local school districts to facilitate the efficient and effective transfer and enrollment of a child adjudicated under chapter 232 or receiving foster care services to another school district. Record transfers will occur within 5 school days after receiving notification of enrollment. Sharing information between educators, child welfare agencies, juvenile court officers and assistance in transition planning. Easier access for youth to extracurricular activities, summer programs and credit transfers when changing schools.
SF2121 – Synthetic Drugs
- This bill adds several synthetic cannabinoids to the list of schedule I controlled substances. It also adds two anabolic steroids and one epilepsy drug to the schedule III controlled substance list. A weight loss hallucinogenic drug is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance. All of the substances were added to conform with federal changes. Penalties include class “C” felony, up to 10 year in jail and fines $1000-$50,000.
SF2311 – Human Trafficking
- Allows the County Attorney to refer minor victims of human trafficking to DHS for CINA (child in need of assistance) proceedings, which would open up a wide array of important services to victims.
- Adds a $1000 dollar surcharge, beginning January 1, 2015, for persons convicted of human trafficking, johns, pimps and panderers and establishes a human trafficking victim fund (where the surcharge shall be deposited) that shall be used for services for victims of human trafficking as well as public awareness.
- Requires the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to report to the Legislature what resources are devoted to training relating to human trafficking.
- Further defines “enticement” of a minor to include enticement through mail, telephone, internet, or any social media.
- Allows for expunging (removal) a record of prostitution committed when the person was under age 18 if there are no additional crimes for two years.
- Increases the penalties for “johns”, who offer to purchase or who purchase services of a prostitute who is under the age of 18, to a class “D” felony (was a simple misdemeanor).
- Increases the penalties for pimps who solicit and enable prostitution for a prostitute who is under the age of 18 to a class “C” felony (was a class “D” felony).
- Adds an affirmative defense if the alleged “pimp” is under the age of 21 and was prostituted as a child because of coercion, force, etc. of an adult.
- Extends the criminal statute of limitations for various sex offenses committed against children from three (3) to ten (10) years.
- Allows the Attorney General to seek a warrant to intercept communications that relate to felony human trafficking
HF2421 – Guardianship
The bill allows the transfer of guardianship of a child to a custodian after the dispositional hearing if the person receiving guardianship meets the statutory definition of a custodian, the person receiving guardianship has assumed responsibility for the child prior to the filing of the child in need of assistance petition and has maintained responsibility for the child after the filing of the H.F. 2421 petition, and the parent of the child either does not appear at the dispositional hearing or the parent appears and does not object to the transfer of guardianship and agrees to waive the requirement for making reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child’s home.
SF383 Sealing of Juvenile Delinquency Records
In a juvenile delinquent case, the court shall schedule a hearing to be held two years after the date of the last official action, or the date the child becomes eighteen years of age, whichever is later, to seal the juvenile’s records if there have been no further offenses.