December 04, 2023

CICS focuses sights on crisis services, access centers

Fiscal year 2020 budget aligns with state requirements

Effects from 2018 mental health legislation has required Central Iowa Community Services (CICS) to maintain trajectory toward providing additional aid to people living in the 11 counties the organization currently represents, including Jasper County.

All the while, the state has assigned more responsibilities on to local and regional partners, resulting in CICS redirecting its focus to further redevelop and launch “crisis and complex needs services and supports,” according to the organization’s fiscal year 2020 annual budget and service plan.

Jody Eaton, CEO of CICS, presented the Jasper County Board of Supervisors with the organization’s budget and plan for the next year, which has already been submitted to the Iowa Department of Human Services and was approved by the CICS Governing Board in March.

The new CICS budget and plan is to align with the state’s administrative requirements, which includes the pinpointing of local access points, targeting management providers, identifying crisis planning services, promoting crisis agencies’ contact information and developing better financial understanding.

For fiscal year 2020, Eaton said CICS — which regularly supports communities by serving individuals with mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities — is to develop an “access center network” somewhere within the region and also possibly expand 23-hour observation units or subacute services, as well as intensive crisis stabilization residential services.

“We already have many of those components that are needed for an access center, but we want to make sure every community has the availability of entering into the access center network,” Eaton said at the Tuesday morning supervisors meeting.

These new projects will correspond with CICS’ continued efforts to include drop-in center services and expanded assertive community treatment services. The organization’s fiscal year 2020 plan also reinforces past efforts to sustain other care services while also recommending regions “develop and coordinate crisis behavioral health services for children,” according to the budget and service plan.

Eaton said this instruction is in anticipation of the recently penned children’s mental bill, which could be signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in the near future. Being prepared for that particular piece of legislation ahead of time, assuming it will be signed, will prove beneficial for CICS.

“It appears that we will be taking on the children’s mental health system, although we do have providers in Jasper County that do serve children at this time,” Eaton said. “There is kind of a disconnect between the coordination of those services for children, so that is an additional task that they’ll be looking at the regions to create that system of care for children. That’s a big task.”

Additional planning efforts throughout fiscal year 2020 will meet the needs of the people living in the region, ranging anywhere from mental health outpatient therapy services to supported employment and housing.

“We’ve done some groundbreaking things and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Eaton said.

In addition to Jasper County, CICS affects individuals living in the counties of Boone, Greene, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Madison, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story and Warren.

In other action Tuesday, the board of supervisors:

• Approved Jasper County Veterans Affairs’ third quarter expense report and the renewal of Mike Naber’s commission term. Naber’s term would have expired in June.

• Approved four candidates that had undergone civil service testing for the position of deputy sheriff. Joshua Foster, Beau Iske, Colton Schwenke and MaKennah Walters are the eligible individuals considered for the positions at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or