Iowa agency seeks outside review amid deaths of 2 teen girls

The Iowa Department of Human Services says it’s seeking help from a nonprofit group to review the state’s child welfare system following the death of two teenage girls.

The announcement Monday that the Montgomery, Alabama-based Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group would evaluate the department was released shortly after a joint legislative committee began meeting at the Capitol to discuss the agency’s procedures.

The bipartisan committee has questioned the state’s process for removing foster children from homes and the workload of social workers who handle such cases.

The review will follow to the October death of Natalie Finn of West Des Moines and the May death of Sabrina Ray of Perry. The 16-year-old girls, who were both adopted from state care, were found dead in their homes.