I live in another state but I have a relative in Iowa who needs care.

If you are a family who resides in a state other than Iowa, you will be considered a placement option for your relative through what is called the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).

The ICPC is a contract among member states and U.S. territories authorizing them to work together to ensure that children who are placed across state lines for foster care or adoption receive adequate protection and support services.  

If you are in another state, Iowa must recognize you as a relative and request your home state complete an ICPC home study, unless you are already a licensed foster home (then another study is not needed). Only Iowa residents can have an Iowa licensing and adoption home study completed.

You can begin your state’s licensing and approval process without a request from Iowa, but unless Iowa knows who you are and knows you are going through the process with the hopes of caring for your relative, you may not be a placement option for the child.

If an ICPC home study has not been requested for your family, contact the Iowa county or regional office in which your relative lives to see if you would be considered a placement option for your relative.