Supervisors OK withdrawal from County Social Services

One supervisor dissents

Webster County Supervisors approved a letter of withdrawal from County Social Services (CSS), effective at the end of the fiscal year, despite one dissenting vote Tuesday.

The letter comes after legislation that allowed Webster County to switch its mental health and disability service region while retaining $1.6 million in reserve funds. Supervisors approved an application to Central Iowa Community Services (CICS) earlier this year, which was accepted by the new region last week.

Supervisor Bob Thode was the sole “nay” in a voice vote on the withdrawal letter.

Since Webster County has already been accepted into CICS, the deadline to give CSS notice of withdrawal is Nov. 15, and the last CSS board meeting to do so by then is scheduled for Wednesday.

“I’ve had little problem with it until this point,” Thode said. “Until we talk to CICS, I’m not against it, but I want questions answered before.”

Thode’s concerns included whether Webster County would secure a mental health access center with CICS and whether the new region could provide relevant statistics on service use and cost per person that was the bane of Webster County’s relationship with County Social Services.

A mental health center would provide a time efficient, “no eject” emergency mental health service that could stabilize patients quickly and appropriately.

“We just haven’t had any dialogue with them to know what they’ve got to offer,” Thode told The Messenger.

“That’s not true at all,” Campbell said after the meeting Tuesday.

Campbell said supervisors have met with the board of CICS several times in recent weeks, meetings which he said Thode did not participate in.

Webster County is not the only one leaving CSS. The newest mental health and disability service region map shows that three other counties in northwestern Iowa have also left CSS. One more, Cerro Gordo, voted Tuesday to leave, reducing CSS from 22 counties to what will be just 17 counties after Webster County gives official notice.

Another distinction between County Social Services and Central Iowa Community Services is their status as a provider. While CSS is a provider of some mental health and disability services, CICS is strictly a funder of services, meaning all constituents will receive their medical care from private providers under the new region.

Webster County’s last day in County Social Services will be June 30, 2021.


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