Today! Call your Iowa Senators $9.5 Million for children's mental health


Advocacy Alert!

There’s still time to help secure $9.5 million in critical funding for Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) in Iowa by contacting influential state senators now before budgets are finalized which could happen as soon as tomorrow. Providers in Iowa, including Orchard Place, have asked the state legislature for $3 million in rate relief (which would leverage $6 and a half million in federal dollars). Iowa’s reimbursement rates for this mental health service that supports youth and families in their homes haven't increased in eight years putting BHIS programs at risk. 

Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) provided by Orchard Place - PACE Center are voluntary, in-home services that assist children and teens experiencing social, behavioral, or emotional problems. The goal of skill-building interventions is to develop skills with caseworker assistance and alleviate behaviors and symptoms associated with a mental illness. These skills are intended to address problems displayed in the home, at school, and in the community. BHIS treatment may include: 

• Conflict & Crisis Resolution

• Problem-Solving 

• Interpersonal, Social. and Communication 

• Anger Management

• Behavior Management

• Relationship-Building

• Individual & Family Counseling

Orchard Place BHIS providers met with Senator Mark Costello, Chair of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations subcommittee, and Senator Jeff Edler, Vice Chair of the HHS Appropriations subcommittee, to explain the life-giving impact on these services to youth and families in crisis. Plus, BHIS is a pipeline to developing Iowa’s mental health workforce as it often serves as a springboard for staff who decide to further their education to become mental health therapists.

YOUR voice matters! Learn how to help:

The Iowa Senate has not (yet) included the full rate relief needed for BHIS in its budget. You can be a big difference maker by calling and/or emailing influential senators to advocate for this mental health funding for Iowa’s children.

Sample Message:

“As an Iowa taxpayer, I care about children’s mental health. BHIS rate relief is critical to continuing these important services and to growing our mental health workforce in Iowa. Please include the BHIS funding that Orchard Place and other providers are advocating for in your senate budget. Iowa’s $3 million dollar investment would leverage $6.5 in federal dollars. Iowa’s kids and providers are counting on you.”

Don’t wait! Contact key lawmakers now before budgets are finalized:


Senator Mark Costello, Chair of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee

Email Senator Costello and/or call (712) 520-0303


Senator Jeff Edler, Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee

Email Senator Edler and/or call (641) 751-5902  

Please also reach out to senators from greater Des Moines* (see list below). Encourage these senators to support BHIS rate relief and to advocate by telling Senators Costello and Edler that BHIS funding matters to Iowa families. *If you live in Polk or Dallas County be sure to let your senator know that you’re a taxpayer in their community.


Senator Jack Whitver (Polk County) 

Email Senator Whitver and/or call (515) 281-3560 


Senator Jake Chapman (Dallas County) 

Email Senator Chapman and/or call (515) 650-3942


Senator Zach Nunn (Polk County) 

Email Senator Nunn and/or call (515) 519-2246


Senator Brad Zaun (Polk County)  

Email Senator Zaun and/or call (515) 281-3371


Thank you for using your voice to advocate for our BHIS team and the youth and families we serve. Together, we’re developing strong futures.

With gratitude,

Anne Starr, M.S.W.

Chief Executive Officer

Orchard Place