GOP Lawmaker Seeks Investigation Following Iowa Girl’s Death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Republican lawmaker who leads a legislative oversight committee says he’s launching an investigation into how Iowa handles child protective services following the October death of a 16-year-old girl.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann announced Thursday the House Government Oversight Committee will question the Iowa Department of Human Services on how it handles child placement, including abuse allegations.

Kaufmann says the effort is inspired by the death of Natalie Finn, a West Des Moines teenager. A Democratic lawmaker who has met with state officials says the girl was starved to death. The girl had been involved in the state’s foster care and adoption program.

Kaufmann says he wants DHS to attend hearings, but the questions will not be specific to Natalie’s case.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Republican lawmakers have criticized Senate Democrats for launching an informal investigation into child protective services.

Officials for DHS and Branstad say they support an effort by lawmakers to learn about the state’s child welfare system.

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