Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans
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About Us

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare offers a culture that supports and promotes learning organization principles, building community partnerships, and introducing innovative business solutions. 

We are nearly 2,850 individuals working statewide to provide Idahoans with health and human services, access to health insurance programs, support to families and children, and hospitalization services for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. We have 20 field offices and operate two hospitals and a state lab. Last year, our agency served almost 340,000 people - one out of every four Idahoans. From birth throughout life, we strive to enrich and protect the lives of our state’s citizens.

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Health and Welfare Divisions

Our organization deals with complex social, economic and health issues. To do that effectively, DHW is organized into eight divisions: Medicaid, Family and Community Services, Behavioral Health, Welfare (Self-Reliance), Public Health, Licensing and Certification, Operational and Support Services, and Information Technology. Each division provides services or partners with other agencies and groups to help people in our communities. DHW is a diverse organization whose workers are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of Idaho citizens.

Click on a division to learn more.

The Division of Family and Community Services (FACS) provides a collaborative leadership directing many of the Department's social service programs focusing on the entire family, building on family strengths while supporting and empowering families. Those programs include child protection, adoption, foster care, developmental disabilities, and screening early intervention for infants and toddlers.  

FACS also administers the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa. This facility provides residential care for people with developmental disabilities who experience severe behavioral or significant medical complications.

The Division of Licensing and Certification surveys, inspects, licenses, and/or certifies health care facilities requiring certification or licensure by either state or federal regulatory requirements. The Division ensures skilled nursing facilities (SNF), hospitals, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID), and other non-long term care providers/suppliers meet both state and federal regulatory guidelines.

Additionally, team members conduct surveys in and license/certify residential care or assisted living facilities (RALFs), certified family homes (CFHs), developmental disabilities agencies (DDAs), and residential habilitation agencies (ResHabs) to ensure they comply with state statute and rule requirements. The 62-person team is responsible for over 3,100 health care and/or residential facilities and over 21,800 treatment beds across the state.

Each team also performs investigations of non-compliance with regulatory requirements, also known as complaint investigations. The teams work closely with partners in the respective industries, with advocates, with other governmental agencies, and with stakeholders to ensure safe and effective care in a wide variety of settings. The teams also participate in the rule writing process for each state licensed/certified provider group.

The Division of Medicaid provides comprehensive medical coverage for eligible Idahoans. The division does not provide direct medical services, but contracts and pays for services through providers similar to health insurance companies. Medicaid also licenses and inspects health facilities, including nursing homes, hospitals, and residential and assisted living facilities. Medicaid has different programs available that provide health coverage for:  

  • Children under age 19
  • Parents or other related adults with children under age 19
  • Pregnant women
  • Women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer or pre-cancer
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who are blind or disabled (using Social Security criteria)
Additional support services in the Department include:
  • Operational Services
    • Human Resources
    • Contracting and Procurement
    • Facilities and Business Operations
  • Information Technology
  • Bureau of Financial Services
  • Bureau of Audits and Investigations
  • Employee Services
  • Administrative Rules Unit
  • Public Information Office

The Division of Public Health provides services ranging from immunizations, testing for communicable diseases, regulating food safety, certifying emergency medical personnel, vital record administration, and compilation of health statistics to bioterrorism preparedness. The Division's programs and services actively promote healthy lifestyles and prevention activities, while monitoring and intervening in disease transmission and health risks as a safeguard for Idaho citizens.  

Programs include:  

  • Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention
  • Bureau of Community and Environmental Health
  • Bureau of Laboratories
  • Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
  • Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness
  • Bureau of Health Planning and Resource Development
  • State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care

The Division of Welfare promotes stable, healthy families through program access and support services. The Division manages state and federal programs including Child Support, Food Stamps, Child Care, Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI), and Aid to the Aged, Blind, & Disabled (AABD). The programs, also called Self-Reliance programs, provide food, cash, and other assistance programs for low-income families and individuals, while encouraging participants to become more self-reliant.

The Division of Behavioral Health helps children, adults, and families address and manage personal challenges that result from mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. The division recognizes that many people suffer from both a mental illness and substance use addiction, and is engaged in a process to integrate services for co-occurring disorders to improve outcomes. Services accessed through the division are consumer driven and prevention oriented.  

The division is comprised of the Children's and Adult Mental Health Programs and Substance Abuse Services. The division also administers the state’s two mental health hospitals for people with serious and persistent mental illnesses, State Hospital North and State Hospital South.

Behavioral Health was formed by executive order of the Governor in June 2006 and provides many different services including:

  • Children's Mental Health Services
  • Adult Mental Health Services
  • Suicide Prevention Services
  • Substance Abuse Services
  • The Idaho Tobacco Project
  • State Hospital South
  • State Hospital North