Bringing together evidence and innovation to improve results

Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII) is a non-profit organization specializing in policies and programs affecting vulnerable and disconnected youth and young adults, especially those who have been involved in child welfare or juvenile justice systems.  We believe that every young person deserves our collective best effort – to craft policies develop strategies, and implement programs that are informed by research, delivered with compassion, and motivated by an ongoing desire to help young people achieve their full potential. 

October 26, 2017
In the summer of 2017, a group of young leaders who have experienced foster care came together to identify issues, brainstorm solutions, and develop recommendations to improve child welfare policies and practices in Iowa based on their own involvement in the system.  The issues and recommendations that emerged as priorities for positive changes to Iowa’s foster care system are summarized in this Iowa Youth Advocacy Agenda.

October 25, 2017
Mid-Iowa Health Foundation is pleased to welcome Andrea Dencklau, senior policy associate for the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa, into the inaugural cohort of the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation’s HealthConnect Fellowship. [Read more]

YPII recognizes the value of authentic youth voice and the importance of building strong youth-adult partnerships to promote positive change.  We empower and support youth to draw from their unique, real-life experiences in order to influence policies and procedures that impact their lives. 


YPII routinely evaluates data to identify key youth issues, monitor outcomes and inform decision-making. This involves secondary analysis of data from various national, state and local sources to help decision-makers understand youth issues and trends. YPII also conducts primary data collection, analysis and reporting of program-level data to assess and improve youth services.


YPII strives for equity and inclusion for all young people. Aware of the disproportionality and disparity in child welfare and other youth-serving systems, we are committed to using a race equity lens in our efforts to reduce disparities and improve outcomes for all young people.