DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Juvenile Home has been given 15 citations for violations in its substance-abuse treatment program, according to a new inspection.
The violations resulting from the July 29 visit included lack of oversight and failure to track whether some children were making progress.
The state-run home in Toledo provides housing, treatment and schooling to youths with serious behavioral problems. The Iowa Department of Public Health licenses the program, and it is run by the State Department of Human Services.
The home is not subject to comprehensive facility-wide inspections, and it is exempt from certain fines and penalties.
The citations noted in the latest inspection do not carry penalties or sanctions. The home had advance notice of the inspection.
Disability Rights Iowa, a federally funded group, has been investigating treatment of children at the home, including allegations that some children are held for weeks or months in small isolation rooms. The home's substance-abuse program received a near-perfect score last year.
Gov. Terry Branstad has said his administration is addressing the problems. Branstad's spokesman, Tim Albrecht, said the governor is “committed to changing the toxic culture at the Iowa Juvenile Home.”
Albrecht said the state employees union has tried to protect workers at the home who are accused of using excessive force in improperly restraining youths.
Danny Homan of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said Branstad and Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer are more to blame because of the long-standing policies at the facility. “Everything always gets blamed on the lowest level line staff,” Homan said.
The state is requiring the home to submit a corrective action plan regarding the violations by Sept. 20.
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