DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Juvenile Home is understaffed, underfunded and has offered inadequate education to its residents, according to a new report.
The Iowa Department of Education has ordered that "compensatory education" be provided for youths who have turned 18, have been discharged from the home over the past 26 months and have yet to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The Department of Education report issued Monday said the Department of Human Services, which runs the home, must find those former residents and report their names to the Department of Education within the next five weeks.
DHS Director Charles Palmer said he takes the report's findings "very seriously" and will move quickly toward corrective action, along with Area Education Agency 267, which helps run the on-campus school in Toledo.
"I want to go on record as saying it's a very sobering report," he said.
The Department of Education investigated the facility's educational services for the 38 youths who live there and receive treatment for behavioral disorders. The report cited several failures on the part of the home, including youths who are removed from class due to behavioral problems that are part of their diagnosis.
Teachers at the home also said the student-staff ratio was almost three times what is allowed under state regulations. Investigators concluded that educational needs are disregarded, behavioral assessments are often incomplete, and the home had no proof of vocational programs for work-placement training.
A task force appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad also issued its final recommendations Monday for changes related to allegations of abuse and other problems at the home. Disability Rights Iowa filed a complaint in August that claimed youths were placed in long-term isolation.
The home and AEA 267 must each submit a corrective action plan by Jan. 14 of next year. There are earlier deadlines for some violations.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.