Inspections discover unsafe chemicals, permissive policies in state-regulated children’s homes – The Nevada Independent

State legislative auditors have found health, safety and welfare issues — including clogged toilets and psychotropic medications for children — in many of the state-regulated preschools and pediatric treatment facilities, prompting the auditors to question whether each facility is adequately protecting the children in its care. “

The results, presented Thursday to a panel of state lawmakers from A reconsidering It was conducted by the state’s legislative auditor last year, adding to a growing list of issues with child care facilities in Nevada. They follow the October report from the US Department of Justice that established the state routinely fails to provide appropriate treatment and services to young people with behavioral health disabilities.

Through inspections of 19 children’s facilities, the auditors discovered problems in five of them, including Nevada Homes for Youth, a substance abuse treatment facility in Las Vegas; Never Young Treatment Center, a Las Vegas psychotherapy facility; 3 Angels Care, an alternative care agency based in Reno; and the Advanced Foster Care Program, a state-run program to establish and maintain specialized treatment foster homes.

In the other 14 facilities reviewed, the auditors did not notice significant problems, even though last year’s review included only a third of the 57 public and private children’s facilities across the state. The auditors wrote that from July 2021 through June 2022, they received 636 complaints about 30 of those facilities, with complaints based on potential violations of a child’s health, safety, welfare, or civil rights.

The auditors also found evidence in two facilities of incidents that posed a threat to a child’s health, safety, welfare, or civil rights, but were not disclosed to the auditors. This included one case in which “the licensing agency was provided with video evidence of a child being physically disciplined but did not forward the information to the legislative auditor”.

“If I were a parent, I would be mad because your child is in care [of these facilities]And it seems to me that you don’t have to complain until things are right. “They have to be right,” Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loeb (D-Las Vegas) said Thursday. “So I hope we can move forward in the care of these vulnerable children.”

Disclosure of health and safety issues

Hayley Cornelia, a child welfare specialist with the Division of Legislative Audit, told lawmakers that at Nevada Homes for Young People, auditors have noted contraband and noted child poisoning problems…with policies and procedures.

The reviewers also discovered that the children “were self-administering psychotropic and narcotic medications,” according to the report.

“A review of the children’s files yielded information that the children in the home had ingested cough syrup, marijuana and alcohol and seized them on more than one occasion,” the auditors wrote.

At several facilities, auditors discovered issues with hazardous and unsanitary conditions, including unsecured chemicals, tools and laundry supplies at several locations. Inspectors also noted soiled clothing, a bloody pillow and clogged toilets at the Never Give Up Youth Healing Centre. The facility was imposed financial penalties by the state’s Office of Health Care Quality and Compliance, according to the report, though the auditors did not specify what penalty was imposed.

The auditors also discovered that at the foster home run by 3 Angels Care, a vacant storage room with a padlock on the outside of the door was used “as a place to sleep without a suitable bed or bedding” and a child in the home “indicated that they could voluntarily sleep in the room”.

The Washoe County Human Services Agency addressed the issues with the room, however, informing reviewers that “children do not use the vacant room for any purpose.” The county agency has also put in place corrective action plans for nurseries that have been inspected by auditors.

For Advanced Care Foster Homes, the reviewers’ review led the state children’s services agency to decide not to place the children in the inspected home.

In two of the eight correctional and child detention facilities examined, the auditors questioned whether the facilities were properly complying with the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act because they used a screening tool to assess children for sexual abuse or abuse that “did not evaluate 10 of the 11 items wanted by Screening Criteria.

The auditors recommended implementation of an appropriate risk assessment tool to meet federal standards.

Legislative auditor Dan Crosman told lawmakers they are working to “continue to increase the number of facilities we can visit and inspect.”

“Ultimately, our goal is to help ensure that children in these facilities are adequately protected,” he said.

Leave a Comment