news Inspection finds unprotected chemicals, lax policies in state-regulated children’s homes – The Nevada Independent

State legislative auditors have found health, safety, and welfare issues (such as clogged toilets and children self-administering psychotropic drugs) at several state-regulated nursing homes and children’s treatment facilities. and prompted auditors to “question whether each institution adequately protected the children in its care.”

The findings, which were submitted to a panel of legislators on Thursday, come from a review conducted last year by the state legal auditor and add to the list of issues with childcare facilities in Nevada. It follows an October report that found that the U.S. Department of Justice routinely fails to provide adequate treatment and services to young people with behavioral problems.

Through inspections of 19 children’s institutions, auditors found problems in five of them. Never Give Up Youth Healing Center, Las Vegas Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. 3 Angels Care, a foster care agency based in Reno. and the Advanced Foster Care Program, a state-administered program for creating and maintaining foster care for special care.

At the other 14 facilities reviewed, auditors did not identify any significant problems, but last year’s review examined only one-third of the 57 government and private children’s facilities statewide. did not. The auditor wrote that from July 2021 to June 2022 he received 636 complaints about 30 of these facilities.

Auditors also found evidence of incidents at two facilities that threatened the health, safety, welfare, or civil rights of children, but were not disclosed to the auditors. This includes her one case where “a licensing agency was provided with video evidence showing that a child was being physically punished, but did not forward that information to the legislative auditor.” I was.

“If I were a parent, I would be furious because your child is in your care. [of these facilities], and it seems to me that there is no need to complain to make things right. Sen. Marilyn Dondero Roop (D-Las Vegas) said Thursday. “So I hope we are moving forward and taking care of vulnerable children.”

Health and Safety Issues Revealed

Haley Cornelia, a child welfare expert in the Legislative Audit Division, told legislators that at Nevada Homes for Youth, auditors “observed contraband and pointed out the problem of child addiction… sanitary living conditions, age-related inappropriate activities, incomplete and falsified records of children and weak policies and procedures.”

According to the report, auditors also found that the children were “self-administering psychotropic drugs and narcotics.”

“A review of the children’s files yielded information that cough syrup, marijuana, and alcohol were consumed by children at home and confiscated on multiple occasions,” the auditor wrote.

At multiple facilities, auditors found problems with unsafe chemicals, tools, laundry supplies, and other unsafe and unsanitary conditions in several locations. Inspectors also noticed dirty clothes, bloody pillows, and clogged toilets at the Never Give Up Youth Healing Center. The facility was financially licensed by the state’s Department of Health Care Quality and Compliance, but auditors did not specify what sanctions were imposed, according to the report.

The auditor also found that at a foster home run by 3 Angels Care, an empty storage room with a lock outside the door was “used as a place to sleep without proper beds or bedding,” I discovered that there was a child in the room voluntarily allowed to sleep. ”

The Washoe County Department of Social Services addressed the room issue, but notified auditors that “the children are not using the vacant room for any purpose.” County officials have also developed a corrective action plan for foster families that has been inspected by auditors.

For Advanced Care Foster Homes, an auditor’s review has determined that state child services agencies will not leave children in inspected homes.

At two of the eight correctional and detention facilities inspected, auditors questioned whether the facilities were properly complying with the Federal Prison Rape Abolition Act. Depends on judging criteria. ”

Auditors recommended implementing appropriate risk assessment tools that meet federal standards.

Legislative auditor Dan Crossman told lawmakers he was working to “continue to increase the number of facilities that we can visit and test.”

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure adequate protection for children in these facilities,” he said.

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