(Des Moines, IA) Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed Executive Order 82, found here, which immediately holds the Iowa Juvenile Home to higher standards of care. The Iowa Juvenile Home will be held to the same standards for restraint or seclusion as a private comprehensive residential facility.
These increased standards for care will lead to greater safety, transparency and oversight in treatment for children at the Iowa Juvenile Home.
Additionally, Executive Order 82 mandates trauma-informed care training for staff at the Iowa Juvenile Home. The principles outlined in the executive order are as follows:
WHEREAS, protecting the health, safety and welfare of Iowa’s children is of the utmost importance; and
WHEREAS, all Iowa children deserve the best care and education we can provide; and
WHEREAS, the Iowa Juvenile Home is a comprehensive residential facility for children and is entrusted to provide effective interventions for the most troubled youth in the State; and
WHEREAS, the culture at the Iowa Juvenile Home must focus on high quality care and education; and
WHEREAS, treatment for children, including the use of seclusion or restraint, should only be employed in a safe and transparent manner consistent with the highest standards and practices set for similar private sector facilities.
The executive order will also establish a five-member task force to formulate new recommendations for the juvenile home and assist in their implementation. Their responsibilities are as follows:
a. Make recommendations about how to improve services for residents;
b. Review incident data to ensure a high-level of care is delivered at the Iowa Juvenile Home;
c. Recommend a strategy for the permanent elimination of seclusion rooms outside the cottage setting;
d. Recommend a strategy outlining the transition of the Iowa Juvenile Home’s education plan from being managed from the Department of Human Services to Area Education Agency 267; and
e. Reach other goals and objectives as requested by the Office of the Governor.
Task force members appointed by the governor will be as follows:
Prof. Jerry Foxhoven, Executive Director, Drake Legal Clinic
Charles Palmer, Director, Iowa Department of Human Services
Dr. Mary Stevens, Director of Special Education, Area Education Agency 267
Dr. Mark R. Peltan, Chairman, Council on Human Services
Ron Steele, former Executive Director, Youth Homes of Mid-America
Foxhoven will chair the task force.
The task force report is due October 15th.
Photo credit: John Speer – The Toledo Chronicle