Gov. Terry Branstad has signed an executive order aimed at improving conditions at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.
Executive Order 82 means the Iowa Juvenile Home must follow the same standards for restraint or seclusion as a private residential facility.
Concerns over the treatment of girls at the home were brought to light after a Des Moines Register article revealed the female teenage residents are often placed in “isolation rooms.” The girls would spend thousands of hours each month in them.
The governor says the higher standards will provide greater safety, transparency and oversight at the Iowa Juvenile Home.
The order also mandates trauma-informed care training for the home’s staff.
A task force has also been established to form recommendations and implement them. One of the group’s tasks is to recommend a strategy for permanently eliminating the use of seclusion rooms outside of the cottage setting.
The members of the task force are:
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
The group’s recommendations are due on October 15th.