JUVENILE HOME: Senate Committee Meets

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Lawmakers met Tuesday to get a better sense of what is going on at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.

The Senate Oversight Committee met for several hours at the Statehouse. Their goal was to consider what recommendations or legislation to pursue during the next session.

The Iowa Juvenile Home hit the spotlight earlier in the summer when reports surfaced that children there were kept in isolation for months at a time.

At Tuesday’s meeting lawmakers took comfort that the use of restraints and isolation had eased at the home.

Committee Chairwoman Janet Petersen toured the home last month. She says while the home is making changes, more needs to be done.

“I was glad to hear Director Palmers say they were more open to oversight. It’s clear we don’t have the right checks and balances in place when we have a department running all aspects of the operation. Clearly with any business that’s not setting someone up for success, we want to make sure we have the right checks and balances in place,” says Peterson.

The home serves teenagers who are receiving specialized structured care, evaluation, and treatment due to disruptive behavior.