The head of the task force that investigated the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo calls its closure a tough decision, but the right decision.
“This is part of what the task force said is, we should not have an institution that we call a placement of last resort. Because not only does it make kids try to prove there`s nothing you can do to me now. But it also creates a culture for the staff of these kids couldn`t make it any place else, so they`re the worst of the worst,” says Jerry Foxhoven.
Foxhoven was appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad to chair the Toledo task force and made recommendations about the home’s future.
The home had been under review after it was discovered that staff kept residents in isolation rooms for long periods of time.
On Monday, the Department of Human Services announced it is closing the facility and moving the 21 youth housed there elsewhere.
Foxhoven hopes that means placing them with providers that are closer to home, “It doesn`t make sense to take a kid from Sioux City and place him in Toledo. And then when they turn 18, they`ve lost the connections to people in Sioux City.”
Court approval is necessary before any child is moved into new care.
All 93 employees at the juvenile home will be laid off effective January 16th.