JUVENILE HOME: Workers Fighting Closure Decision

Workers, family members, supporters and several Democratic lawmakers have planned an emergency meeting Thursday at the South Tama High School gym at 7p.m.

The meeting comes after Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced last week he would close the troubled Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.

The Department of Human Services said the center houses 23 girls, many of whom have suffered physical and sexual abuse.

Critics complained some girls were kept for extended times in isolation units and haven’t received proper treatment or educational services.

Branstad pushed back Monday at critics who say he has failed¬†to fix the issues since returning to the governor’s office in 2011. Branstad said, “Instead of trying to cast the blame, I want to address the problem and fix it in a way that meets the needs of the kids.”

The governor said the girls will be transferred to other facilities and the center’s 93 employees will be laid off.

Branstad’s actions follow the recommendations from a task force that looked into the issues at the home.

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