JUVENILE HOME: Governor Backs DHS Director

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Governor Branstad admits there were numerous problems in the way staff treated troubled teens at the Iowa Juvenile Home.

But he’s standing behind the head of the state department that was supposed to protect those girls.

The governor says Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer, “handled it very well.” And once Palmer found out about the problems, he took action.

But advocacy group, Disability Rights Iowa, documented continued problems of teens placed in isolation rooms for hours.

It also noted that kids weren’t receiving proper education at the facility.

The facility housed several dozen girls. Many of them are dealing with behavioral or learning disabilities or have been victims of abuse.

Branstad closed the facility last month and says the DHS director is making sure the girls are being treated better at other places.

“He is overseeing the changes that took place there and I believe that the department has corrected the mistakes that were made at Toledo and we don’t want to ever see that happen again,” Gov. Branstad said.

A lower court ruled the governor didn’t have the authority to close the home because he had already appropriated money for its operations this year.

The governor is now appealing that ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.


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