Toledo Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
December 9, 2013
DHS To Find Alternative Placements for Iowa Juvenile Home Youth
The Iowa Department of Human Services is finding alternative placements for 21 youth currently served by the Iowa Juvenile Home and Girls State Training School in Toledo.
Director Charles M. Palmer announced the decision on Monday based on recommendations from the Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force. Guidance from the task force, appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in August, included defining the mission of the home, and exploring other options for care.
“This was a difficult decision. After a thorough examination of the task force recommendations, we believe finding appropriate alternative placements is in the best interest of the youth,” Palmer said. “Serving these children in licensed and/or accredited settings was an important goal set by the Governor and his task force, and we are moving quickly to ensure it is achieved.”
In its report, the task force noted that the mixed population of youth served at Toledo - delinquent girls, and boys and girls who are Children In Need of Assistance (CINA) - made it difficult to achieve licensure and/or accreditation of the facility and its services and programs. The task force recommended that the boys be moved from campus, and that DHS explore alternative placements for the girls.
The Department determined that other state facilities and community-based, private providers can suit the treatment needs for both CINA and delinquent girls. This will be done in settings which can receive matching federal funds to assist in providing services.
At full capacity, the Iowa Juvenile Home could serve 57 youth ages 12 to 18, by employing a staff of 114. Its $10.5 million SFY14 budget came almost entirely from the state general fund. Currently, there are 21 girls on the campus - 9 CINA and 11 delinquent, 1 evaluation – served by 93 employees.
With approval from the courts, many of the delinquent girls will likely be served in a high level of care at the state’s psychiatric medical institutes for children (PMIC). A handful of others will find treatment through community-based providers. Palmer noted that, for years, the majority of Iowa children adjudicated delinquent have been served by private providers who have demonstrated the capacity and ability to successfully offer treatment.
“We will work with our state facilities and community-based providers who can offer a variety of services and supports which would not be available on the Toledo campus if it were serving only a very small number of delinquent girls,” he said.
Joint treatment planning teams have been formed to evaluate the mental health and behavioral needs of each youth, and ensure the most appropriate placement for their individual needs. These teams can include social workers or juvenile court officers, private providers, contractors, parents and/or guardians ad litem.
Court approval must be obtained to move any child to a new level of care, and the majority of youth will be served in-state. An out-of-state placement could be appropriate in a small number of cases.
The Iowa Juvenile Home’s use of seclusion and restraint as emergency measures for children with severe aggressive, self-injurious, combative or destructive behavior has been under examination. New methods of de-escalating behavior through relationship building, behavior analysis and trauma-informed care resulted in a 93 percent reduction in the use of seclusion measures from October 2012 to October 2013.
“While the Iowa Juvenile Home staff worked to address the serious mental and behavioral health needs of these youth, we believe that these children will be served most successfully through court-approved alternative placements,” Palmer said.
Layoffs will be effective January 16, 2014. The state’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be available to staff, and officials will work with them to pursue other job opportunities.
DHS social workers, juvenile court officers and licensing and accreditation agencies are responsible with ensuring that the youth continue to receive the services they need at their new placements.
“We will work with state facilities and community-based providers to ensure each youth is given the safe, quality care they deserve within licensed and/or accredited settings,” Palmer said.
The Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School (IJH/GSTS), recognizing its role in the continuum of statewide delivery, will provide effective intervention for the most troubled youth in the state of Iowa. Staff acts as a positive change agent, providing therapeutic programming, to assist youth in successfully moving to a less structured environment. Building on the strength of families, in collaboration with the support of communities, staff strives to make a difference in the lives of the youth served.
By working in an environment which values teamwork, excellence and respect for one another, staff provide effective services for youth in an effort to successfully reintegrate them into community living.
Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force:
Governor Branstad created the Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force with Executive Order Number 82. The Task Force is comprised of five members appointed by the Governor which includes the Iowa Department of Human Services Director and four individuals with expertise in child advocacy, special education, behavioral issues and other relevant experience. The Task Force shall hold four public meetings in order to reach goals and objectives as identified in Executive Order 82.
September 18, 2013 Meeting
Introduction Letter from Jerry Foxhoven, Task Force Chair
Presentations from Mark Day, Interim Superintendent
September 24, 2013 Meeting
Options - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Criteria for Placement - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Seclusion and Placement Data - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Prior Placement Summary - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
September 30, 2013 Meeting
Disability Rights Iowa Presentation
Resident Survey - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Seclusion and Restraint Trend Data - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Out-of-State Placement Data
Funding Sources - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
Single Gender Position Paper
Female Responsive Services Definition and Components
Department of Education Recommendations - Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
October 7, 2013 Meeting
Report from Task Force
Who is eligible to receive services:
The IJH/GSTS at Toledo provides a specialized structured setting to evaluate and treat youth between 12 and 18 years of age, who have been determined by the juvenile justice system to require specialized structured program care, evaluation, and/or treatment due to numerous out-of-home placements, disruptive behavior, and extensive involvement in the system. Males and females who have been adjudicated Children in Need of Assistance by the Iowa court system are admitted to the Iowa Juvenile Home. Females who have been adjudicated Delinquent are admitted to the State Training School for Girls.
Structure of the organization:
The facility is operated by the Iowa Department of Human Services, under the directorship of Charles M. Palmer and under the leadership of Richard Shults, Administrator, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services. The facility's interim superintendent is Mark Day.
The Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
- Provides an individualized care program for each youth with a diversity of innovative and effective programs;
- Evaluates and recommends placement of youth to appropriate types of facilities in Iowa;
- Provides a basic education program for development of fundamental academic skills and the attainment of life skills;
- Provides a vocational program with exploration in employment skills;
- Assists troubled youth in making a positive transition into society to become self-sufficient, useful, productive and contributing members of society; and
- Protects the community adequately from the young Iowan not capable of maintaining behavior independently.
The facility is located in Toledo and serves youth for all 99 Iowa counties.
How to apply for services or refer someone to this facility:
To be admitted, youth must be court-ordered to the facility.
How to get more information:
Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School
701 South Church Street
Toledo, Iowa 52342
For administration, treatment services, and admissions contact Mark Day, Interim Superintendent
For business services, contact Karen Connell, Business Manager
For educational services, contact Paul Henely, Principal