Demand Transparency from Southwest Keys & Demand 3rd party oversight!
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6 yr old girl molested at a Southwest Key facility is told it is her responsibility to stay away from her abuser:
I am a social worker with 12 years experience in children's advocacy/child abuse. Southwest Key has been defending themselves in the media left and right recently. They state they have "policies and procedures" in place to handle abuse that takes place within their walls. Clearly, they are missing the mark and failing to protect the children they are being paid millions to care for. When asked if mental health professionals can visit and provide a 3rd party audit, they say "no" and cite privacy. Enough is enough.
We demand the following:
1) Transparency: We've had enough of the excuses. Southwest Key is more than able to provide clear and consistent data on the children they house without revealing identity. They are also able to give accurate data on employment requirements, and the structure of how they are assigned. These are children who have experienced unfathomable trauma, and the American public is not buying that Southwest Keys has enough qualified staff to care for them.
What is the ratio of licensed professionals per child?
How often is each child provided access to a licensed professional?
What is the EXACT training received for anyone with direct child contact?
How many times per day are children left in mixed-age groups without a licensed professional present?
What are the nighttime arrangements?
How do you handle extreme trauma? Nightmares? Bed-wetting? Incessant crying?
How do you handle bullying? Anger management?
What do your "safety plans" look like? Share a copy with the world.
2) Allow non-profit oversight: Don't have anything to hide? Then invite child psychology experts from around the country to volunteer for a non-profit, 3rd party audit of your facilities. Let them identify issues and strategies to immediately rectify those concerns. Even better, make the first step by ASKING to collaborate with professionals from around the country. Invite them to tour your facilities and help you assess issues and improve your systems. If the above form signed by a 6 yr old girl is any indication - you need this help.
3) Do everything on your end to reunify children: Partner with a non-profit to administer DNA testing so that you can contribute to getting children back with their parents immediately.
4) Collaboration with Department of Health: What are children eating? How are they being bathed? What have you done to support breastfed babies ripped from their mothers and (I presume) switched to formula? How are you controlling infectious disease?
5) Be open, clear and honest. Speak to the media, answer our questions, do your utmost to provide BETTER care. You are earning a six figure salary my friend, and many in leadership are also earning high salaries...the contracts keep rolling in. Those of us looking on (i.e. the world) want to be sure that you and Department of Human Services don't just expect us to accept that nearly 1000 children will never see their parents again. They are in YOUR care, and in foster care around the country. If you think we find it acceptable that many will be adopted out or kept in foster care indefinitely, you are wrong.
This is the BARE MINIMUM we expect of you, and its not happening.
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