Inspector General probing conditions at migrant children’s’ shelters

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — On the heels of alleged abuse and mismanagement at several Health and Human Services shelters housing migrant children separated from their parents, the agency’s inspector general has launched a review of these facilities, the inspector general’s office confirms.A multidisciplinary team will conduct site visits to Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities nationwide, looking specifically at the agency’s efforts “to ensure the health and safety” of the children housed there, IG officials tell ABC News. Among other issues, the teams will focus on employee clinical skills, identification and response to harmful incidents, and facility security.They expect to release a report by the end of 2018.The announcement comes on the heels of a letter, signed by 77 congressional Democrats, urging HHS Sec. Alex Azar to address the alleged mistreatment of children in his agency’s custody.Citing conditions at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia and Southwest Key facilities across Texas, the lawmakers said they’re concerned HHS “is actively working in ways that harm children.”Azar’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.As of last Wednesday, HHS had around 12,000 migrant children – including more than 2,000 children separated from their parents at the border under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which has since been amended to keep children detained alongside parents – in their custody.According to records obtained by ABC News, state inspectors in Texas identified nearly 250 violations at facilities run by Southwest Key, one of HHS’s biggest shelter contractors.“Deficiencies” at those facilities included reports of a child with “unsupervised access to a tool/knife,” a child “clearly in pain” not given prompt medical care, a child administered a medication to which she was allergic, and an employee writing obscenities on a chalkboard.The company says staffers investigated each deficiency and “strive to provide the highest quality of care possible.”The letter to Azar points to even more troubling allegations reported by the Associated Press, including children with mental health issues “routinely beaten while shackled,” and subjected to “long periods of solitary confinement.”“We are concerned that these immigrant children, with their existing vulnerabilities, are falling prey to neglect and intentional harm,” the lawmakers wrote.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

LMH considers hosting controversial Christian group

first_imgStudents at Lady Margaret Hall have opposed the college’s move to consider hosting controversial evangelical Christian group, Christian Concern, for a residential camp.The week-long residential course organised by Christian Concern, called ‘Wilberforce Academy’, is aimed at “equipping the next generation of Christian leaders in public life”.Christian Concern has attracted controversy for their views on a number of issues, including homosexuality, abortion, and Islam.The organisation lists “divorce, homosexuality, and transsexualism” as “three of the most significant challenges to God’s pattern for family in today’s society”.Members of LMH JCR debated the issue at an open meeting on Sunday evening, which concluded in a vote voicing opposition to hosting the camp, by 81 votes to eight.The issue will be discussed at a meeting of senior college staff next week.LMH Principal Alan Rusbridger confirmed that, as of yet, “no decision has been taken,” telling Cherwell that “Governing Body has not yet had a chance to consider the matter.”JCR President Joshua Tulloch told Cherwell: “The JCR met to discuss, and passed a motion which outlined that they did not support the group coming. However, until a decision is made by the College, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”Christian Concern’s website refers to “Islamic finance” and the “introduction of sharia councils” as examples of the “growing influence of radical Islam in the UK”.In May 2013, the then-President of Trinity College apologised for hosting a conference organised by Christian Concern.One year previously Exeter College also faced controversy for allowing Christian Concern to use their facilities. In a statement released at the time, the college said: “We believe that Exeter College is a place where students and staff alike can be free from fear and prejudice”.The news follows last week’s announcement that LMH appointed the first Church of England vicar to be in a same-sex marriage to be their chaplain for Michaelmas.Christian Concern have been contacted for comment.last_img read more