HHS Watchdog Reviewing Health and Safety Protocols at Migrant Facilities
Child Protective Services said claims of abuse at one VA facility unfounded
WASHINGTON – The U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general is conducting a
review of grantee facilities that house migrant families and children following
media reports of sexual and physical abuse. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman
Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein recently
called on inspectors general for HHS and the Department of Homeland Security
to conduct such a review. At least one state agency has also investigated
allegations of abuse at grantee facilities. However, on August 1, 2018,
following a child protective services investigation, Shenandoah Valley Social
Services in Virginia concluded
that allegations of child abuse and neglect at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile
Center were unfounded. The juvenile center is an ORR grantee facility.
Friday to the lawmakers, HHS inspector general Daniel Levinson noted that
his office is conducting a review of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)
grantee facilities, focusing on health- and safety-related issues, including
how the facilities screen employees and how they identify and respond to
incidents of harm. The grantee facilities temporarily house migrant children
who illegally enter the country without adults while they await placement with
family members or other sponsors.