Iowa Probing Abuse Allegations At Home For Troubled Youths

CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa departments say they’re investigating complaints of restraints, assault and sexual abuse at a foster home and treatment facility for troubled youths from Iowa and other states.

Iowa’s Human Services and Inspections and Appeals departments are looking into the allegations against Clarinda Academy in Clarinda and into any problems at Woodward Academy in the central Iowa community of Woodward. Both are owned by Alabama-based Sequel Youth and Family Services.

A federally mandated protection and advocacy organization in the state of Washington alleged earlier this year that foster children were being held against their will at the Clarinda facility, were subjected to excessive restraint and were verbally abused.

Sequel Executive Vice President Steve Gilbert told The Des Moines Register that Iowa officials completed their on-site audit in September at Clarinda, “noted no deficiencies and renewed our full licensure status.” He didn’t immediately return messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press.