A surprise visit at the Southcentral Foundation Employee Family Center by the Municipality of Anchorage Health Department found disturbing instances, some of which appear to border on child abuse.
The June 17 investigation confirmed some of the allegations in reports the municipality had received, including:
- Children in the infant and toddler rooms were being hit on their hands, arms, butts, and mouths for normal developmental behaviors;
- Children in the infant and toddler rooms were having their mouths covered for crying;
- Caregivers in the infant and toddler rooms were sleeping while caring for children;
- Children were being talked and/or yelled at to “shut up” and were being called “bitches” and “bastards;”
- Children were being left alone on the diapering table.
“Upon completion of the investigation the department found the following allegations to be unsubstantiated: caregivers are caring for children while high on marijuana; a caregiver is physically restraining children and covering their mouths for 5 to 10 minutes; caregivers in the toddler room are unaware of how children are receiving injuries; a vaping pen is being used on site that can be smelled throughout the facility; and children are being left to sleep on u-shaped pillows,” the report said.
However, the facility, which has a capacity for 96 children, was out of compliance with the following:
- The administrator failed to appropriately supervise and discipline staff;
- A child in the toddler room went up to a caregiver crying and the caregiver walked away;
- An infant child was put to sleep in a heavy winter sleeper in a room with a temperature of 78.1 degrees Fahrenheit;
- A caregiver left a child alone on a diapering table;
- Several staff have slept while caring for children;
- A caregiver in the infant room was physically disciplining children on the hand and hovering a hand over a child’s mouth to quiet the child;
- A caregiver was calling infants “big cry babies” and one child a “crack head;”
- A caregiver failed to wash her hands after diapering.
The facility was issued a warning notice and it submitted a correction plan to bring it into compliance. According to reports, several staff members of the facility have since been fired.
The report is at this link.