Statement Regarding Casa Kokopelli
Attributable to Jeff Eller
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2018
Contact: Jeff Eller
Any employee accused of abuse is immediately suspended and law enforcement called. This is what we did in this case. In addition, we reported it to ORR and the appropriate state agency. We report these cases to law enforcement and state agencies when they happen. We surface them immediately to ORR, HHS OIG states and law enforcement.
We educate every child in our care upon arrival to the facility of their right to be free from abuse or neglect in this program and this country. This message is repeated to the children throughout the duration of their stay at our shelters. Additionally, we fully comply with all background and fingerprint checks of the staff we employ, and we go above and beyond to train every employee on issues such as their legal obligation as mandated reporters of abuse or neglect, appropriate boundaries, situational awareness, bystander training and many others.
Further, in each shelter the children have access to phones at all times. These phones are preprogrammed to call 911, Child Protective Services and ORR so that they can report an immediate situation in which they feel uncomfortable or in danger. Southwest Key also has Department of Internal Review, and this team evaluates each and every allegation with the shelters and conducts independent investigations as necessary. These are just a few of the methods we employ to prevent abuse and neglect in our shelters.
We fully cooperate with any federal prosecution.
HHS, ORR and Southwest Key take every incident seriously and there is a never-ending process to improve care and standards.