Two state senators are calling on the state ombudsman to conduct an independent investigation into the management and operations of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.
Democrats Amanda Ragan of Mason City and Jack Hatch of Des Moines sent a letter to Ombudsman Ruth Cooperider today asking her office to conduct the probe.
Senator Ragan said, "We're very concerned about the answers that we've received, and at this point I think the best way to handle the situation is to move forward with an independent investigation."
There have been reports of isolation rooms being used for discipline at the home, and Senator Ragan is calling on the ombudsman to make sure the safety of residents at the home isn't being compromised.
The senators are asking the ombudsman to determine when the policies creating the rooms were adopted and by whom, as well as if the policies have changed over time and if the staff has been adequately trained to carry out those policies.
On Monday Governor Branstad promised an investigation into the alleged abuses, "We know these are troubled kids that have had a lot of problems, and many times have not been successful in other placements, but we need to do all we can to provide a safe environment for them, and to make sure that they get the education and the opportunities that they need."
Governor Branstad says he will meet with the Disabilities Rights Iowa group to discuss their concerns. He's calling for "a change in culture" at the Toledo home.