The Department of Child Services has finally responded to our questions, regarding alleged mistreatment of young teens at Gibault.
A worker accused other employees of rough treatment of the children at the Terre Haute agency.
It was March when we detailed the allegations of several former Gibault workers.
During our months long investigation, we requested information from the Indiana Department of Child Services. Officials did not respond to our inquiries.
In June, we re-submitted our questions, just this week, we received a reply and learned Gibault is in good standing with the state.
Allegations from former Gibault workers prompted our investigation.
At the beginning of the year, Nick Sallee told me a common practice of staff members is to restrain children when they get out of hand and pose a risk.
He complained staffers, even supervisors would restrain children when it was unnecessary and would do it away from view of security cameras.
“In my opinion, the whole institution needs to be looked at and criticized and changes need to be made,” Sallee said.
After I sat down with Sallee, other former workers came forward with similar complaints.
This is the email response from DCS, we were told complaints against the facility are issued through Child Protective Services and are not available for public review
We learned residential facilities like Gibault are licensed for four years. They first receive approval from the Indiana State dDpartment of Health and must submit materials, policies and procedures among other approvals for their program.
After that, the facility is inspected for sanitation and fire safety.
Noelle Russell with DCS tells us that Gibault’s licenses have been in effect since the department’s data base was created in 2001 and there is no record of the license ever being revoked.
When asked what services the license allows Gibault to provide, Russell responded that the facility has one child caring institution license approved for 84 children and two private secure licenses, one approved for 30 children the other approved for 12.
That’s the extent of information she gave on their services.
I also reached out to Gibault C.E.O. Michele Madley again today for a follow up response on the complaint that was filed months ago. I haven’t heard back.
We were also told by DCS that they review the license each year.
When a complaint is filed, Residential Licensing and Contract Compliance staff work with Child Protective Services to assess abuse and neglect allegations.