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2nd Utah Facility Housing Oregon Foster Youth To Close

<p>The Oregon Department of Human Services in Salem. The Oregon Law Center is suing DHS over its "temporary emergency lodging" program.</p>

Bradley W. Parks

The Oregon Department of Human Services in Salem. The Oregon Law Center is suing DHS over its "temporary emergency lodging" program.

A second Utah facility where Oregon sends foster care children is shutting down.

The news that Mount Pleasant Academy is closing comes immediately after news that Red Rock Canyon School in St. George, Utah, is also closing its doors after reports that children were being abused in the facility.

Both treatment facilities are owned by the same parent company, Sequel Child & Family Services.

There are three Oregon youth at the Mount Pleasant school and the state Department of Human Services officials will begin to transition the three Oregon boys to another facility.

Other placements for the children have yet to be identified, but some youth will likely be transferred to other out-of-state schools, including to some owned by Sequel.

The academy specializes in treatment for boys between 12 and 18 years old who “exhibit compulsive sexual behavior, pornography addiction, sensitive sexual issues and/or digital addictions,” according to the website. The school is small, with 16 beds.

There are currently 11 youth at the Red Rock facility, which is slated to close by the end of the summer.

The Red Rock School came under intense scrutiny after a brawlerupted in April where children were injured and a SWAT team arrived.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, since 2017, the police have been called to the St. George school 72 times and 24 staffers were investigated for child abuse. In two and a half years, 10 employees were charged with child abuse, and there are ongoing investigations into sexual abuse of youth in the facility.

Investigators are looking into whether a worker at the school fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl.

There are a total of 60 Oregon foster youth placed in out-of-state facilities and majority of those children are in facilities owned by Sequel.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Lauren Dake is a JPR content partner from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before OPB, Lauren spent nearly a decade working as a print reporter. She’s covered politics and rural issues in Oregon and Washington.