DHS suspends license at El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

DHS suspends license at El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch

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The Department of Human Services has suspended the permanent child care license for El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch near Pueblo Tuesday.

DHS is currently reviewing whether the license should be further suspended or revoked.

The facility has been under investigation since the DHS received a tip in late July about an "inappropriately restrained child". DHS said the CEO of the ranch also submitted "false and misleading documentation to the department regarding the restraint."

The documents detail other complaints of lack of medical attention, access to food and staff not intervening in fights between the children. It also accused a facility staff member of pulling a child's hair, scratching a child, and punching a child in the mouth. 

The Department of Human Services also said it also received a complaint of a child with "significant disabilities" who was rolling around and banging their head on the floor. The documents allege that staff watch the child biting their own arms and legs resulting in bleeding wounds and further injuries.

The DHS documents go on to say: "The Department has reasonable ground to believe and finds that the operation of this residential child care facility presents a substantial danger to the public health, safety, and welfare requiring emergency action."

El Pueblo CEO Jimmy Cardinal issued a news release Tuesday afternoon in response to the suspension. It reads:

"After fifty seven years of continuous service to the community by providing a home for our most troubled kids, El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch has been informed by state officials that an order of suspension of its license is being implemented. The Board of Directors and the management of El Pueblo look forward to cooperating with the State Officials  to resolve any concerns and to resuming our service to the community and to children in need."

According to the DHS, the El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch can care for up to 166 children from ages 5 to 18. Nourie Boraie of DHS said the children will either go to other facilities or back to their parents.

A source closed to EL Pueblo says less than 50 children were inside the facility when orders to shut down were received. 

The facility had 11 repeat violations regarding use of physical restraints, 6 repeat violations for inappropriate discipline, 18 children's rights violations and 5 lack of supervision violations. 




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