Government watchdog report finds lapses in care at Fort Bliss migrant children's shelter
A new government watchdog report says migrant children being housed on an Army base in Texas suffered distress and other trauma because officials lacked the resources and training to care for them.
The report comes from the Inspector General’s Office for the Department of Health and Human Services. It focuses on incidents that took place in an emergency shelter at Fort Bliss.
A yearlong study there found some children waited weeks for updates from caseworkers about reuniting with sponsors and being released. Some suffered panic attacks as a result.
The report says as a record number of unaccompanied children crossed the border, staff were ill prepared to care for them, vet their sponsors and ensure their timely release.
It says two government workers who flagged issues at the facility faced retaliation. It recommends more robust protection for whistleblowers and a plan to improve training and care.