Records: Citations, Fines At Southwest Key Programs In Metro Phoenix

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 6:10pm
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 6:37pm
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A government-contracted nonprofit with services that include sheltering undocumented children racked up $2,750 dollars in state fines at a half-dozen Valley locations in the last couple years.

On Christmas Day 2016, staff at a Southwest Key Programs facility in Glendale restrained a child for a total of 37 minutes, which was a violation of state administrative code, according to records from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In 2017, state records show investigators found staff at a Southwest Key location in Mesa were hired without fingerprint clearance cards proving they’d passed a background check.

“To not have current fingerprinting is of a concern,” said Susie Huhn, CEO of Casa de los Ninos, a Tucson-based child welfare and behavioral health organization. “‘Cause you just don't know what kind of people you’re hiring to work with kids.”

A handful of Southwest Key locations in the Valley were fined for not applying on time to get re-licensed, records show.

A spokesperson for Southwest Key released a prepared statement.

“Southwest Key is a licensed, around-the-clock childcare facility,” the statement said. “We adhere to strict compliance standards and take each deficiency seriously by self-reporting them to invite external investigations, as well as perform our own internal investigations. We operate high-quality, licensed childcare shelters and adhere to strict licensing standards. Southwest Key has been recognized by the U.N. Human Rights Council for the work we do.”

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