REM Heartland is closing its child foster care location on St. Andrews Drive in Mankato, a location where the state alleged a pattern of violations over the last year.
According to a letter from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), REM has informed Blue Earth County that it will be closing the St. Andrews Drive facility on October 20th.
Among the incidents noted in a recent letter ordering REM to pay a $1,200 fine:
May 2016 – Child leaves, found in neighbor’s home after entering without permission.
September 2016 – Child leaves, staff unaware. Found after 30 minutes in neighbor’s garage.
October 2016 – Child leaves, found a mile away and naked.
October 2016 – Child leaves, found by police after 12 minutes.
November 2016 – Child leaves, found by police a mile away, naked in hotel parking lot.
December 2016 – Two children have sexual contact due to lack of proper supervision.
March 2017 – Child punched in face by another when left alone.
May 2017 – Child finds bottle used by staff, which contained chewing tobacco and spit, and drinks it.
DHS also notes that between January 1, 2017, and July 14, 2017, there were 32 documented medication or treatment administration errors. That included giving the wrong dosage to children and a child being given another child’s medication.
Other concerns cited by DHS included exposed wiring and mold in the home, hazardous chemicals accessible to the children, and a staff member frequently using their personal cell phone while on the job.
REM Heartland St. Andrews was licensed in August 2015 to provide care for up to four children with significant behavioral concerns.