El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch license suspended after reports of Child Abuse
PUEBLO, CO – A child care facility in Pueblo has been shut down after reports of child abuse surfaced to the Department of Human Services.
Over the last year, El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch has had 11 repeat violations regarding use of physical restraints, six repeat violations regarding inappropriate discipline, 18 repeat violations of children’s rights, and five repeat lack of supervision violations.
DHS requested on September 25 that El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch’s license be suspended on the following grounds:
On July 20, the Department received a complaint stating that the “current Chief Executive Officer of El Pueblo inappropriately restrained a child.” The Chief Executive Officer also submitted false and misleading documentation to the Department regarding the incident.
In August, another report made to DHS stated that a child ran from El Pueblo and rode in the back of a train for at least one hour. The child claimed that he was being bullied and that the staff would not intervene. He also said El Pueblo wasn’t providing adequate medical attention.
About a month later, a third report was made that staff at El Pueblo weren’t giving a “high needs” child all the necessary medications he/she required and that the child left the facility with an unexplained burn.
Also during the month of September, a child who was supposed to be under one-on-one supervision was left alone and escaped out a window. It took at least an hour to find the child.
On September 20, a staff member allegedly physically abused a child. “Staff pulled the child’s hair, scratched the child, and elbowed and kneed the child’s body,” according to DHS’ order of summary suspension document. Staff is also being accused of punching that child in the mouth around the same time.
A day later, a child with disabilities was reportedly rolling around the ground and staff was told by administrators not to intervene. The order of summary suspension paperwork says that over a time frame of around 25 minutes, the child ended up biting their own arms and legs, resulting in bleeding wounds and pulled off his or her own skin and was chewing and eating it.
DHS says that it has also received several reports that more than one child at El Pueblo had attempted suicide. DHS was also notified that children were showing significant weight loss after leaving El Pueblo and that the children were expressing they were hungry.
DHS sent the following statement to KRDO NewsChannel 13:
“DHS is working with the agencies who have placed children at El Pueblo, as they are moved to other placements as quickly as possible. All children and youth will be moved before CDHS staff leave the facility. While the specific locations are confidential, all children and youth will be moved to licensed facilities (other residential child care facilities, group homes or group centers), certified providers (foster care homes), or with their parent/guardian, if appropriate.”
El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch located at One El Pueblo Ranch Way in Pueblo, Colo. opened January 1, 1995. It applied for a license continuation around the time of March 17, 2017.