State investigators recommended Thursday that the license of KIDS of El Paso County, a rehabilitation program, be revoked. The staff of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse made the recommendation after finding physical abuse, neglect and civil rights violations at the rehabilitation program. KIDS officials have 30 days to appeal the recommendation to the commission's board. ***, chairman of KIDS' board of directors, said the recommendation would be appealed. ***, assistant to commission Executive Director ***, issued this written statement explaining Thursday's action: "Under its licensure statute, the commission's revocation becomes effective in 3 days unless an appeal is made to the board of commissioners. The basis for revocation in violation of commission licensure standards, including standards relating to client rights and client treatment requirements.” ***, director of community relations for KIDS, said she didn't know how long the appeal process will take, but the appeal will be filed very soon.” We were not surprised to hear about the decision," *** said. She declined to elaborate. *** a KIDS board member; also said the decision would be appealed. “My personal opinion is they (the commission, a complaint) have no basis," said ***, an El Paso real estate agent who was instrumental in bringing the program to the city in 1986. *** said the commission's recommendation did not surprise him. “I've always believed that any time you do anything good you're going to get criticized, he said. KIDS treats people between 13 and 21 years old who have eating disorders, problems with alcohol or drugs, or other behavioral problems. The commission began an investigation after receiving, several complaints, including one in March 1987 a eighteen-year-old-year-old *** said he was held at the center against his will for two months. He left the center under police escort after police complaint was filed in his behalf. The commission’s staff told KIDS Jan. 21 that its license was in jeopardy unless it corrected the violations within 60 days. Commission investigators visited the center at 6500 Boeing in March and found that many of the problems still existed. In a rebuttal to the commission's report, KIDS officials said investigators intimidated clients when they interviewed them and were not interested in hearing good things about the program. *** said the commission staff did not take the rebuttal into consideration before issuing its recommendation Thursday. "The commission's report stated that they didn't check out clinical records," he said. "How can you revoke a license without checking clinical records?" Even if KIDS wins this appeal, it may face a tough future because of publicity was given to the state investigation, *** said.” Any time you get bad news, it's going to hurt," he said. The KIDS program began in El Paso in February 1986. Last month, KIDS Executive Director *** said there were about 100 clients in the program, most of them from El Paso and southern New Mexico. Problems at KIDS program. The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse found these violations of state regulations at the KIDS of El Paso County rehabilitation program:
- KIDS clients are beaten, mocked and mistreated. Clients' medical needs were not assessed in consultation with a doctor.
- Clients are coerced into entering the program and "then are unduly hampered by program staff from exercising their legal right to withdraw."
- Clients aren't informed of their rights in writing.
- All clients cannot communicate with a lawyer.
- A psychiatrist does not certify the appropriateness of all admissions.
- Treatment plans aren't individualized.
- There is no annual training plan for staff members.