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Arizona DCS Removes 40 Kids From Gilbert Group Home Provider

Arizona Department of Child Safety logo
(Photo via dcs.az.gov)
Arizona Department of Child Safety.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety recently removed 40 foster children from a group home provider in the East Valley, and officials say an investigation is underway.

The P.O.W.E.R. House Youth Facility in Gilbert said on its website it has supervised care for at-risk males between the ages of 12 and 21.

DCS spokesman Doug Nick would not say why the children were removed, but confirmed the kids have been placed elsewhere.

“Well, there is an ongoing investigation and those children have been placed in appropriate, new placements,” he said.

In a statement Thursday, P.O.W.E.R. House Youth Facility said they have been operating for over 12 years, and has "consistently and promptly self-reported any incident [they] became aware of." They said DCS pulled the children without any notice.

"We believe DCS' actions are not in the best interest of the children in our care, and we expect that once DCS interview our staff and has all the facts, we will be fully vindicated," the statement read. "We look forward to this occurring as soon as possible."

As of May, about 15 percent of Arizona’s 18,600 foster children are in congregate care like group homes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated to include a statement from P.O.W.E.R. House Youth Facility.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.