DES MOINES, Iowa — State officials say three workers at Iowa institutions for people with severe intellectual disabilities have been fired or resigned after being accused of mistreating residents, marking the latest in a series of problems at the centers.

Two employees were fired from the Glenwood Resource Center and another resigned after being suspended at the Woodward Resource Center, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2qrOfXE ) reported. The terminations and resignation came after 13 other people were fired or quit at the Glenwood center late last year for verbal humiliation and physical, abuse of residents with severe autism or other disabilities.

Inspection reports starting in February included details about the various allegations and carried a total of $11,000 in proposed fines against the institutions. The reports don’t name any of the residents or workers involved.

Inspectors wrote that one of the Glenwood workers used a spoon to smear food on a resident’s face.

The other worker who was fired told that employee to “knock it off” and helped the resident, but didn’t immediately report the abuse as required by law. The second staff member told inspectors she didn’t immediately report the abuse because it was her first time working in that area of the institution and that “she was afraid she was overreacting.”

Records show the Woodward worker resigned March 5, amid an investigation into allegations that he verbally and sexually abused a resident and verbally abused two others.

Department of Human Services administrator Rick Shults, who oversees the state institutions, said the inspection reports show the facilities’ leaders are serious about fixing problems.

“We are absolutely determined to continue quality improvement,” he said.

Shults said many problems inspectors raised were fixed immediately, and staff members didn’t try to cover up anything.

“We are very transparent in what we report,” he said. “We want DIA (the Department of Inspections and Appeals) to know everything.”


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com