DHS Fines St. Cloud Children’s Home $1,000
ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud Children's Home has been fined $1,000 by the Minnesota Department of Human Services after an investigation found that it took eight days to get medical care for a child with a broken finger.
An investigative memorandum from the Department says on April 18th, a child at the home hurt their finger during a physical intervention from staff. They complained of finger pain afterwards.
Health care workers looked at the finger and it appeared to be aligned correctly, the child was able to "utilize full range of motion" and was told to ice the finger and take ibuprofen.
Several days later the child complained about finger pain again. A health care worker checked the finger and recommended they be taken to urgent care for an evaulation. However, there weren't enough staff that day. The care worker stressed the importance of staff making it a priority to take the child to urgent care as soon as they were available the next day.
Over the weekend there weren't enough counselors on staff to take the child to urgent care for an appointment. On Monday, the child then left for a family visit. The case manager with the child didn't know they had an injured finger. During activities with their family, the child swam and carried a family member and didn't complain about their finger to the manager.
It wasn't until Tuesday, eight days after the injury, the child was taken in and was found to have a broken finger. Surgery needed to be done on April 28th to secure the fracture.
The Department says the facility failed to have a system in place over the weekend to ensure they met the responsibility of ensuring the child received timely medical care.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Bresnahan says they don't agree with the decision to fine the facility, but won't appeal.
"Because this is a one time incident and we feel we should be spending time with kids, we won't be appealing it. We don't agree with the final decision but it is what it is. We work with really difficult kids and we want to spend our time doing that."
St. Cloud Children's home is a residential facility for youth aged 9-18 with mental health issues.