I-TEAM: Grandmother raising questions about Child Haven

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– A local grandmother is raising questions about a place for abused and neglected children. Workers walked out calling for change last week.

Betsy Martin’s two grandchildren were taken to Child Haven after problems at home.

It’s a place where children who may be abused or neglected are taken for shelter and other resources in Clark County.

“I think they’re horrible,” Martin said.

She told the I-Team that her 14-year-old granddaughter was there for a couple of weeks while her 8-year-old grandson was there for months.

“He got bitten in the back, he got dragged by his neck, oh and he had scratches on his face, it was just a hell hole,” Martin said.

The I-Team is unable to confirm these specific allegations because Clark County will not discuss specific cases.  Martin said cell phones aren’t allowed during visits so she couldn’t take photos.

Workers at Child Haven are also sounding the alarm.

Maria Jacobi is a supervisor and a steward for Service Employees International Union which represents the worker where they protested Child Haven on Tuesday.

“We’re not complaining about the pay. We’re complaining about getting more help,” Jacobi added.

SEIU wants more workers hired and for the screening and hiring process to speed up, and the union says current employees are not trained or qualified to provide services for children with severe mental illness and autism.

“I don’t want to see an employee struggling with stressed out and knowing that I’m gonna get written up for something that I can’t manage so yes, it’s stressful,” Jacobi added.

The I-Team reached out to Clark County and a spokesman pointed to a pause in hiring for nearly a year due to COVID-19.

Clark County Statement
Clark County Statement
Clark County Statement

“I honestly think they’re dragging their feet,” Jacobi said.

Martin says her grandchildren are back with family, but she’s still hoping child haven improves.

“I feel bad for the kids that are still there,” Martin said.

Child Haven can house up to 90 children.

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