Six SWITC Employees disciplined after Health and Welfare investigation

Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, or SWITC (KBOI Photo)

Six employees have been disciplined after an investigation into abuse and neglect at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, or SWITC, in Nampa.

The Department of Health and Welfare says it has finished its investigation into allegations of physical and psychological abuse and neglect by staff members. The investigation involved seven adults living at the center.

The Department says the investigation revealed what it calls "a localized issue" involving six employees. According to a press release, the employees either voluntarily left, or were terminated for cause.

The investigation reveals that there were two main perpetrators who psychologically and/or physically abused residents. The release specified that there was no sexual abuse. Four other employees were aware of the psychological abuse by the two employees. They did not report it, which constitutes neglect, according to the Department of Health and Welfare.

“Six employees engaging in this type of conduct is six employees too many,” Department of Health and Welfare Director Russ Barron said. “But I am pleased the investigation revealed the problem to be limited, and I am grateful to the quality SWITC employees who have continued to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for our residents there. The work environment at SWITC during this time was even more challenging than usual.”

The investigation started in late June after an employee reported concerns about resident safety. The Department of Health and Welfare says it notified the Nampa Police Department.

SWITC’s mission is to provide assessment, training, and treatment to people with intellectual disabilities until they can be safely transitioned back into their communities. SWITC currently has 20 residents and 109 permanent and temporary employees.

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