The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion The Office of Refugee Resettlement is committed to fighting abuse

The Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Va.
The Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Va. (Zachary Wajsgras/AP)

A facility referenced in the Aug. 6 editorial “Child abuse, overseen by the government,” the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, has been a part of the Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter facility network since 2009. As with any service provider in our network, the center is routinely monitored for compliance to ensure it meets the quality standards put forth by my office, Virginia and local municipalities. The same standard of care we expect for your kids and mine we expect for the kids in Office of Refugee Resettlement care.

Although the official report documenting the outcomes of the recent Child Protective Services monitoring of their program is not yet published, Child Protective Services officials informed the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center and the Office of Refugee and Resettlement that the abuse claims were unfounded.

Program transparency is a priority under my leadership. Over the past few weeks, about 90 congressional tours and about 50 media tours have taken place at shelters for unaccompanied children around the country. After these visits, we hear comments on the excellent care the children receive.

We treat any allegation of abuse with the utmost seriousness. Whether it’s Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center or the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center, the Office of Refugee Resettlement has strong policies in place to combat incidents of abuse at every shelter under our purview. Any assertion to the contrary is misguided and inaccurate.

Scott Lloyd, Washington

The writer is director of the
Office of Refugee Resettlement.