Child left on playground at Ascent center in North Little Rock; two fired | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Child left on playground at Ascent center in North Little Rock; two fired

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM

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The Department of Human Services confirms a report circulating on social media of a child found unattended Monday morning on a playground outside the North Little Rock facility of Ascent Children's Health Services on Richards Road.

DHS had no information on physical harm to the child, if any.

Department spokeswoman Amy Webb said:
The facility did self-report an incident of a child being left on the playground to our Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education yesterday evening. We will be conducting a licensing investigation to see if regulations were followed and what corrective action is necessary. The facility also reported that it had terminated two employees as a result of the incident.

As you know, I cannot confirm whether there also is a child maltreatment investigation or the findings from that type of investigation. I can release the results of a licensing investigation once it is complete.
A call to the center was referred to the company's corporate offices, where a spokesman promised a statement by e-mail.

A post on Facebook by a woman who said she had a child at the center said she saw the child alone under a slide when she arrived about 11:30 a.m. yesterday. She rushed inside to inform employees. She then went back outside and brought the child in. She said he had a bleeding lip, torn clothes and was "soaking wet." She complained that no one at the center called medical or police agencies. I've been unable so far to get in touch with the woman who made the post to find out more. She wrote that the child held on to her "for dear life" after she picked him up.

Ascent Child Health Services, a chain of facilities that provides a range of services including therapeutic and developmental programs, is led by state Rep. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro). Its center in West Memphis was placed on probationary status by the state after the death of a five-year-old left in a van outside the center all day. Criminal charges have been filed against workers. The agency is also under review by the office of Medicaid inspector general.  Sullivan sponsored legislation that has ended oversight of his facilities by the state Early Childhood Commission.

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