“Perimeter has had numerous and severe deficiencies putting children at risk” – Placement and Residential Licensing Unit.
On October 26, 2022 the Child Welfare Agency Review Board (CWARB) voted to place the license of Perimeter of the Ozarks on a probationary status for one year. This is the first time a residential license that falls under the CWARB has been placed in probationary status in Arkansas.
The recommendation by the Placement and Residential Licensing Unit (PRLU) followed a Corrective Action Agreement that was entered into with Perimeter of the Ozarks on June 9, 2022 and cites a continued failure to comply with the minimum licensing requirements. The specific areas of noncompliance noted include:
- Central registry and criminal record checks
- Unprofessional conduct (specified as falling under the subsection of “engaging in behavior that could be viewed as sexual, dangerous, exploitative, or physically harmful to children”)
- Investigations and corrective actions
- Behavior Management
- Ratio and Supervision
PRLU put together a written recommendation for probationary license that was provided to the CWARB prior to the meeting. At the board meeting the acting board present, Charles Flynn, interrupted PRLU’s presentation of their recommendation to ask that the recommendation be accepted into the record without having to take the time to read it.
The public was not provided a copy of the recommendation at the meeting. A copy of the recommendation later obtained through the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is heavily redacted and makes no mention of sexual abuse.
Discussion during the meeting gave indications of what has occurred that is not evident from the recommendation. Based on questions and discussion from the board there have been several instances of Perimeter failing to report abuse, several instances of staff having “inappropriate boundaries,” and it has been “found [that] staff engaged in sexual contact with a resident.”
According to Perimeter of the Ozarks’ CEO, “it is shocking, there is no way to defend [the incidents that have occurred since June that were brought to my attention by DHS]” and “there is just no defense for those types of people to be employed…one of the things that led to this gentleman [being employed at Perimeter] was overlooking background checks.”
The license status change or even the recommendation for change of status has not been posted or announced publicly since the meeting. Perimeter Behavioral of the Ozarks remains operational and able to accept residents. Guardians of current or potential residents are not being notified of the change in license status.
The Corrective Action Agreement and Recommendation of Probationary License can be found HERE, on DRA’s PRTF Database.
DRA’s recent monitoring and investigations of Perimeter Behavioral of the Ozarks can be found HERE.