Nonprofits At Center Of Migrant Child Sex Abuse Allegations
Three nonprofit recipients of federal grants are at the center of a scandal involving the sexual abuse of migrant children.
The Trump Administration sparked intense backlash last year over its family separation policy, which applied to the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border for three months. It is unclear exactly how many children and families have been impacted by this hardline measure, with some reports suggesting that thousands of children have been separated from their parents without any established procedures for reuniting them.
The government’s lack of oversight extends to the nonprofit contractors tasked with running detention centers for migrant children. Under the Trump Administration, authorities have received hundreds of reports of alleged sexual abuse at these facilities.
According to Axios, three nonprofits account for half of these allegations: Southwest Key, Baptist Child and Family Services, and International Educational Services. All three organizations receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Southwest Key—the largest of the three—is alone the subject of 65 sexual abuse allegations. Additionally, the organization is under investigation for the misuse of government dollars and recently had to shut down facilities in Arizona for its failure to comply with state required background checks for its staff.
As any grant-writer knows, nonprofits are responsible for demonstrating the proper use of grant monies. When nonprofits receive funding from federal agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, they are required to submit detailed reports regarding their programs.
The fact that authorities failed to apply this sort of institutional oversight to nonprofits responsible for the housing and protection of vulnerable children is appalling, and warrants a swift and far-reaching probe in order to rectify the damage caused by these organizations and prevent these human rights violations from happening again.