U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
|IMMEDIATE RELEASE||December 18, 2012|
Officials from the U.S. Army announced today they have begun an investigation of personnel procedures at the Army's Child Development Centers after a review of personnel records at the Fort Myer CDC found "derogatory information" contained in the background of a number of its employees.
"The safety of the children under our care is our most important responsibility," said Col. Fern Sumpter, garrison commander at Fort Myer. "The quality of their care and safety has been and will continue to be our most important priority."
In October, the Army's Installation Management Command replaced the CDC's management team following concerns received about facility leadership. A subsequent review found background issues with a number of employees. Not all the workers were directly responsible for child care.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we removed those employees and temporarily closed the facility, moving students to the Cody CDC (also located on Fort Myer)," Sumpter said. "An investigation was ordered to determine whether background checks were properly done at the time these employees were hired, and whether required procedures were followed. That investigation has just begun."
Fort Myer officials also empanelled a Program Review Board to review the background files of about two dozen employees to determine whether they should be terminated. The Center's Child Youth Coordinator and deputy were both reassigned while those investigations and reviews are underway.
Following the initial findings at Fort Myer, Secretary of the Army John McHugh directed an Army-wide review of management and procedures at child care centers, and review of compliance with those policies and procedures.
"It's a fundamental responsibility to ensure the highest quality of care for the children of our men and women in uniform, many of whom rely on us to care for their children while deployed," he said. "These initial findings are not only troubling, they are unacceptable, and we will make certain that adequate policies and procedures are in place, and that they are strictly followed and fully enforced."
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