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Agency says it can no longer oversee troubled teen programs

February 21, 2019

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The state agency that regulates private residential treatment programs for troubled teens concedes it lacks the expertise to continue its job.

The Missoulian reports that the department’s chief legal counsel, Judy Bovington, says she doesn’t think the Department of Labor has done the best job running the program.

A board that sits under the Labor Department has overseen the operation of 16 private, largely for-profit programs in Montana for a dozen years.

An investigation by the Missoulian found that in that time, the board issued no significant sanctions despite at least 58 complaints made against the state-licensed programs.

A bill from Democratic Sen. Diane Sands would eliminate the board and move licensing of the programs under the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee did not take immediate action on the bill Wednesday.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com