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Arizona allows new admissions at one Southwest Key facility

Children Shelter Investigation Southwest Key AP Photo
Posted at 8:07 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 07:06:24-05

PHOENIX — The state is allowing Southwest Key to once again accept children at one of its facilities.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says Southwest Key has reached "full compliance" with all health and safety requirements at its "Lighthouse" facility near 16th Street and Thomas Road, allowing that location to begin accepting a limited number of children per day.

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Southwest Key centers have been one of the destinations for migrant children who had been separated from their families after being caught crossing into the country illegally. The exact number of new children that will be allowed each day was not specified, nor if whether they would be migrants.

An admission hold imposed by the state remains in place for Southwest Key's other 10 locations across Arizona, most of which are in Maricopa County.

The Department of Health Services settled with Southwest Key in October 2018 over issues including delayed or incomplete background checks and a lack of responsiveness to inquiries from health officials. As part of that agreement, Southwest Key agreed to close two facilities, pay a $73,000 fine, and pause admitting more children.

RELATED: Videos show children shoved at Southwest Key facility in Arizona

The decision to allow admissions at the other 10 sites will be made on an individual basis as they meet health and safety requirements, according to a DHS spokesman.