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Pa. center for troubled youths gets its license back

ALLENTOWN - A nonprofit group that treats troubled youths has regained its full operating license after the state determined the organization had made sufficient efforts to reduce injuries to the children.

KidsPeace, in North Whitehall Township, was downgraded to a temporary license five months ago during a year in which seven youths suffered broken bones. The group agreed to keep fewer youths at its residence halls, reduce the number of youths it must restrain, and accept no more aggressively violent youths. It also agreed to hire a safety supervisor who monitors all restraints, and it now requires supervisors to call police when a staff member is assaulted.

The state closed Pennsylvania admissions at KidsPeace in September after seven youths suffered broken bones while being restrained by staff, and after an increase in violence at the campus over the previous year.

Since the state stepped in, officials said, the number of times the organization has used restraints has been cut in half. The state has since allowed limited admissions.

- AP