State questions safety of Sacramento County's WET center for foster youth

"The facility is a former juvenile detention center." That's the state of California's determination of the Warren E. Thornton Center — a building where Sacramento County has been housing foster kids since August of 2022. The California Department of Social Services sent a "notice of application denial" to Sacramento County. It denied the county's application for a temporary license to continue to place foster care youth ages 12-17 in the facility. "I'm glad the state is taking a strong stand on the children being at the WET center. I'm hoping it leads to good things," said foster care ombudsperson Larry Fluharty. Fluharty has told the county to find other placements for the youth after receiving complaints in May and August of 2022. "As I said originally, this was not an appropriate setting for them in a letter from September," he said. The county has faced two lawsuits already for its use of what they call the WET Center as a temporary housing facility for at-risk foster youth.