Sioux Falls city employees lose counseling service due to closure
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Last month we told you of the City of Sioux Falls renewing its contract for employee counseling services provided by Key Solutions. Despite concerns raised during a city council meeting, the partnership continued.
“This is a contract extension, said Councilor Pat Starr at the March 1st City Council meeting. “The director of the program was under federal investigation at the time a year ago when we did this, and now there’s a federal conviction.
Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr indicated constituents had contacted him regarding Director Tami Haug-Davis, who had accepted a plea deal last year while admitting to knowingly and intentionally making materially false statements to investigators regarding the creation, submission, and veracity of board meeting minutes and documents of the Missouri Valley Crisis Center in Chamberlain, where she was also a director.
Our I-Team was alerted to plans to shut down Key solutions at the end of June, while another division of the company, Keystone treatment Center will remain open. We reached out to both divisions of the company along with Haug-Davis and did not receive a response.
The City of Sioux Falls Human Resources Director Bill O’Toole says he was just advised of the planned closure as well:
“I can confirm the City of Sioux Falls was notified late this week that one of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers, Key Solutions, will be closing their operations at the end of June 2022. The City does utilize two EAP providers so we will not be without professional EAP services given this announcement. Key Solutions will refer employees or family members to our other provider where Key Solutions may not be able to complete any professional services before the end of June 2022. Our employees have been advised of this development. We will be reviewing our options and service needs and hope to find another provider in the near future.” said O’Toole.
After Key Solutions closes its doors, the interim plan is to utilize Family Service, which had the main contract previously.
Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr is watching this all unfold.
“We had the warning signs. We had the opportunity. We talked about it at a city council meeting and we’re sure that this wouldn’t happen. And now it’s happened,” said Starr.
He believes the best thing for the city now is to learn from this and do better for city employees wanting to see a counselor for work or personal reasons.
“A lot of stressful things happen for our first responders, whether it’s police fire. Filling in potholes can be a dangerous job in traffic. So being able to provide that help and provide the best care that’s available. We’ll find a solution and we’ll find a provider that can provide what we need. We just have to spend a little bit of time a little bit at a time and do the due diligence to get the right provider that’s qualified,” said Starr.
Regarding the license standing for Haug-Davis, according to South Dakota Department of Social Services Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill, the protocol will be followed.
“When licensees file for their renewal, their criminal background is re-checked. To trigger an investigation prior to renewal, a complaint or self-report by the licensee would be needed,” said Gill.
Our I-team has been told of at least one complaint filed regarding Haug-Davis, who received her license in 1994. It is up for renewal on November 30th.
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