State revokes license of foster care center after teen's death

January 7, 2011 7:08:18 PM PST
There are new developments in the case of a teenager's death at the Daystar Residential Facility in Brazoria County. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has revoked Daystar's license effective immediately. The agency considers the facility unsafe for children. The state removed all foster children from the facility and has found them new places to live.

The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled this week that 16-year-old Michael Owen's death was a homicide by complications of mechanical asphyxia at Daystar in November. The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office said restraints were used to subdue Owen.

Records from the DFPS show the agency was involved in 76 inspections at Daystar the past two years; 13 deficiencies were weighted as high priority.

Those deficiencies range from cosmetic issues like a broken fence and pool supplies being too accessible to children, to cleanliness issues involving rodent droppings, to physical concerns like a caregiver pulling an arm behind a child's back as a restraint, and a staff member hitting a child with a closed fist that resulted in bruising of his right eye.

The attorney representing Daystar, which houses more than 50 teens and young adults, says there is not full understanding of what kind of situations staff members and the residents are faced with every day.