Devereux

Officials to Remove Philly Children from Nonprofit Where Reported Abuse Took Place

The DHS and CBH both increased their monitoring of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health following an Aug. 11 Philadelphia Inquirer article on abuse that reportedly took place at their facilities. 

Devereux Immigrant Children
NBC10

What to Know

  • Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and Community Behavioral Health (CBH) will remove 53 Philadelphia children and youth from facilities operated by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
  • The announcement follows a Philadelphia Inquirer article in August that stated at least 41 intellectually disabled children at Devereux facilities reported sexual assaults over the past quarter-century.
  • Officials are working to identify new placements for those children and they will continue to increase their monitoring of Devereux’s facilities until all of the children are removed. 

Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and Community Behavioral Health (CBH) will remove Philadelphia children and youth from facilities operated by a nonprofit health organization where at least 41 intellectually disabled children have reported sexual assaults over the past quarter-century.

The DHS and CBH both increased their monitoring of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health following an Aug. 11 Philadelphia Inquirer article on abuse that reportedly took place at their facilities. 

The DHS and CBH immediately closed intake for new admissions at Devereux, met with children, spoke with families and made unannounced visits to the facilities. 

There are currently 53 Philadelphia children and youth in Devereux’s residential programs. Officials are working to identify new placements for those children and they will continue to increase their monitoring of Devereux’s facilities until all of the children are removed. 

Devereux, which is headquartered near Philadelphia, treats children with intellectual disabilities, mental disorders and trauma. It has been in existence for more than 100 years and is now the nation’s leading nonprofit health organization of its kind.

In August, the Inquirer reported that some sex assault victims were as young as 12 and had IQs as low as 50 when they said they were assaulted by staff at Devereux campuses. Ten said they were assaulted at three suburban Philadelphia campuses, while others said the abuse occurred at facilities in New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, New York and Arizona.

Devereux leaders, noting that a sexual assault can happen in almost any care setting, have said that in the last two years they have increased safety and reduced risk by adopting safeguards to prevent such abuse and hold staffers accountable.

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