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A Message from Patrick Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages 12-01-2023


I have spent my entire career working to find the best ways to help young people grow, heal and fulfill their dreams. Even as an 18-year-old on my first job as a residential counselor, I understood more was needed to help children with the most serious challenges succeed. That is why Youth Villages began nearly 40 years ago – to help children, families and young people receive the help they need so that they can live successfully in their own homes and our communities.

Like all of you, I am deeply saddened and shocked that a young person receiving help in one of our residential programs experienced a medical emergency and later passed away. The loss of a child is devastating, and all of us at Youth Villages are heartbroken by this tragedy. Our hearts continue to go out to her family and loved ones.

At Youth Villages, we believe that every child deserves a loving, supportive family and each young person has the potential to become a successful adult. While most of our work is in homes and the community, our residential programs provide care to children and young people who have some of the greatest mental, emotional and behavioral challenges. The well-being of each child is our most important concern.

In response to this incident, we’ve been working closely with all relevant public safety and health authorities and are awaiting the official medical reports. We have also reviewed all the interventions in this case and believe that the protocols that we have in place were followed correctly.

Additionally, we have been providing support for our staff who continue to be devastated by this tragedy.

There are no words that can capture the sadness and heartache we all feel at the loss of a child. As we continue to process this tragedy, we remain committed to our core values and mission.

Here’s a link to our latest public statement. We will continue to keep you updated.