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Youth Villages Statement 12-13-2023

Youth Villages Statement
For Immediate Release
Updated Dec. 13, 2023

We have been deeply saddened and alarmed by all allegations of inappropriate conduct and abusive behavior at Youth Villages facilities.

Child abuse and neglect are not tolerated under any circumstances. Allegations of abuse or injury are taken very seriously and reported directly to Child Protective Services. Any allegation is thoroughly investigated by third parties.

Due to confidentiality laws involving children who receive mental and behavioral health care, we cannot discuss the details of individual cases and the health issues related to youth receiving help in our programs. However, we can confirm that many of the statements and comments circulating continue to be inaccurate and misleading.

For nearly 40 years, we have provided care to children and youth with the most serious or severe emotional, behavioral and mental health issues on our residential campuses. The care and well-being of the young people we help is always our most important concern.

Youth Villages sets strict hiring standards for those who work in our facilities. Every potential hire must pass extensive background checks before becoming a Youth Villages employee.

All Youth Villages’ staff are mandated reporters, meaning all our staff are obliged to report any suspicions, evidence, or hearsay of child neglect or abuse to the appropriate authorities and regulatory agencies as required by law. Youth Villages also provides all children ways to report grievances or improper treatment through readily available grievance forms. All grievances are thoroughly investigated and may involve CPS reporting.

At Youth Villages, we provide trauma-informed, intensive therapy and care to children and youth who have the most severe emotional, behavioral and mental health issues in our psychiatric residential treatment facilities. Youth Villages’ residential treatment facilities maintain strict staffing standards to provide a high staff-to-youth ratio to ensure the safety and well-being of those in our care. The young people in our care at our intensive residential treatment facilities are continually supported by physicians, nurse practitioners and nursing staff.

Our staff are trained in behavioral interventions and follow strict protocols when working with the young people we serve. Specifically, our staff are highly trained in the Crisis Prevention Institute’s (CPI) techniques and safety training, which emphasize prevention, intervention, and nonphysical methods of managing disruptive behavior. In addition to this intensive training before working with our youth, our staff receives regular ongoing CPI training to learn the latest, most effective methods for helping children in crisis. All interventions are reviewed internally, and, if necessary, are subject to third-party review.

We continue to work closely and transparently with all relevant public safety and health authorities in response to the incident that occurred on Nov. 16 and are awaiting the official medical reports. We are also fully cooperating with the official investigations. This has included providing surveillance camera footage of the incident to all relevant public safety and health authorities. Due to confidentiality and privacy laws, we do not share surveillance camera footage of our facilities publicly. For more information, see our update from Dec. 1:

We will provide updates as we are able.