Protection and Advocacy Agencies Protect Children Housed in Dangerous, Profit-Driven Facilities

January 7, 2021
Protection and Advocacy Agencies Protect Children Housed in Dangerous, Profit-Driven Facilities

For over a year, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has coordinated a nation-wide effort to end the abuse and neglect of children and youth with disabilities in for-profit residential treatment facilities. The children placed in these facilities are often in state custody/foster care and their placements, usually far from home, receive little oversight.

Horrible treatment has been reported, including the suffocation of a young man last year at a facility in Michigan. The abuse and neglect reported in these facilities include such basics as malnutrition and lack of medical treatment, and such horrors as staff incited fight clubs, chaos, broken limbs, and concussions. Many do not receive the education and treatment required by law and their individual needs.

Reports by the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies in Ohio, Washington, Iowa, Arkansas, and most recently in Alabama as well as investigations by other P&As, have received significant media and policy attention – including the NBC News and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Disability Rights Ohio, the P&A in Ohio, played a key role in the December 11, 2020 revocation of the license of the Sequel Pomegranate facility.

Most recently, California committed to bring its children home from out-of-state facilities as a result of the San Francisco Chronicle expose.

NDRN’s Executive Director, Curt Decker, “Children who have been removed from home due to abuse and neglect, need care, treatment and our concern, not further isolation, abuse and neglect.”

The goal of the P&As critical monitoring of these facilities is to ensure that every child in state custody is served in the community, with the services they need, safe from harm.

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.