August, 16 2018

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Arizona Home for Troubled Teens Investigated

A residential treatment center for troubled teens is under the microscope, after a 14-year- old client ended up in the emergency room this month.

Administrators for Devereux Arizona say an employee was putting the 250-pound boy in a restraint hold when both fell to the ground. The teen was treated for a broken wrist and injured shoulder. The teen was removed from the center, and Devereux says the employee is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

State regulators are investigating the Phoenix facility for four incidents all together. Two incidents involve children who suffered injuries during restraint holds. One incident involves a fight between adolescent clients, and the last incident involves sexual contact between under-age clients. Devereux self-reported all four cases to the state.

Executive Director Lane Barker took 12 News on a tour of the Phoenix campus this week. She says children undergo six hours of school instruction each day, and they have several group therapy sessions each week. Devereux has space for about 40 kids, ages 8 to 18, who have substance abuse, emotional or psychiatric problems. Barker tells 12 News, "A lot of these kids come to us with coping skills that involve physical acting out and when that happens we are obligated to keep that child safe."

Barker adds that the use of restraint holds is not a daily or even weekly occurrence and they are used as a last resort. She says employees are well-trained on when and how to use restraint holds. She says they also have a nurse on hand at all times.

Arizona State Health Services inspectors spent an entire day last week at the facility to interview staff about the January 2nd restraint hold incident.

Department of Health Services spokesman Michael Murphy says, "We want to see if this is an isolated incident or whether there is something else going on that would lead to other problems." He says the Devereux facility has a fairly good track record among centers that deal with such severely troubled children.

However, Devereux has been fined by the state twice since 2004 for improper restraint hold procedures. A former employee has also been criminally charged with raping a 15-year-old client in 2006.

For more information about licensed care facilities and providers and Arizona enforcement actions go to The Arizona Department of Health Services website.

Related Articles:
Pennsylvania Home offers Help for Troubled Teens 1/17/08
School for Troubled Teens Denied in Maryland 1/15/08
Montana Opens 1st of 7 Residential Treatment Centers for Meth Addiction 1/16/08
Retreat for Troubled Teens Planned in Kansas 1/28/08
Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens Denied in Idaho 8/17/07
Alabama Gov Proud of New Services for Troubled Youth 1/11/08
TX, Lone Star Expeditions 1st to Integrate Ropes Course for Troubled Teens 1/14/08
Center for Troubled Teens to Open in Pennsylvania 1/12/08
Maryland Troubled Teens Tracked by GPS 1/12/08
New York Closes 6 Centers for Troubled Youth 1/12/08

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