The Devereux Foundation traces its roots back to 1912 when a remarkable young Philadelphia educator took an extraordinary interest in youngsters who were considered "slow" by most of her colleagues. Helena T. Devereux, who is considered a pioneer in the field of special education, operated on the premise that each of the students assigned to her could learn and grow in an environment tailored to their needs. Basically, her philosophy was that "every child is a program."
Further, Helena Devereux went beyond the normal role of the teacher. She believed that the classroom was just one segment of life's learning opportunities and that daily living skills, socialization, and recreation set the stage for fruitful experiences.
Helena Devereux acted on her beliefs. In her parents' home, three students learned not only the three R's, but they also acquired skills of daily living that Miss Devereux felt could only be taught in an around-the-clock program. After her success with these youngsters, she borrowed $500 and began her first residential treatment program in Devon, Pennsylvania.
As news of Helena Devereux's work spread, so did requests from parents of children who had special needs -- families from Pennsylvania, California, Texas and other states. Miss Devereux's reputation also attracted professionals from education, psychiatry, psychology and social work who wanted to work with this pioneer as she helped her "special" youngsters.
Today, following the philosophy of Helena Devereux, close to 6,000 staff members, at all levels, provide professional and quality care to more than 15,000 individuals annually. These children, adolescents and adults come to Devereux from 43 states and five foreign countries. In a wide range of settings -- from home, school and community to campus-based programs and hospitals -- Devereux provides services to individuals of all ages who have emotional, developmental and behavioral needs.
Helena T. Devereux