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Our Commitment to Safety

Devereux’s Commitment to Safety

Safety Quote 1

From its founding in 1912 until the present, Devereux has been devoted to providing safe, compassionate and effective treatment to the most vulnerable children and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.

Over the last century, Devereux has continued to develop comprehensive policies and procedures focused on the ultimate goal of providing safe, compassionate and supportive treatment and services that meet and exceed established industry standards and regulatory requirements. Our work is rooted in the latest medical and scientific research, as well as established, evidence-based practices.

In recent years, Devereux has taken significant steps to formalize its safety and security protocols through an evolved culture of Servant Leadership and a dedicated commitment to operational, clinical and risk management best practices. A significant change in organizational leadership created an opportunity to establish new goals and more stringent metrics and reporting requirements around quality and safety. This has resulted in a deepened commitment to elevating the standard of care in our industry – and continuing to refine our operations to ensure we are in the best possible position to protect, treat and support the most vulnerable individuals in our care.

Learn more about Devereux's ongoing commitment to safety and security:

  • Our safety investments: Learn more about technology investments and infrastructure upgrades that provide Devereux with the necessary tools and insights to reduce risk and ensure our individuals are protected and supported.
  • Our hiring process: Learn more about our robust recruiting, hiring, training and conduct protocols we require of each and every employee.
  • Our approach to risk management: Learn more about the task force dedicated to identifying risk at all levels of our organization and ensuring every child and family is treated with care, compassion and dignity.

Safety and Quality Report

$60 Million invested in Safety

As one of the nation's largest behavioral health nonprofit organizations, we invest 100% of our operating revenue in excess of expenses to deliver the best available treatment and care for our individuals – including safety and security. Specifically, over the last three years, Devereux has invested nearly $60 million of private donor funding in strategic enhancements – in both our campuses and state-of-the-art technology – to support the safety of those in our care. Recent examples include the following:

  • Praesidium: Last summer, Devereux successfully achieved Praesidium accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to meeting and exceeding the highest industry standards in abuse prevention. In addition, 45 Devereux employees completed intensive training to become certified Praesidium Guardians. Today, these leaders help sustain our culture of quality and safety (more detail below).
  • Safe & Positive Approaches for Preventing and Responding to Crisis (S&PA): Devereux uses this comprehensive prevention and intervention program to prevent, defuse and manage crisis situations.
  • Guard1® has been installed in every Devereux Residential Treatment Facility bedroom to ensure instant verification for nightly bed checks. Since installing Guard1, Devereux has been able to confirm our individuals; bed checks every 15 minutes through the night with a 98% compliance rate.
  • Video technology: We invested nearly $10 million in significant upgrades to our video camera technology in all RTF common areas. We added 3,800 cameras and 4,600 sensors (with multiple view) to increase staff accountability and detect potential problems before they arise.
  • ASCEND: Last year, Devereux launched its ASCEND career accelerator program, offering college tuition, student loan repayment, career coaching and mentoring to help employees reach their full potential, and to make an even greater and long-lasting impact on the individuals and families we serve. To date, more than 500 team members are part of the ASCEND program.
  • Fencing: We are constructing, or we are in the midst of constructing, fences around our RTFs as an additional measure to reduce elopements.

Praesidium Accreditation 2023-2026

Praesidium Accreditation

In July 2023, Devereux successfully achieved Praesidium accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to meeting and exceeding the highest industry standards in abuse prevention. In addition to achieving Praesidium accreditation, 45 Devereux team members completed intensive training to become certified Praesidium Guardians. These organizational leaders supported efforts to attain accreditation, and will continue to serve as internal experts on abuse prevention to sustain Devereux's culture of quality and safety.

Praesidium specializes in preventing abuse in organizations that serve youth and vulnerable adults. The company has served more than 5,000 clients with a broad range of products and services to aid organizations in preventing abuse, including online and instructor-led trainings, organizational risk assessments, model policies and background checks. Having trained more than one million people online, and thousands more in-person, Praesidium is the largest and most comprehensive abuse risk management firm globally. Learn more about Praesidium.

The Devereux Family Standard

Partnering with Families at Every Step

At Devereux, we recognize our families are the foremost experts on their children, siblings and loved ones. That's why we've developed programs and processes to ensure families have a voice at every step along the way. These initiatives include:

  • Family Standard of Care: As part of Devereux's fiscal years 2023-2025 strategic plan, we formalized our commitment to families by establishing a standardized set of principles and practices that is now a model for the industry. In addition to creating specific metrics around family communications and engagement, we also formalized the Devereux Family Standard of Care, which serves as the central theme of our strategic plan. The Devereux Family Standard of Care is our touchstone principle that demands that, at all times, our programs, practice settings, and systems of care match the high levels of quality and compassion of those we would choose for our own family members. Nothing less is acceptable.
  • Family Advisory Board: In 2018, in an effort to formalize and expand the roles our families play in our organization, we established the Devereux Family Advisory Board. Since its inception, the Devereux Family Advisory Board has helped lead efforts to formulate and codify a Devereux Family Bill of Rights, along with a Family Balanced Scorecard that measures areas where we are succeeding, and pinpoints opportunities for improvement.
  • Families in Board Composition: Devereux's National Board of Trustees is required to ensure the Board be compromised of a minimum of five family members. In fiscal year 2023, a total of six National Trustees – or 40% of our Board – were also family members.
  • National Youth Advisory Council: Through this unique initiative, our students provide direct feedback about the educational services they receive through Devereux. A group of students meet virtually on a regular basis to offer their opinions and discuss a wide range of topics, including safety awareness and abuse prevention; programmatic successes, challenges and quality improvement; center activities; and more.

Safety Quote 2

Ensuring Accountability and Continuous Improvement

We continue to partner with gold-standard experts from the abuse-prevention, safety and technology, law enforcement, legal, regulatory and other allied-discipline fields to assess and, wherever necessary, refine our structures and systems to ensure they are best in class.

As part of our commitment to accountability and continuous improvement, Devereux retained former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her role as partner at the firm of Paul, Weiss, to conduct an independent audit of safety at our children's programs. The insights and findings of this report are one of the many resources we lean on as we take every step to ensure we can create an even safer environment for children in our care while providing a roadmap for the rest of the industry to follow.

Learn more about Devereux’s ongoing commitment to safety and security:

  • Our Safety Investments: Learn more about technology investments and infrastructure upgrades that provide Devereux with the necessary tools and insights to reduce risk and ensure our individuals are protected and supported.
  • Our Hiring Process: Learn more about our robust recruiting, hiring, training and conduct protocols we require of each and every employee.
  • Our Approach to Risk Management: Learn more about the task force dedicated to identifying risk at all levels of our organization and ensuring every child and family is treated with care, compassion and dignity.

Learn more about our efforts in Devereux’s latest Safety and Quality Report.