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Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health announces significant expansion of education division

Villanova, PA – Sept. 4, 2019 – As part of its organizational redesign initiative led by new President and CEO, Carl E. Clark II, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare – announced today a major expansion of its historic education division to enhance the provision of specialized education services across the nonprofit’s geographic footprint and beyond.

The expansion will center around the creation of new programs and content delivery modalities, diversifying Devereux’s current educational service offerings to both public and approved private schools across the country, as well as within Devereux-operated educational programs nationwide.  

“We are at an historic moment in our organization’s mission, coming full circle to our founder Helena Devereux’s driving passion to find innovative methods of educating children with special needs,” said Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II. “This move is a natural step for our 107-year-old organization, which is focused on unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. I am excited to take Devereux’s commitment to serving others – through evidence-based interventions and compassionate family engagement – to new heights.”

In January 2018, Clark unveiled Devereux’s organizational redesign initiative which, over the past 18 months, has helped the nonprofit evolve by strengthening business processes and reinforcing program quality for the benefit of both the individuals in its care and its more than 7,000 staff.  

Historically, Devereux has offered its evidence-based education services – emphasizing prevention, intervention and skill-building – through its: Center for Effective Schools, Devereux Center for Resilient Children, Center for Autism Research and Educational Services Consulting, and Direct Care Training Resources. The organization will further the reach of these consulting, product sales and professional training services by: 

  • Building the capacity of schools and child-serving institutions through training, consultation and the implementation of evidence-based practices to better serve youth with autism and/or intellectual disabilities, or those with emotional and behavioral disorders (or youth who are considered at risk).
  • Expanding safety training throughout various school districts and other behavioral health providers;
  • Utilizing Devereux’s unique and specialized clinical and academic knowledge to expand its continuing education courses for psychologists, Pennsylvania educators, nationally certified counselors, and BCBAs/BCaBAs; and
  • Supporting social and emotional development and resilience of more children, and the adults who care for them, through Devereux’s nationally standardized assessments and professional development offerings. 

Internally, Devereux has made significant strides to improve the quality of its existing residential-based educational programming. 

This initiative will continue these advancements by:

  • Improving existing educational programs organization-wide through teacher training in evidence-based instructional practices.
  • Enhancing existing educational programming across its network via the organization-wide adoption of aimsweb®Plus, a web-based tool incorporating curriculum-based measurement for assessing individual and class-wide growth. Over the past two years, Devereux has adopted research-based curricula for reading and math across all programs nationally.
  • Adopting a Response to Intervention (RtI) approach across all educational programs. RtI is a multi-tiered system of support focusing on instructional support for students with learning and behavioral needs.

Heading up this critical expansion will be Joseph O’Brien, Ed.D., who retired from the position of executive director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU)  in July. Dr. O’Brien will join Devereux in a consulting role to guide the organization’s educational programming expansion. Under his leadership at the CCIU, Dr. O’Brien helped open three new dual-enrollment career and technical high schools, which are models for the Commonwealth. In addition, the CCIU budget increased nearly $120 million during his tenure.

“Joe is a visionary education leader whose entrepreneurial spirit and mission-driven focus will help Devereux serve a larger number of students, families, school districts and other customers in the world of K-12 education,” added Clark. “Throughout his career, Joe has demonstrated his commitment to helping youth excel in school. I am confident he will take our school-based programs and services to the next level.” 

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral healthcare. Founded in 1912 by special education pioneer Helena Devereux, the organization operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational, and employment programs and services that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year. Focused on clinical advances emerging from a new understanding of the brain, its unique approach combines evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement. 

With more than 7,500 employees working in programs across the nation, Devereux is a recognized partner for families, schools and communities, serving many of our country’s most vulnerable populations in the areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental health, and foster care. Programs are offered in hospital, residential, community and school-based settings. They include: assessments; interventions and support; transition and independent life services; family and professional training; research and innovation; and advocacy and public education. For more than a century, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has been guided by a simple and enduring mission: To change lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. www.devereux.org.

 

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