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Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services awarded ‘Trauma-Sensitive Residential Treatment Facility’ designation

West Chester, PA – Dec. 19, 2023 – Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania Children’s Services today announced it has been awarded the “Trauma-Sensitive Residential Treatment Facility” (TS-RTF) designation by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).

According to OMHSAS, the TS-RTF designation signifies that Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services has demonstrated “application of knowledge and skill development in daily practice, with consensus around the use of the ‘trauma-lens’ and other trauma-informed care principles as part of systemic change.”

“At Devereux, trauma-informed care is our guiding treatment philosophy, and we are honored to receive this designation,” said Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services Executive Director Patricia Hillis-Clark, Psy.D. “Traumatic experiences often have a profound and lasting impact on an individual’s mental health and overall well-being. We strive to help those in our care build healthy relationships, manage their emotions and behaviors more effectively, and lead fulfilling lives.”

A trauma-sensitive approach

This is the second designation Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services has received from OMHSAS. In 2021, the center was awarded the “Trauma-Aware Residential Treatment Facility” designation for demonstrating “basic knowledge and awareness regarding the prevalence of trauma, its potential impact on people, and the need for a universal concept of trauma-informed practice.”

To receive the “Trauma-Sensitive Residential Treatment Facility” designation, Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services’ team members conducted a self-audit, examining trauma sensitivity at the center’s psychiatric residential treatment facility.

Hillis-Clark noted, “We are committed to providing a safe and supportive therapeutic environment that prioritizes empathy, compassion and understanding, where the children and adolescents we serve can heal and grow.”

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, Devereux operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational and employment programs that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year. The organization’s unique approach combines evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement.

With nearly 6,500 employees working in programs across the country, Devereux is a trusted 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, education and foster care. 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 and cognitive differences. www.devereux.org

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania Children’s Services

Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services supports children, adolescents and young adults, ages 2 to 21, with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Each year, nearly 2,000 children and adolescents receive specialized care, in the environment best suited to the unique challenges they face, all with the goal of providing each individual with the academic, social, emotional and life skills needed to flourish in their homes, schools and communities.


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