Juntos, Philly City Council members, and other community orgs call on city to cut ties with Devereux
As Philadelphia removes children from Devereux facilities, Vamos Juntos asks the city to terminate contracts with them.
After an August Philadelphia Inquirer investigation unveiled years of abuse at Devereux facilities and its contract for a center for migrant children, Juntos, members of Philadelphia City Council and 30 other community organizations started a petition to have Philadelphia end its contract with the organization.
We join city council @HelenGymAtLarge, @CMThomasPHL, @CMMarkSquilla, @CouncilmemberKJ, @CouncilmemberJG, @Mr4thDistrict, @MariaQSanchez, @cindybassphilly, @CherelleParker9, @KendraPHL, @VoteDomb, @Kathy_Gilmore, @CouncilmanDerek to demand the City end it's contract with Devereux
— Juntos (@Vamos_Juntos_) September 23, 2020
The advanced behavioral health nonprofit has been around for 25 years, and is one of the nation’s largest of its kind.
Fifteen miles outside of Philadelphia, one of the institutes it ran for treating youth with intellectual disabilities, mental disorders, and trauma was pinpointed as one of the centers where sexual abuse took place in the sweeping Inquirer investigation
Leaving out the details, the federal government also granted the same organization a $40.2 million contract in 2019 to house immigrant children separated from their parents at the border. The planned location for that facility is in Devon, PA
The petition started by Juntos currently has 1,500 signatures and counting.
We joined over 30 orgs to tell the City of Philadelphia @cynfigueroaf, @PHLFamilies: End the City of Philadelphia’s contract with Devereux! Devereux has a history of over 25 years of abuse of children in their care. It’s time to take action!https://t.co/iRikVZd0Ai
— Juntos (@Vamos_Juntos_) September 21, 2020
In response to the call for action, Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services and Community Behavioral Health announced on Sept. 24 that it is removing 53 children and youth from Devereux facilities and immediately barring anyone new from being sent to them.
Devereux itself has since released a statement from its CEO and announced the hiring of former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct and ‘independent safety audit,’ of the organization over the last 25 years in regards to the sexual abuse that was reported.
It should also be mentioned the statement makes no mention of the child migrant detention center being run by the organization that Juntos and other orgs also put at the center of their plea to the city.