Devereux staff accused of sexually abusing more than 50 young, intellectually disabled children

Private behavioral health organization Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health and its staffing company QualityHealth Staffing have been accused of exposing the children in its care to predatory and abusive staff.

Devereaux operates 21 facilities in 13 states, accounting for more than 25,000 children, according to a June 2 news release. Many of the children it cares for have autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and specialty mental health needs.

An August 2020 Philadelphia Inquirer report alleged that over the previous 25 years, at least 41 children as young as 12, and with IQs as low as 50, were raped or sexually assaulted by Devereux staff. Since the report's publication, another 13 former Devereux children have come forward with similar allegations. Some claimed to have been as young as 8 years old when the abuse happened.

Seven of them allegedly complained to Devereux staff or social workers, but their complaints were ignored, and the abuse continued.

A lawsuit filed against the company on behalf of five new abuse survivors accuses the company of fostering sexual abuse, according to the news release.

Though Devereux is a private company, it regularly receives state and federal funding, including from the Florida legislature to expand a program designed to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

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