Administrators at west suburban Riveredge Hospital and government authorities failed to share basic information as the savage violence left some youth worse off than when they arrived, a Tribune investigation found. Today, DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said, the agency focuses on reports of harm to individual wards, but "there are not formal inspections, investigations, evaluations of the facilities as a whole. The Tribune pieced together accounts by examining thousands of pages of records from local police, state and federal agencies, and court filings. Rock River is a residential center for troubled adolescents, while Riveredge, Hartgrove and Streamwood are hospitals that combined have more than beds. Riveredge staff or contract employees were accused in four of those alleged attacks.
By comparison, during the same period the department cited a total of 31 such deficiencies at the dozen other private psychiatric hospitals or hospital units frequently serving DCFS wards. But records show hospital officials didn't send the victim to a local emergency room for a trauma evaluation and didn't report the allegations to local police. The child welfare agency currently has 39 youths placed at Rock River and monitors their safety and care under a performance-based contract, according to agency spokesman Dave Clarkin. The foster mother went straight to Forest Park police, who opened an investigation. But Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said a key provision of those reforms was never carried out. Multi-disciplinary treatment teams of psychiatrists, case managers, mental health nurses, psychologists, counselors, social workers, expressive arts therapists, occupational therapists, activity therapists and chaplains work collaboratively with the patient and family to provide: Our outpatient psychiatric services include the following: Levels of care include: The state could not hire more inspectors because the General Assembly would not pass legislation imposing a licensing fee on hospitals to generate money necessary to hire more staff, she said. PSI, which operates 90 facilities nationwide and 10 in Illinois, has found a steady market in treating such kids. DCFS stopped sending state wards to Riveredge after the Tribune reports and commissioned the University of Illinois at Chicago's psychiatry department to examine conditions there, as well as at other psychiatric facilities that serve Illinois wards. But "most times I let hospitals know I am coming. It is unclear from available records whether Riveredge didn't report those incidents or DCFS failed to investigate them. A Riveredge worker told police he was doing rounds, chanced upon two half-naked boys, separated them and called in a counselor. An alphabet soup of local, state and federal agencies have piecemeal responsibility for monitoring the facility. And the hot line doesn't always share abuse reports with DCFS officials who monitor psychiatric facilities, according to Michael Jones, the DCFS associate deputy director who runs the agency's psychiatric hospitalization unit. Six of the 10 reported victims allegedly were attacked by fellow youth, the other four by adults. Riveredge spokesman John Van Mol said it does so. Yet even after that rape report, inspectors found, Riveredge failed to assign an aide to maintain the required one-on-one observation. For their part, DCFS hot line workers don't automatically pass along abuse allegations to local police or the state Health Department. Individual, couples, family, and group therapies are provided by our team of experienced counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Riveredge administrators say they restrict police from the units because their presence can upset patients and disrupt therapy. The UIC team subsequently produced highly critical reports that alleged misuse of psychotropic drugs at Streamwood and described patient-on-patient attacks and sexual assaults among other problems at Hartgrove. Some deficiencies cover several incidents, and some incidents prompt several citations. Since then, Haymarket Center has grown into a comprehensive alcohol and other drug treatment organization, licensed by the state of Illinois, which receives funding from private, city, state, and federal agencies.
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