License Of West Philly Thomas House Revoked After Allegations Of Abuse And Neglect

Guy D'Andrea, Esq. - NJ Abuse Guardian

Hi - I'm Guy. I am an attorney that practices in PA, and NY. I am a former prosecutor and have helped survivors of abuse and neglect at residential facilities get justice regardless of their age or background. My team and I are ready to help.

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Thomas House Was Run By Legacy Treatment Services Of New Jersey

Less than a year after its inauguration, and only a few months after the first young resident was accepted, the operating license of a West Philly residential psychiatric treatment facility has now been revoked. 

The Thomas House, located at 5378 Thomas Avenue in West Philadelphia and which was run by the NJ-based Legacy Treatment Services, was seen as a significant victory for young children and teens with complex needs. It housed 12 youth, 6 males and 6 females aged between 14 and 18.

"Our alliance has over 15 sexual abuse lawyers nationwide dedicated to helping survivors get justice" 
- Guy D'Andrea, Esq.

Incompetence And Negligence At The Thomas House

Yet, inspections performed between February and May of 2021 found numerous violations of department regulations. These were broadly summarized as "gross incompetence, negligence, and misconduct in operating the facility."

An official document issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on June 23rd, 2021, outlined specific instances of the violations, including:

  • Residents of the facility were observed to be treated without dignity or respect by staff members
  • Inappropriate behavior was not corrected
  • Staff members failed to monitor children but were instead distracted and using their phones; some even fell asleep during daytime hours
  • Staff did not appear to actively monitor the children even though they previously exhibited high-risk behaviors
  • Staff appeared to lack training or understanding of incident reporting, behavior management, child abuse law, and other relevant competencies

In response to many of the violations, the directors of the Thomas House did indeed take action. For instance, numerous staff members were suspended and/or terminated following infractions. Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children Youth and Families ultimately elected to revoke the operating license.

The facility was given 30 days to appeal the DHS's decision. Gregory Wilson, executive director at the Legacy Foundation, indicated the Foundation's intent to appeal the revocation which he described as unjustified.

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Abuse Of Children At Residential Facilities

Regardless of the type of residential facility, it should go without saying that young children always deserve to be treated with dignity. Most importantly, if the goal of the facility where they are housed is to mold them into better individuals so that they may have a greater chance of succeeding when they reach adulthood, then this instruction should be rooted in patience and compassion.

When the residents of facilities aren't treated with the respect they deserve, or if carelessness leads to them suffering abuse, whether it be emotional, physical, sexual, or else, victims have the right to seek justice and compensation.

By hiring a child abuse attorney, victims of negligence in residential facilities can leverage the civil justice system to ensure that no other person suffers the same fate. Through that same process, they can themselves find closure and achieve the compensation that helps to heal the damage they've suffered.

If you or a loved one were the victims of sexual abuse, contact the Abuse Guardian team now to speak with an experienced legal professional. Our team offers free and confidential consultations so that you can get the answers you need and, if you so decide, the legal support required to seek justice.

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