State Shuts Down Local Teen Rehab Center


Fort Behavioral Health | Image by Fort Behavioral Health

A rehabilitation center in Fort Worth was abruptly ordered to close its programs for adolescents after the Health and Human Services Commission said it created an immediate threat to the health and safety of adolescents there.

HHSC Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer Jordan Dixon explained the suspension in a letter, stating that Fort Behavioral Health was in violation of Chapter 42 of the Texas Human Resource Code. The purpose of Chapter 42 is to protect the well-being of children in state facilities.

Investigators reportedly told parents they were looking into allegations of understaffing and abuse, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Fort Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse care and treatment. The facility posted a statement on Facebook saying it was temporarily closing its programs for adolescents, Evergreen Path and Camp Worth, to restructure the curriculum and update policies “to provide the highest standards of care to all our clients.”

Camp Worth is a residential treatment program the center offers for teens with autism, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Evergreen Path is a program for adolescents that addresses mental health and substance use disorders.

The suspension order required all parents or guardians of children in the care of the facility to be immediately notified to pick their children up by 8 p.m. on Thursday, according to WFAA. This left parents rushing to pick their children up.

The order also required the facility to alert parents that, if they could not pick their children up by 8:00 p.m., the Department of Family Protective Services would be contacted and would assume supervision and placement arrangements for the children.

One couple, Charity Harkey-Vail and Raymond Vail, had to drive from Oklahoma City to Camp Worth to pick up their 16-year-old daughter, Elaine.

“I feel like I’ve let my daughter down,” said Harkey-Vail. “I know that’s not what’s really happening here. But she needs help and I thought I had found a place, at least now, to at least get the ball rolling.”

The order letter mentions that licensing staff will periodically check the center to ensure no children are in its care during the suspension.

The suspension of Fort Behavioral Health’s license expires at midnight on February 25, according to WFAA. A statement from the center read, “We look forward to serving our community and should be back to accepting clients by the end of February.”

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1 month ago

What specifically was happening?

Reply to  Wrath
1 month ago

Yeah, the article fell a bit short of details. But it’s probably being kept secret from the public.

1 month ago

So the state gives parents a specific time to appear and pick up children or they will be seized and considered wards of the state?

I think that the bureaucrats involved need to be FIRED immediately. This is abuse of power and no consideration should be made to keep those bureaucrats employed under any circumstance. Abuse of power is not acceptable.

I am positive that there was investigation and plenty of time to make arrangements to protect the children and the parent’s rights.

A suit should be in order for even the THREAT by the government.