Crossroads of Delaware to stop treating youths

 

 

MILFORD — A substance abuse treatment center facing a civil lawsuit after the arrest of a former employee on sexual abuse-related charges allegedly involving a minor patient intends to terminate its contract with the state by next month.

Crossroads of Delaware Executive Director Alberta Crowley sent a letter to Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families Secretary Jennifer Ranji and other state officials on Wednesday expressing plans to end adolescent substance abuse treatment through the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services.

Ms. Crowley said Crossroads of Delaware will discontinue services at its Milford office by Oct. 2, and in Wilmington by Oct. 23, and staff will assist in the transition process.

“I would strongly request that PBH staff does not interfere with our attempts to make effective and appropriate transitions,” she wrote in the letter.

Attempts to reach Ms. Crowley for comment have been unsuccessful, along with Crossroads of Delaware founder and former owner Michael Barbieri, a former state representative who is now state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health director.

According to the DSCYF, 19 children are currently served by the Crossroads contract.

“DSCYF has contracts with multiple providers throughout the state and we will work with the youth and families to ensure that they are aware of their options and can transition as smoothly as possible to another provider,” spokesman Joseph Smack said.

DSCYF confirmed that it paid $1.07 million to Crossroads last year and it “was more than Crossroads had received in past years because the agency expanded its services to provide additional levels of care and treatment to youth, particularly in the Dover and Milford areas.”

State referrals to Crossroads were discontinued on Sept. 2, “pending the criminal investigation and internal reviews related to the serious allegations,” Mr. Smack said.

Former Crossroads drug and alcohol counselor Rebecca Q. Adams, 30, of Dover, was charged with 12 counts each of fourth-degree rape and sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust, two counts of providing alcohol to a minor, and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Allegations taken seriously

Also, a civil lawsuit has been filed against Ms. Adams and Crossroads of Delaware regarding the alleged matter involving a 16-year-old patient.

“DSCYF takes allegations of this nature very seriously and the safety of the youth we serve must come first,” Mr. Smack said.

DSCYF confirmed that former Delaware lawmaker Mr. Barbieri owned Crossroads of Delaware since 1991 and “It is our understanding that the business has been sold.”

The state said it has established procedures for monitoring facilities it has contracted with.

“DSCYF performs contract monitoring on all of its provider contracts,” Mr. Smack said.

“These monitoring procedures involve reviewing clinical notes, treatment plans, reviewing incident reports, visiting facilities and reviewing bills and invoices. DSCYF also requires our contractors to be licensed via Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and to be nationally accredited.”

The DSAMH is under the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

In her letter, Ms. Crowley said Crossroads of Delaware was “open to all levels of investigation, however, unlike state agencies, we need to maintain a sense of urgency determining our future path.”

Ms. Crowley claimed that within the past several months Crossroads of Delaware has been investigated by an eight-member PBH team for three full days, and DSAMH conducted licensing reviews at both the Milford and Wilmington facilities.

“You all know full well the safeguards we have in place and the various levels of supervision we provide to try to prevent abuse issues from happening,” Ms. Crowley wrote.

“But it did, and when it did, we took every appropriate action.

“Yet, we are being punished in a way that no other facility has been for similar issues, however, I will let attorneys sort that out. At this point, we need to concentrate our resources on a path forward.”

Continued operations

Ms. Crowley said Crossroads will continue to provide treatment services to adolescents and adults.

Crossroads is classified and licensed by DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health as an Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program. Both the Wilmington and Milford locations have current one-year licenses that are effective into 2016.

On Wednesday, State Republican legislators sent a letter to DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf and DSCYF Secretary Ranji seeking more information on how the state of Delaware is responding to the current state of Crossroads of Delaware and its issues.

The letter signed by Senate Republican Leader F. Gary Simpson and Senate Republican Whip Greg Lavelle had four questions for the DHSS and DSCYF regarding the status and review Crossroads of Delaware’s contract, response and investigation status to allegations, procedures and policies to ensure the protection of children and patients, and concerns of whether Mr. Barbieri has any role in the investigation, contract review or anything related to Crossroads.

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