Crossroads’ compliance with licensing requirements under review

DOVER — The former owner of a substance-abuse treatment facility that now faces serious allegations of misconduct will not be involved in any reviews of its program in his current role as director of the state’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, officials said last week.

Dr. Michael Barbieri will not take part in any state review of Crossroads of Delaware licensing, cabinet secretaries Jennifer Ranji and Rita Landgraf said.

They provided answers in response to Republican legislators’ questions regarding the facility’s situation.

Rebecca Adams

Rebecca Adams

Questions stemmed from the late August arrest of former Crossroads of Delaware drug and alcohol counselor Rebecca Q. Adams, 30, of Dover. She faces 12 counts each of fourth-degree rape and sexual abuse of a child by person of trust, two counts of providing alcohol to a minor, and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

After investigation, the Dover Police Department alleged that Ms. Adams had ongoing sexual relations with a 16-year-old male patient at Crossroads and the case has been moved to Kent County Superior Court.

In September, a civil lawsuit against Crossroads and Ms. Adams alleged misconduct connected to its Milford location.

Ms. Adams was fired from her job when allegations of a possible inappropriate relationship were disclosed, said Crossroads Executive Director Alberta Crowley, who is the defendant’s mother.

Past media attempts to reach Ms. Crowley and Dr. Barbieri for comment have been unsuccessful.

On Sept. 23, Republican lawmakers Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, R-Milford, and Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, sent questions to Ms. Landgraf (Department of Health and Social Services) and Ms. Ranji (Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families) about the State of Delaware’s reaction to Crossroads issues.

Included was a reference to what the Republicans described as Dr. Barbieri’s “clear conflict of interest” with anything connected to Crossroads.

Two days later, the cabinet secretaries responded by answering four questions about the matter and closed the correspondence with “Please feel free to contact either of us by phone if you have any other questions we can answer about this situation.”

Optimistic about response

On Wednesday, Sen. Lavelle expressed optimism regarding any pending actions by the state.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Secretaries Ranji and Landgraf from dealings with them through the

Gregory F. Lavelle

Gregory F. Lavelle

years, so I’m willing to take their word,” he said.

“The whole issue of canceling contracts takes away immediate concerns. It’s all very troubling and I’ll count on the secretaries to do what they should do.”

The correspondence said DHSS and DSCYF “are conducting a joint review of Crossroads’ compliance with licensing requirements and contractual provisions.”

With the ongoing criminal investigation, however, the state said licensing and contract reviews can only be conducted with law enforcement’s approval.

“We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation as well as to conduct our own review to the extent permitted,” Ms. Ranji and Ms. Landgraf wrote.

The state said new client referrals to Crossroads were suspended on Sept. 1 “in light of the allegations of sexual abuse by a Crossroads counselor and due to the continuing investigation of those allegations …”

Parents of current clients were notified of the allegations, termination, arrest and ongoing investigation of the former employee, the correspondence read.

“Parents were offered the opportunity to change to a different provider if they chose to do so in light of that information,” according to Ms. Landgraf and Ms. Ranji.

“(Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services) continues to pay for clinical services for those youth whose families chose to continue to receive services from Crossroads.”

Contract termination

The Republicans were told that Crossroads intended to terminate its contract with the DPBHS and would work with the profit “over the next few weeks to transition its state clients to other service providers.”

Sens. Simpson and Lavelle also requested that the state explain the procedures and policies used for state contractors “to ensure proper safeguards are in place for the protection of children and patients.”

Ms. Landgraf and Ms. Ranji outlined the requirements for substance abuse providers, including licensing from the DHSS Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and national accreditation.

Once contracts are executed, officials said DSCYF monitors contracted providers operations including reviews of “children’s clinical charts, progress notes, and treatment plans; incident/safety reports; the facility to determine whether it is a positive environment for care; bills and invoices.

“DSCYF and DPBHS contracting and monitoring policies support these activities.”

Also required are criminal background checks for all employees of providers with state contracts.

According to the secretaries in the correspondence, “In addition, DPBHS requires both mental health and substance abuse treatment services to be provided by licensed staff who are regulated by the Board of Professional Regulations or, if licensed, to be supervised by licensed personnel.

Providers also must verify the date of completion of backgrounds checks, acceptability for hire, education and credentials (including license status) for their employees,” an answer read.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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