Report Highlights Shortcomings of Ohio Youth Residential Treatment System

young African American person looking away, "Treatment Instead of Trauma"

by Andy Jones
December 20, 2016

Disability Rights Ohio issued a new report December 1, setting forth a series of recommendations for improving Ohio’s short-term, intensive services for high-risk youth.

“There are approximately 1,900 youth who receive services from residential treatment facilities in Ohio. These youth have experienced abuse, neglect, violence, or other types of trauma, and Ohio’s system of care must evolve to better support them,” said Kristen Henry, Disability Rights Ohio attorney, in a news release. “They require care and support that is aware of the trauma that they have experienced, along with evidence-based services and supports that allow them to develop the skills and tools they need to achieve positive outcomes.”

Among the recommendations, DRO called on the state to improve its data-collection efforts, especially for when treatment staff subject youth to physical, and other types of abuse.

DRO also urged that the state further prioritize community-based services, to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of minors in the residential treatment placements.

As to treatment within the facilities, DRO recommended that oversight of the different treatment programs be placed under a single agency, with uniform standards.

Other recommendations included implementation of trauma-informed care, eliminating the use of dangerous restraint and seclusion interventions, and increased focus on discharge planning, among others.

You can read the full report, titled “Treatment Instead of Trauma.”

Disability Rights Washington and Disability Rights Ohio are the designated protection and advocacy agencies in Washington and Ohio, respectively, and are members of the National Disability Rights Network.