Hanna Boys Center, which had been rocked the past two years by various allegations of abuse, announced March 20 that it will remain operating as a licensed group home, after reaching an agreement that with the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services, which had been investigating whether to shut the center down.
The Licensing Division will “stay” the revocation of Hanna’s license and allow it to continue to operate as a group home for at-risk teen boys. The state licensing agency is responsible for overseeing all group homes in California.
The Department of Social Services initiated legal action in late 2017 seeking to revoke Hanna’s license to operate as a residential facility.
The action was based on allegations of sexual abuse and safety concerns that had surfaced over recent months and years. Since the incidents came to light, Hanna officials say they have worked closely with state licensing to put in place a number of safety measures and policies aimed at reducing the likelihood of future occurrences. Such actions include expanded training for staff and residents, installing GPS locators in all agency vehicles, increased staff-to-resident ratios, and a host of new reporting and transportation policies aimed at ensuring the safety of its residents.
The terms of the agreement require Hanna to operate in a probationary mode for the next three years, allowing the center to continue housing, treating and educating at-risk teen boys with heightened oversight from the state licensing agency.
“We’re pleased to reach an agreement with licensing over this issue,” said Hanna director Brian Farragher.
“I know both organizations share an appreciation of the vital role Hanna has played and continues to play in the lives of the boys and families we serve. The incidents that have come to light over the past year have shocked and saddened everyone. Yet we have learned so much from them, and are confident that our ongoing partnership with Licensing will help us continue to strengthen our operations, reduce the possibility of future incidents and better ensure the safety of the young people entrusted to our care.”