We at Hanna Boys Center received notification in December from the California Department of Social Services that it has initiated legal action to revoke Hanna’s facility license.
State Licensing has the unenviable task of ensuring thousands of vulnerable young people are safe in hundreds of congregate care programs around the state. They take this responsibility seriously and they need to ensure that we are taking all the necessary steps to protect the young people in our care.
We have had two very serious disclosures of sexual abuse in the last year and Licensing understandably is deeply troubled and concerned by these events. Please know we are troubled and concerned as well. We have cooperated with Licensing and law enforcement throughout this process and will continue to do so. Over the last six months, the Hanna Boys Center has taken significant steps to improve resident safety and prevent a recurrence of these types of issues, including engaging an outside firm to conduct a thorough risk assessment, fully revamping our policies and practices regarding off-campus transports, installing GPS on all of our agency vehicles, retraining all of our staff and young people on identifying the warning signs of sexual abuse, reviewing and revising all our policies and procedures and re-organizing our staffing structure to improve resident-staff ratios.
We have made these important changes with the help and support of our Board and staff. We will share those changes with Licensing along with our plans for the future.
We are committed to the safety of our young people and we trust this process will make us better and stronger. Hanna has filed a Notice of Defense, which is the next procedural step in the process.
For over seven decades Hanna’s mission has been to “Turn Hurt Into Hope.” Over that time Hanna has helped thousands of young people recover from experiences of trauma and adversity and go on to lead happy, healthy and productive lives. We are saddened and regretful that any young people have been hurt in our care and we are doing everything we can to ensure it never happens again.
We believe our mission is a crucial one and our young people and their families depend on our services.
We remain hopeful this important mission will endure for decades to come.
Brian Farragher is chief executive officer at Hanna Boys Center.