Youth Villages agrees to close Christie Campus
Agency denies any wrongdoing but will relinquish its license for the Lake Oswego facility as part of a settlement with the Department of Human Services
Youth Villages Oregon has reached an agreement with the state Department of Human Services to end its youth residential program at the Christie Campus in Lake Oswego.
Though the organization denies any wrongdoing, it has agreed to wind down all operations at the facility by March 1, according to documents signed Jan. 7 and released by DHS on Tuesday.
The agreement specified that the nine remaining residents would either be moved to different facilities or released to their parents; a spokeswoman for Youth Villages said the last of those residents departed this week.
Youth Villages announced in December that it would stop offering residential services at the Christie Campus and begin laying off or transferring 74 workers on March 1. The facility has been the subject of a DHS investigation over concerns that it was failing to provide adequate care for youths with severe emotional and behaviorial problems.
On Nov. 25, the Oregon Health Authority issued a "Notice of Intent to Revoke the Certificate of Approval for Mental Health Services" for the Christie Campus. DHS followed suit two weeks later, declaring its intent to revoke Youth Villages Residential Care Agency license for the Christie facility.
In both cases, Youth Villages responded by disputing the findings and requesting a hearing. However, the organization separately agreed to meet with DHS and OHA to begin discussing alternative options. That meeting took place on Dec. 22 and led to the current agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Youth Villages will continue to object to the findings of both agencies and admits no wrongdoing. However, the organization agreed to immediately begin winding down operations at the Christie campus, with the goal of closing it entirely by March 1.
In a Dec. 30 letter to the Christie staff, Youth Villages Oregon Executive Director Rebecca Hancock acknowledged that the campus would be closing, but she encouraged workers to seek employment at a different Youth Villages location. Youth Villages also operates a facility in Oregon City and a family intervention program in Redmond, as well as in-home counseling and emergency-room diversion programs.
Weve determined that we need to renew our focus on how we can best help meet the needs of the states youth and families, which for now is through our community-based programs, Hancock wrote.
DHS and OHA agreed to withdraw their complaints once the facility shuts down, provided that Youth Villages also voluntarily gives up its license and certificate for the Christie campus. The agreement also stipulates that no other Youth Villages programs or facilities in Oregon will be affected, and that Youth Villages will still be allowed to apply to open new facilities in the future.