Press Releases

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 703-919-8778

Statement: “Truth-telling” is first step to justice for children in treatment centers

Child Rights

In response to the investigation of children’s treatment centers launched by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“The allegations of institutional child abuse are decades old and atrociously numerous. The children who suffered this trauma have been brave enough to come forward, so it is only appropriate that our lawmakers have launched this investigation into treatment facilities that house children with special needs and mental health issues as well as children from the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The first step to accountability and justice for children is truth-telling. With vigilant leadership from Champions for Children like Senators Murray and Wyden, we are hopeful that we will soon secure for children the humane care and treatment they need and deserve.”

The senators recently sent letters to four major companies operating youth residential treatment facilities demanding information on their practices, policies, and treatment of youth following troubling reports of abuse and neglect. The lawmakers said they want the information by Aug. 4.