Uptown Psychiatric Hospital: Are Kids Facing Harm?

Uptown Psychiatric Hospital: Are Kids Facing Harm?

Patients in Uptown Psychiatric Hospital may have suffered sexual assaults and other abuses. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is currently investigating multiple allegations of severe care deficiencies within the facility. Should investigators confirm these allegations, it will be one of the most egregious abuses of children under psychiatric care in the state’s history.

The Allegations

IDCFS is investigating 16 allegations of abuse and neglect within Uptown Psychiatric Hospital. Patients and their representatives allege that staff and other patients sexually assaulted child patients within the facility. These individuals also allege that they were subjected to physical assaults and inadequate supervision while they were within the facility.

Many patients were cleared for discharge weeks, and in some cases, months before suitable homes were found. This is a persistent problem for IDCFS and it put these children at unnecessary risk of continued abuse at the hands of personnel and patients.

Feds Seek to Pull Funding

Uptown Psychiatric Hospital has a long history of abuse and failure to protect patients. For this reason, the federal government is actively attempting to pull Medicare and Medicaid funding which amounts to 90% of the revenue for the hospital. However, in December 2018, the US District Court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the government from taking this step.

Investigators Drop the Ball

More alarming, the ACLU and DCSF chose to suspend the investigation into the allegations once all children were removed from the facility. They said that even if allegations were true, there was no clear and immediate threat to investigate. They claimed further investigation would amount to unnecessary use of their limited resources.

Sexual and physical assaults on children occur with alarming regularity. The fact that this investigation is currently languishing in bureaucracy highlights the many failures of DCSF. Their inaction exposes children and the developmentally disabled to unnecessary suffering.

Regardless of resources, the state has failed in their duty to protect the young children in their care and ensure that they receive the treatment they require in a safe, secure, and stable environment. No doubt, those children who were assaulted and abused within Uptown Psychiatric Hospital will require significant treatment and care in the future as they seek to move forward from these horrific events.