Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced he will launch an audit of the Glen Mills Schools in Delaware County in the wake of reports alleging that students at the privately-run, state-licensed institution were abused for decades.
“The alleged abuse of students and long-running culture of secrecy at Glen Mills shocks the conscience,” DePasquale said. “Because the institution receives public funds, I am demanding that the school answer what – if any – policies it has to prevent the abuse of students and ensure that reports of abuse are properly handled.”
A residential educational facility, Glen Mills accepts male students from across the country who are placed there via court orders. Since the news reports were published, numerous jurisdictions have begun to remove students from the school.
“I applaud the City of Philadelphia for quickly acting to remove its students,” DePasquale said.
DePasquale’s audit will examine the following issues:
- Whether Glen Mills complied with all laws regarding child abuse;
- Whether the institution has policies and effective procedures to prevent the abuse of students;
- What ways students have to report incidents of abuse; and
- The extent to which Glen Mills complies with requirements regarding state and federal background clearances for employees and others who are in contact with students.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), which licenses Glen Mills Schools, has launched its own investigation. DePasquale offered to share the results of his audit with DHS.
“Protecting kids from abuse is job one,” DePasquale said. “No young person, no matter what circumstances led to their placement in a reform facility, deserves to be mistreated. This case may justify a broader examination of so-called reform schools operating in Pennsylvania.”
The school will receive a formal engagement letter this week outlining objectives for the audit.