State child agency pulling wards from Durham school

May 10, 2007 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Hartford Courant

“Lake Grove's lapses were so grossly serious as to create possible risk of injury or death. We are pleased that DCF has finally taken our concerns seriously.”

Citing substandard care, the Department of Children and Families is pulling all of its children out of a Durham boarding school. via Hartford Courant

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LAKE GROVE EMPLOYEE

Meriden, CT

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#1
May 12, 2007
 

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LAKE GROVE CAN BE AVERY DIFFICULT PLACE TO WORK, IF THE ADMINISTRATION RAN THE PLACE CORRECTLY IT WOULD BE AVERY NICE FACILITY. I REALLY THINK THEY NEED TO BRING IN BETTER ADMINISTRATION WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE CLIENTS AND THE WELL BEING OF THE STAFF AND THE FACILITY. AS LONG AS THE KIDS GO TO BETTER PLACEMENTS THEN I'M ALL FOR IT. I CAN ALWAYS GET ANOTHER JOB.D LAKE GROVE HAD PLENTY OF CHANCES TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT!
JLR

Dodge City, KS

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#2
May 17, 2007
 
Sounds like a tough situation. Do you know of any other operators that might be qualified to run this operation? I would love to contact them and see if the school can be saved.
anon

United States

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#3
Jun 29, 2007
 
There is "new Sherriff in town" at Lake Grove. The children are receiving excellent care since the change. DCF need to give the facility a chance under new management which it is now.
What are they thinking

United States

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#4
Jul 2, 2007
 

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Same administration that ran Haddam Hills into the ground. Yet the state of Connecticut not only let them continue operations, but gave them a 2 million dollar bond grant.

There have been some great employees at Lake Grove, to bad the NY headquarters never gave them the opportunity to do the job correctly.
LAKE GROVE EMPLOYEE wrote:
LAKE GROVE CAN BE AVERY DIFFICULT PLACE TO WORK, IF THE ADMINISTRATION RAN THE PLACE CORRECTLY IT WOULD BE AVERY NICE FACILITY. I REALLY THINK THEY NEED TO BRING IN BETTER ADMINISTRATION WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE CLIENTS AND THE WELL BEING OF THE STAFF AND THE FACILITY. AS LONG AS THE KIDS GO TO BETTER PLACEMENTS THEN I'M ALL FOR IT. I CAN ALWAYS GET ANOTHER JOB.D LAKE GROVE HAD PLENTY OF CHANCES TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT!
Former Employee

Salem, CT

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#5
Oct 25, 2007
 

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wow, I'm really not surprised. I knew they would be punished for their treatment of children, poor management (with criminal records mind you)horrible screening when hiring employees which had many issues themselves. Lake Grove was not a treatment facility rather a warehouse for struggling children who were treated horribly by both staff, supervisors and teachers. The staff did not have the training to therapeutically intervene for the best interest of the children. Supervisors and Quality Assurance directors were constantly given suggestions for change to make it better even back in 2002 and they did not listen. Instead they had "cottages" where they would place sometimes up to 17 children all suffering from very different disorders. Conduct disorders, limited cognition, autism.. even schizophrenia...all in the same building!!! No, they treated the children horrible, treated the staff horrible and the staff satisfaction was at ZERO! Not to mention the Human Resources Director who had her hand in many financial aspects of the school and about 98% of staff all had issues with her-The union should have done a no confidence vote against her; she woould refuse to pay people overtime when they had worked the overtime and payroll screwed up on their check. She would try to fire people that ligitimately had sick time and used it when they were ...guess what... sick! Staff would all speculate just where all the money was going, maybe into her pocket? They fed the children food from a soup kitchen (sometimes old and board of health woul've had a field day)_that was donated and sometimes moldey, and the staff had no choice to eat it and weren't allowed breaks long enough to eat, with no staff area to eat in. Not to mention the mental and verbal abuse seen on a daily basis; which some really good staff could not speak up due to the bullying by management and even sexual harrasment and threats...made by managers and supervisors who had criminal records. There is too much to writer, thats all for now.
Former Staff ( who has an education, morals, and values)
teacher

Meriden, CT

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#6
Dec 1, 2007
 

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Boy, sounds like an employee that might have been let go or something. Sure Lake Grove had its problems, but so do all other places that have untrained childcare workers who are working with such difficult children along with a crappy union that protected the guilty.. I worked for more than 10 years in the education program and loved the experience there. How dare you say there were teacher who didn't care for their students. The school had excellent teachers who truly cared for our students!!!Shame on you!!
Past Employee

Port Richey, FL

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#7
Jun 11, 2009
 

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It was the most disorganized place I ever worked! They had issues from top to bottom. Administration was disconected from staff and children and only looked out for themselves. Organizational Structure a nightmare. Structure and Programs for the kids Lacking at best!!! Staff were too few and poorly trained. They were only concerened with their paycheck and the Union not the kids! The staff had more rights than the kids with that Union! If it was time for a cigarette break and they had no relief staff they would just walk out and take it! The bottom line its all about the "kids" and they were not getting the special care never mind the supervision they deserved and needed. They had a few good dedicated staff but they were far and few between. I left because I could not be part of an organization like that! DCF did the right thing for the KIDS!!!!!!!!!!
student of lake grove

United States

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#9
Sep 27, 2009
 

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Lake grove was not a good place for no one lake grove was ran the rong way the supervisers got to do what they was pleased an so did the staff every time we rain to people for help there was not many staff there to run to alles they was good for was hurting kids they said they was there to help us but they relly was not some teachers an some staff was there to help us but some was not I was a client in lake grove for a hole year that between the time I was there an the time I left lake grove was not geting no better it was geting worst I had mad problems in lake grove kids use to be back an forth to the hospital in there the clients was being verbely abused an mentaley abused in many ways it was like we had no life in there we only went out like once out of five mouthes we had to be slaves after grown staff in that place it needed to be ran better then what it was it needed a lot of fixing clients was eating stuff like bleach just to try to kill there self to get out of there I am glad that they are cloesed.
Former teacher

Honolulu, HI

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#10
May 19, 2010
 

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I'm mainly sorry for the students there who were treated poorly; I think the administration was a bit removed from the daily goings - on, and trusted the departments to do whatever they had to do to try to maintain some semblance of order. Teachers there should have known that no true learning takes place until an atmosphere of trust and safety has been established. Any good teacher or caseworker worth their weight knows that students deserve respect, and deserve to be treated with dignity. I did not witness too much of this, but there were some very good people there. However, just like many public schools, once the fight for control and power begins (as with the unions vs the teachers, or the teachers vs the administrators) it's best to just close the school and start over. Too bad, really, but it probably was inevitable.
Diane Alpaugh

New Windsor, NY

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#11
Jan 31, 2011
 

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I am a former resident of Lake grove i was there back in the 80's and when i was there the place was a wonderful place to be i am 37 years old now and lake grove at Durham taught me alot to this day i use the staff was wonderful
tyra williams

Baltimore, MD

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#12
Apr 17, 2011
 

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I was bad as hell when I was there but I truly loved that place I met some beautiful people and I could never forget yall I was there in 1984 I was 13 then it was something of amazement Ms. Kaplan was my favorite teacher and John Wilks who also was my substitute teacher they where wonderful thanks for all my memories. I now try to work with troubled teens so that the will not have to go through all the hardships i endured growing up.
former employee

Willimantic, CT

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#13
Jun 2, 2011
 

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I worked for Lake Grove for 3 plus years. The "cottages" were disgusting. They often smelled of urine and had cockroaches on several occasions. The staff were completely unprofessional and "ghetto". They would often cuss at the children and use physical force to get them to do what they want. Certain favored employees and supervisors would band together to push out any staff that they deemed a "snitch". Any staff that reported abuse to administration would be targeted and retaliated against by shift supervisors. Some staff had criminal records consisting of felonies such as selling heroin in Middletown, possession of cocaine, and forced rape involving a gun.
Staff were completely unprofessional. Some would come to work high, drunk, or dressed with revealing clothing. There was constant gossiping among staff. I realize this happens at every job but I've never seen it as prevalent as it was at Lake Grove. Often female staff would get into arguments or fights with each other concerning male staff. Staff were constantly screwing around with each other. They'd have sex in the office, cottage basements, the swimming pool, nurse's office, classrooms, supply closets, etc. I've never witnessed such a high number of office affairs at any other job I've had.
I reported Lake Grove's treatment of staff and children to DCF, Lake Grove administration, and Winwood Meadow (Lake Grove's parent company). Three weeks later I was fired when a supervisor (who was mentioned in my complaint) made a false report against me to DCF. It took months before DCF dropped the case against me and eventually I sued Lake Grove (and won) for terminating my employment. It is against the law in Connecticut to fire someone for being a "whistle blower." If Lake Grove wasn't aware of this law before, they certainly were aware of it by the time I got through with them!!!!
Lastly I felt bad for the children. DCF pulled many of these kids from their homes and placed them at Lake Grove. In many cases Lake Grove provided an environment worse than the environments these kids were pulled from in the first place. I'm glad to see Lake Grove shut its doors and I hope that DCF provides safer environments for children in the future.
Gover

Brewster, MA

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#14
Aug 4, 2011
 
GROVES THE BEST BUUZZZZZZZZz
Mary Scandell

Brooklyn, NY

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#15
Nov 2, 2011
 
I lived at Lake Grove School in Durham CT from 1988-1992, It really wasn't the best place to live but I did have some good friends there, unfortunately I lost contact with most of them after I left Lake Grove in 1992. I am now 35 and have a son who is almost 8 months old. My life since leaving Lake Grove has been so much better.

Since: Nov 11

Jackson New Jersey

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#16
Nov 2, 2011
 
I messed up on my email address when signing up to join Topix so I had to sign up again with my correct email.

Since: Nov 11

Jackson New Jersey

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#17
Nov 2, 2011
 
There was also alot of arguments and fights that went on between the staff and residents of Lake Grove, I Saw one incident where a resident was getting restrained by a staff member and the residents arm got broken. I'm glad that Lake Grove was closed the only thing I miss is the people I used to be friends with.
susan

Boston, MA

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#18
Nov 13, 2011
 
The only people you get in these places are ghetto thugs who cant work in a normal situation.Everyplace I worked at always hires people like this because of low wages and stress.I've seen a lot of violence, swearing and intimidation over the years and it gets worse.Not the most glamorous place to work.this place should of been shut down years ago.
Eric Morton

Wallingford, CT

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#19
Jan 25, 2012
 
I worked there for about two years between 2000 and 2002 and was blown away daily b how little staff and supervisors cared about the kids.Very ghetto style and the place was filthy and the food was not fit for animals. Glad this place closed and i hope all the kids i tried to help while i was there are doing ok.
Mystic Cottage forever!!
Anonymous

Dallas, TX

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#20
Mar 8, 2012
 
I used to live in this school. It was horrible the staff abused me. I was kicked in the head. I had my knee twisted by the staff. I was bieng sexually abused by a staff that was working there. The teachers were the only staff that I could get along with. I left in 1992. Hello to all of the students that was there I often think about you'll.

Since: Nov 11

Jackson New Jersey

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#21
Mar 20, 2012
 
I'm glad that Lake Grove was finally closed for good it was a terrible place to live at. The only thing that I miss about Lake Grove is the friends that I had while I was there cause I would love to find out how they're doing now.

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