In 1912, Helen T. Devereux, a special education teacher, founded the first Devereux school in Philadelphia. She began to acquire properties and expand her operation until she officially established the Devereux Foundation as a nonprofit organization in 1938. It expanded through the years to 13 U.S. States and is one of the oldest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare in the United States. The organization markets itself as a behavioral health organization that works with developmental disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and mental illnesses. Its operations now include psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, group homes, respite care, supported living, foster care, special education, and vocational education.

Throughout the years, the survivors tell a different story about Devereux – many alleging abuse, neglect, and horrible conditions. A review of DHS records across multiple states corroborated the survivors’ stories with multiple violations and, in some cases, the removal of children from facilities.