‘A Genuine Passion’ : Orlando Family Magazine

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the most comprehensive nonprofit behavioral health care organizations in the country, offering services in 13 states. Founded in 1912 by one of the first pioneers in the field—Helena Devereux—it launched operations in Florida 35 years ago to meet the emotional and behavioral needs of local youth who have experienced significant trauma. Today, Devereux Florida operates as a statewide operation, headquartered in Orlando, and serves over 5,000 children and families each day through a broad continuum of services. 

The mission of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is to change lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Through a team of over 1,000 behavioral health care professionals in the Sunshine State and a network of local community partners, a meaningful difference is made in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. 

Services offered throughout Central Florida

Devereux provides critical support for individuals with unique needs, such as those requiring specialized mental health services; individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities; survivors of human trafficking; families in need of immediate therapeutic support to stabilize a mental health crisis; and preventive services to support child well-being.

The Devereux Florida Orlando campus, located in West Orange County, offers a residential treatment program for children and adolescents facing significant emotional and behavioral challenges. The program offers a safe and stabile living environment with intensive therapeutic services made available 24 hours a day. The program is designed to prepare children and adolescents for transition into the community through clinical, academic, recreational and life skills training. Family engagement is a strong component of the program, offering support to strengthen family relationships and provide ancillary support to proactively manage emotional and behavioral needs as a family.

Devereux Florida’s Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Group Homes, available in multiple locations throughout Orange County residential neighborhoods, offer a professional therapeutic environment for children, adolescents and young adults facing significant behavioral issues and challenges associated with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. Through this program, individuals ages 5 through adulthood who have moderate to severe behavior challenges and/or significant deficits in adaptive skills are prepared for a less restrictive community setting, such as a return to the family, a relative caregiver or a foster family setting. The program also allows individuals to attend public schools, adult day treatment or vocational programs.

Devereux Florida’s Treatment Foster Care Program partners with the Florida Department of Children and Families and the local lead agency to offer therapeutic treatment for children and adolescents in a family home environment. The Devereux Florida team provides professional training and support for foster families throughout the licensure process, while providing intensive therapeutic wraparound services to address the unique needs and trauma-based symptoms for each child participating in this program.

Devereux Florida’s Counseling Centers provide therapeutic support for children and adolescents experiencing moderate to severe emotional or behavioral difficulties that may impede their ability to function at their best. Community-based services, which are offered in home and school settings and via telehealth, are available through individual and family counseling, psychiatry and medication management, applied behavioral analysis services, and specialized therapeutic support for victims of sexual exploitation and those at-risk. 

Devereux Florida’s Mobile Crisis Response Teams are available for immediate support of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, ages birth through 24 years, throughout Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. At a time of crisis, master level and licensed therapists respond to homes, schools or anywhere within the tri-county community to provide on-site crisis stabilization and connection to other community resources. This unique service is available 24 hours a day, every day, including weekends and holidays—and at no cost to families through a partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Central Florida Cares Managing Entity and the Heart of Florida United Way by dialing 2-1-1.

How to partner with Devereux in support of local children and families 

A variety of opportunities are available to contribute to the rewarding experience of creating a positive and lasting impact for youth who need support from the community the most. 

  • Devereux offers community service projects year-round for local high school and college students, faith-based groups, corporate team-building experiences, small business and civic groups, social clubs and individual friends and neighbors. Reach out today to become a Friend of Devereux and learn more about upcoming events and activities through contact at DevereuxFlorida@devereux.org.
  • Devereux Florida’s annual Holiday Cheer! campaign runs from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, inviting the community to join in creating positive holiday experiences and memories for children in care. Visit the holiday cheer social giving platform at https://igfn.us/vf/DevereuxFlorida, text “Devereux Florida” to 71777 to donate, and/or sign up to host a holiday gift drive or fulfill a child’s holiday wish list at DevereuxFlorida@devereux.org.

Lena Combs, a certified public accountant and partner at Withum, serves as chair of the Devereux Florida Advisory Board. Her involvement in the organization extends more than two decades and she encourages others in the community to learn more about how they can positively influence the area’s youth and families.

“I was introduced to Devereux over 25 years ago through a close friend who was a Devereux team member at the time,” Combs says. “After learning about the impact the organization makes to the lives of hundreds of individuals in our community, I was immediately invested and have only grown to appreciate the significance of the services offered through the Devereux Florida continuum statewide.

“As I became more involved, I came to fully appreciate the hard work and dedication of the people working at Devereux—from their front-line direct service providers to their most senior leadership team members—everyone shares a genuine passion for supporting those served to be their best. I have continued to discover a variety of ways to be of service to the Devereux team and their commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Administrative Offices: 

5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 400 | Orlando

(800) 338-3738, ext. 176422


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