Underage Patient Admitted to Having Sex for Money After Running Away

Manatee Palms Group Homes was cited by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for failing to protect the rights of children by not having sufficient and appropriate staff to supervise patients, resulting in patient exposure “to potential abuse and harm.” Three adolescent/teen patients ran away from the facility, even though two of these patients were ordered to be under close observation and had histories of running away. AHCA surveyor interviews with staff also revealed that a supervisor had misplaced his facility keys approximately two to three days prior to the runaway incident, which were then taken by the runaway patients. One patient reported that while she was away from the facility she received money for having sexual relations with two adult males. As a result of the sexual misconduct allegations, Child Protective Services was called and the Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation.