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Mother panicking to find new home for autistic son after Great Circle announces its sudden closure | News Headlines

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (KMOV.com) — One mother says she’s out of options for a new home for her son after Great Circle’s residential treatment program in Webster Groves will be shut down.

Tiffany Williams says she’s considering every option, while looking for a new residential facility to house her severely autistic teenage son.

“My son, he’s very severe, and his behavior is so unpredictable that it’s very difficult to control him,” she said.

She’s one of several parents who received a letter from Great Circle announcing that they will be closing the residential program in 30 days.

More than a month before the president of Great Circle, Vince Hillyer, was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child, the State of Missouri ordered changes to the agency.

“Well, I panicked,” she said.

Leaving families in Williams’ position, looking for new residential programs on a weeks’ notice. Williams says her son has been living at this facility for the last three years.

“I have a bit concern, I wanted him to stay in residential care because they have a nursing staff, he has seizures very bad,” said Williams.

Great Circle made this announcement less than two weeks after FBI agents raided the facility. And in January, the Missouri Department of Social Services suspended new admissions pending an investigation, after three employees were arrested on abuse allegations.

In 2019, News 4 showed you video, of former CEO Vince Hillyer assaulting and putting an autistic child into a chokehold. He was charged with six counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child and one count of assault in the fourth degree.

News 4 reached out to the facility, Great Circle’s CEO stated, “Decisions like this are never easy, but our priority must always be to most effectively meet the needs of every client we serve,” said Paula Fleming, Great Circle president and CEO. “This change in our Webster Groves residential program will allow us to fully focus on the other important work we do in St. Louis and around the state.”

The organization says they are working with local partners to place children in other facilities.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved




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