Methodist Children’s Home Society staffer shares concerns after 3 injured in Ferndale crash

Staffer says there is low staffing, training issues

The Local 4 Defenders are uncovering new information into the Redford group home where two kids stole a car and got into a horrible crash hours later in Ferndale.

REDFORD, Mich. – An employee at Methodist Children’s Home Society is sharing concerns about what is going on at the home after three kids were involved in a crash.

Three kids were seriously injured in an early-morning crash Wednesday in the area of 8 Mile Road and Flowerdale Street in Ferndale.

Police said the kids, all under the age of 17, were in a stolen car. They were rushed to a hospital where one was listed in critical condition.

Two of the children are under the care of the Methodist Children’s Home Society in Redford. They picked up the third child after allegedly stealing the car.

An employee at the group home spoke with Local 4 to share her concerns.

“If they’re not going to listen to me. They’re going to listen to the community,” Alesia Johnson said.

Johnson said she had to speak up for the boys who were neglected, abused at home and placed into the care of the children’s home.

“One of the employees left their vehicle running with the keys in the vehicle and the boys got in the vehicle and took the vehicle,” Johnson said. “We’re not supposed to leave our vehicles unattended while they’re running at any time.”

Johnson said the crash highlights what she said is low staffing at the home and training issues.

The home was cited in 2018 after three residents had sexual contact with each other outside while a staff member was on the phone.

There was another violation this year after a staff member allowed a child to use their cell phone, which is a violation of policy. The child sent sexually explicit photos via email.

Johnson said she and the staff deeply care about the children and they need more help.

“Who is going to be held accountable at this point? Somebody has to be held accountable,” Johnson said.

The following statement was released shortly after this story aired:

Local 4 has reached out to Kevin Roach and requested an interview to verify his statement and ask further questions. Through the home’s PR firm he is declining our request for an interview.

Methodist Children’s Home Society released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“This is an unspeakably tragic accident. Our prayers are with the youth and their families.

Two of the youth involved in the accident were temporary residents of Methodist Children’s Home Society’s emergency shelter, a state-licensed facility for foster children who need short-term housing. The vehicle’s driver was not affiliated with the Methodist Children’s Home Society.

The safety of our residents is our highest priority. Tuesday, the emergency shelter was fully staffed according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regulations, and Redford police were alerted immediately after the youth left campus without permission. Under state regulations, while residents are not confined to their home, they are required to gain permission before leaving campus.

We will do whatever it takes to keep our residents safe, healthy and whole. We are cooperating with the MDHHS’s standard review.”

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.