Group home employee charged with abuse

Teen burned while living at AdvoServ, says Attorney General
March 6, 2014

A 25-year-old employee working for a New Castle group home was arrested March 5 after investigators say a teen in her care suffered burns to her body.

Shaina Hollingsworth of Bear, a community living specialist with AdvoServ Delaware, was charged with second-degree assault, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. She was released on $14,000 unsecured bail and ordered to have no contact with the victim or AdvoServ, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

Delaware State Police referred the investigation to the Attorney General's Office on Nov. 3, 2013, after a 17-year-old girl with disabilities was taken to Christiana Hospital. The girl was a resident of an AdvoServ group home and under the care of AdvoServ staff when she suffered first and second-degree burns to her upper body, Miller said.

Court records state Hollingsworth was holding a cup of hot water when the girl grabbed her; the water spilled on the girl's neck and scalded her. Hollingsworth, however, did not report the incident when it happened, court records state.

AdvoServ provides education and group home living for students with behavioral issues who cannot be served in a regular classroom.

Once they were aware of the incident, Bob Bacon, chief operating officer for AdvoServ, said Hollingsworth was put on administrative leave. Her employment has since been terminated, he said.

"This incident occurred despite the screening, training and oversight provided by AdvoServ and is not representative of the care and compassion demonstrated every day by our staff," Bacon said. "We cannot explain Ms. Hollingsworth’s actions in any way, as she violated everything on which she was trained and many policies she knew were in place. We regret this unfortunate incident as we seek to provide the highest standard of care and services for those we serve."


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