More abuse, neglect reported in Illinois group homes

May 21, 2011

NEWS, Service Cuts – Carla K. Johnson May 21, 2011

Chicago, Ill. —


One group home worker viciously cursed the disabled adults in her care when they didn’t wash dishes to her satisfaction. Another dragged a disabled man by his ankles as he screamed in pain. Workers at another facility didn’t notice when a resident wandered off and accidentally drowned in a pond.

Across Illinois last year, more than 130 cases of abuse and neglect were investigated and confirmed in group homes for adults, a 33 percent increase compared to 2006, according to government documents obtained by The Associated Press. The reports of mistreatment and outright cruelty at the hands of low-wage workers with scant supervision, illustrate a mostly overlooked problem in Illinois.

The numbers reinforce concerns about the treatment of group home residents as the alleged beating death of a disabled man at a home in eastern Illinois has led to proposed legislation that would tighten state oversight and allow the public to more easily see abuse and neglect reports. The bill has passed the Illinois House and is expected to be considered next week in the Senate.

State funded and privately operated, group homes rely heavily on low-paid workers – some moonlighting a second job – to care for an increasing number of adults with autism, mental retardation and other disabling problems.

One state official called these direct care providers the system’s “backbone.” They may also be the system’s weakest link.   READ MORE

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One Response to “More abuse, neglect reported in Illinois group homes”

  1. sar35 Says:

    At least incidents in community agencies are reported and investigated, and in an extreme cases abusers would be criminally charged. In state-run facilities, However, there is sometimes little recourse except to transfer an abusive employee to another location. The newly proposed bill is not going to do anything to prevent future abuse. In fact, it may serve to increase the incidence of abuse as it pulls even more money away from serving folks and forces it into administrative costs. More rules = more administrative headaches with very few tangible results.

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