Feds Issue Warning Over Kids In Nursing Homes Should hundreds of kids with developmental disabilities be living in nursing homes designed to serve the elderly?

poet4justice 2012/09/13 04:26:00
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Feds Issue Warning Over Kids In Nursing Homes

September 11, 2012Text Size A A

Federal officials are threatening legal action after an investigation found hundreds of kids with developmental disabilities needlessly relegated to nursing homes designed to serve the elderly.

The state of Florida is confining children — some just babies — to institutional settings even though they could be appropriately served at home or in more integrated environments with proper supports, according to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

In a letter to the state’s attorney general last week, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said that Florida needs to take corrective action to come into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Otherwise, Perez said the Justice Department may file a lawsuit.

“The state’s reliance on nursing facilities to serve these children violates their civil rights and denies them the full opportunity to develop bonds with family and friends and partake in education, social and recreational activities in the community,” Perez wrote.

Justice Department investigators visited six large nursing homes in Florida where over 200 children with a variety of disabilities are housed. They also spoke with parents, many of whom indicated that they would prefer to care for their kids at home, but have been unable to secure assistance from the state to do so.

In many cases, kids living in the facilities are limited to specific areas and spend little time outside of the homes which resemble hospitals, investigators said. Some children are hundreds of miles from their families.

While the average length of stay was three years at the locations visited, investigators found kids who had been in nursing homes for more than a decade.

What’s more, Perez noted that other children are at risk of similar placements because of the “state’s policies and practices.”

Over the last several years, Florida has cut programs designed to provide community supports for those with developmental disabilities while increasing pay to nursing homes who serve kids, the letter says. Facilities often receive over $500 a day to care for kids, more than double the rate for elderly residents.

Florida officials, however, fiercely denied the allegations in Perez’s letter.

“The decision of where a child receives care is up to the parents, in conjunction with the child’s doctor,” said Elizabeth Dudek, secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, in a statement. “The agency will never interfere with a family’s choice for the location of their child’s care. The agency uses a professional, rigorous, federally-approved, quality control system to ensure every family receives the appropriate level of care for their child.”

Read More: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/09/11/feds-war...

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  • Roy Munson **SL, BD** 2012/12/24 16:10:21
    no, because
    Roy Munson **SL, BD**
    these kids need specialized care,shouldn't be in a nursing home
  • Michelle 2012/09/13 14:21:59
    yes, because
    Oops wrong box - yesssssssssssssss
  • ed 2012/09/13 09:16:05
    the feds probably put them there in the first place.
  • poet4ju... ed 2012/12/24 16:28:14
    nope, it would be a violation of Olmstead supreme court decision.
  • Angela Chambers 2012/09/13 08:42:23 (edited)
    no, because
    Angela Chambers
    They are kids. They need a chance at life. I have developmental disabilities. I dare someone try to put me in a nursing home. Just try it.
  • TheTruth1313 2012/09/13 05:53:56
    no, because
    There are many other different programs that cater to children and young adults. There is no reason for them to be in geriatric facilities.
  • seahawk665 2012/09/13 05:08:40
    no, because
    This is heart wrenching. These kids need loving care and attention, not to be locked up and institutionalized.
  • Resp 2012/09/13 05:03:25
    no, because
    Sounds like these innocent children are being discarded... with the elderly.
  • Tee Quake 2012/09/13 04:56:11
    Tee Quake
    Perhaps we should just be grateful these children have a home. I hope the feds have a plan to care for these individuals and they don't just wind-up in the streets, the way people with mental problems wound up roaming city streets and homeless when the feds closed down institutions for the mentally challenged.
  • Miss Kris the Centrist 2012/09/13 04:35:50
    yes, because
    Miss Kris the Centrist
    I worked in one, and it doesn't matter what age you are, some kids need constant care, especially if they were abandoned by their parents. But to be fair, the place I worked in was a care center, not designated as a nursing home I don't think. Or is there a difference? Are some places actually labeled for the elderly?
  • cynical.not.sinister 2012/09/13 04:33:37
    no, because
    They need to be in a nurturing place and properly taken care of.

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