Abuse, Neglect In Developmentally Disabled Community Homes

Nov 29, 2016

A special joint committee of Illinois Senators and Representatives will meet Wednesday to learn about abuse and neglect in the state's network of group homes for the developmentally disabled.

The hearing follows in-depth investigation by the Chicago Tribune earlier this month turned up a series of troubling findings. Among them: that the homes (known as Community Integrated Living Arrangements, or CILAs) are often understaffed.

There's high turnover of workers, who are poorly paid and under-trained even though they're tasked with the difficult job of caring for physically-strong adults, who may have the mental capacity of a toddler.

Just how big a problem that is, is difficult to pinpoint, given opaque state laws.

The organization Equip for Equality is one of Illinois' leading advocates for disabled individuals.

President Zena Naiditch and investigator Deborah Kennedy weighed in on what they hope legislators will discuss.