Abuse and Neglect Document
Federal Audit: DHHS Failed to Investigate Deaths, Suspected Abuse of Disabled Adults - August 10, 2017
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services failed to investigate the deaths of all 133 people with developmental disabilities who died between January 2013 and June 2015 while under the care of community-based providers across the state, and, as a result, failed to report suspicious deaths to law enforcement agencies to determine if crimes had been committed, according to a federal audit released Thursday, August 10, 2017.
Article from the Bangor Daily News: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/08/10/mainefocus/federal-audit-dhhs-failed-to-investigate-deaths-suspected-abuse-of-disabled-adults/
Inspector General's Audit: https://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region1/11600001.pdf
Company that Operates Oklahoma Group Homes for Children and Disabled Has History of Problems
News OK June 18, 2017
Deaths, as well as allegations of abuse and assault have emanated from group homes operated by Sequoyah Enterprise Inc., a private company that contracts with state agencies to care for some of Oklahoma's most vulnerable residents. Since 2011, two residents have died at Sequoyah's group home for disabled adults in Stillwater, sparking criminal charges and civil litigation. State agencies have terminated two group home contracts with the company in the past five years after a series of compliance issues. However, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Office of Juvenile Affairs continue to contract with the company to operate group homes across the state. Sequoyah provides about $6.1 million in contracted services annually to DHS.
Tracy Messineo, former director of human resources for Sequoyah Enterprises, filed a federal lawsuit against the company in 2015. In her lawsuit, Messineo claimed she was fired after she discovered the company did not require new hires to receive required DHS training and clear background checks before going to work with disabled adults. Some of the employees had to be terminated after their background checks later revealed criminal histories, the lawsuit claimed.
From The VOR Archives: Reports on DD Act Abuse
The Human Consequences of DD Act Abuses: State Specific Reports
The primary programs authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) are the state Developmental Disabilities Councils (DD Councils), state Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems, and state University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
Some DD Act programs pursue activities which violate Congressional intent, including activities which:
1. Disregard family input, in violation of the Act's requirement that individuals and families be the "Primary Decisionmakers" through litigation, legislative advocacy, and organizational priorities;
2. Facility closure activities (ICFs/MR deinstitutionalization); and
3. Activities which discriminate against people with severe and profound intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the impact of these activities on these people.
State Specific reports are available as follows:
For the first time in nearly a decade, Congress will be considering the reauthorization of programs receiving federal funding under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act).
While the DD Act’s policy endorses residential choice and individual decisionmaking, some DD Act programs, through legislative lobbying, class action lawsuits and other tactics, act to eliminate one of those choices – Medicaid-certified and funded Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Retardation (ICFs/MR).