This report, released in January, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,' Office of the Inspector General, Administraton for Community Liiving, and Office of Civil Rights acknowledged the systemic shortcomings in protecting residents of HCBS waiver group homes from incidents of abuse and neglect. OIG found that up to 99 percent of these critical incidents were not reported to the appropriate law enforcement or state agencies as required. The report stated, “Group Home beneficiaries are at risk of serious harm. OIG found that health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries at risk of serious harm. These are not isolated incidents but a systemic problem – 49 States had media reports of health and safety problems in group homes.”
VOR supports a well-trained, well-paid workforce of healthcare professionals to care for our loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). A fully coordinated nationwide program for background checks for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) would be essential to protecting individuals with I/DD while improving the quality and integrity of long-term caregivers.
As part of our Fall Membership Drive, we have created a letter that we hope you will send out to the members of your family organization. The purpose of the letter is to show the other families in your group who advocate locally that VOR can help them advocate nationally and unite with families in other states with shared experiences.
Please ask your family group to print copies of this letter and include them in their mailings. You may include this with your newsletters, advocacy campaigns, or post it to your group's website. You may also consider including this letter with the "Thank You" letters that go out to members to after receiving donations to your group.
The foresight of past VOR members and supporters has helped VOR plan for tomorrow by building a permanent growing fund that will provide for advocacy and all of the critical VOR services for future generations. Founded more than 35 years ago in 1983, VOR is a national 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and funded solely by dues and donations. We receive no government support. Through generous donations and bequests, VOR is able to represent individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families and guardians.
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a seriously flawed bill. While the intention of the bill is to provide services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it would eliminate existing services provided to the most severely impacted members of this population, and moving these individuals from their long-term homes into more isolated settings that provide fewer services, lower staffing ratios, and lower standards of care.