The widely publicized Chicago Tribune investigative article regarding a large number of neglect-related deaths of children at a Chicago nursing facility appears to have caught the attention of Illinois officials.
Recently, Illinois officials held meetings with child advocacy groups and representatives from facilities that care for disabled children in order to get input regarding legislation to help protect this vulnerable group from mistreatment.
In response to a similar series of articles the Chicago Tribune did regarding the problems encountered at more ‘traditional’ nursing homes, legislation was quickly passed to protect the growing nursing home population.
However, despite the improved regulation from the new legislation in the traditional nursing home setting, the legislature exempted facilities that care for people with developmental disabilities– facilities that commonly car for children.
In addition to considering the expansion of current legislation to facilities that care for children, advocacy groups seek more extensive rules such as higher fines for improper care and mandatory notification of the medical examiner in cases where a child dies at the facility. The inclusion of the medical examiner would theoretically assist in determining the if the child’s death was indeed related to mistreatment.
Representatives from nursing facilities that care for disabled children, encourage application of any new legislation to encompass all facilities that care for children and young-adults– such as group homes.
I strongly support the prospect of this much needed legislation to protect children living in facilities and away from their families. I look forward to watching this legislation progress and certainly will keep Nursing Homes Abuse Blog readers updated with developments.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.
Advocated urge tougher rules for nursing facilities for disabled November 15, 2010 Chicago Tribune by Sam Roe and Jared S. Hopkins