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Auditors: State agency falls behind on abuse and neglect investigations

HARTFORD, Conn. –The state Department of Developmental Services, which provides services for tens of thousands of intellectually and developmentally disabled clients, has fallen behind on investigating allegations of the abuse and neglect, according to the Auditors of Public Accounts.

A review of the agency released Thursday found that between 1,100 and 1,200 abuse and neglect complaints are filed each year. Generally, DDS investigates the ones in public group homes and institutions, while private providers are left to do their own investigations per an agreement reached in 2008.

Under state law the investigations are supposed to be completed in 90 days, but the auditors found that as Sept. 30, 2012 there were 243 cases older than 90 days. An estimated 211 of those 243 were being conducted by private providers and 32 were investigations by public employees, including six at the Southbury Training School. Of the 211 private provider investigations about 71 percent were older than six months, the report found.

The agency agreed with auditors that it should revisit its contract with the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities for how abuse and neglect investigations are handled in its contracts with private providers and internally on different computer systems. It told auditors that it is reviewing its “policies and procedures and will make changes or revisions as required to ensure that processes are standardized throughout the department.”

Read the complete story at CT News Junkie.

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One response to “Auditors: State agency falls behind on abuse and neglect investigations”

  1. Suzanne

    “DDS will be using the state Lean process of including key partners from other agencies, the provider community and families to develop strategies for simplification and quality improvement to the investigation process,” she added.

    So says the spokesperson for the State of CT regarding the care of intellectually and developmentally disabled “clients”. This speaks to government doublespeak, values that protect employees over people in need and profound neglect for, apparently, the voiceless. I can’t figure out why anyone else does not find this disturbing with the neglect of the “investigation process” so habituated to overwrought bureaucracy instead of greater alarm over abuse and rectifying the problem as soon as possible. Allowing contractors their own investigative process in lieu of State oversight is a big mistake with the potential of not just putting government process over the care of people but profits as well. I hope the spokesperson finds a clearer voice and better words to say, “We’ve blown it. It’s time, now, to take care of these people and protect them. We’ll have a new process in place ASAP” then give a deadline to that new process close to yesterday.

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