Flawed Investigations Ignore Neglect in Illinois Group Homes

Nov 21, 2016

A newspaper investigation has found that self-policing played a role in determining whether neglect has occurred in investigations of Illinois group homes serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Group home employees handled at least 550 cases and helped clear their own group home of wrongdoing in the majority of instances.  Federal regulators say no other states have given caregivers at group homes full-fledged investigative powers.

The examination of the state's network of 3,000 group homes also found Illinois Department Human Services officials routinely obscured evidence of harm from the public. The inspector general's office sealed more than 3,200 cases in the last six years in which it found some evidence of abuse or neglect.

Human Services Secretary James Dimas says he'll seek to make public the records of all unsubstantiated cases.