Allegations of abuse and neglect of developmentally disabled and mentally ill residents under the care of the Illinois Department of Human Services have increased by half since 2010 and the time it takes to investigate them has grown, too, an audit released Thursday found.
The report by Auditor General Frank Mautino discovered that abuse and neglect complaints jumped to 3,698 in the year that ended June 30, compared with 2,468 seven years earlier.
The audit also found that the agency’s Office of the Inspector General did not complete investigations into the complaints within the 60 working days agency rules require. Cases were closed in a timely manner 50 percent of the time in the year ending in June. In 2010, 85 percent of the cases were closed on time. […]
The increase is sharper among community agencies. During the period, the state moved swiftly away from large institutions to community-living settings. Mautino’s audit determined that abuse and neglect claims at community agencies overseen by Human Services jumped 81 percent during the seven-year period, to 2,714 last year. […]
The report indicates that nearly 13,000 residents lived in centralized developmental and mental health centers in 2010, compared with 7,000 this year. Human Services also has oversight over 421 community agencies operating 4,500 program sites, such as group homes or day programs. That’s a 31 percent increase from 2010
More info is here.
These are some of our most vulnerable people and we as a state are obviously failing them. Merry Christmas.
*** UPDATE *** From IDHS…
Each and every allegation of abuse or neglect reported to IDHS OIG is taken seriously. It is our goal to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and resources to each investigation. We are committed to ensuring safe and therapeutic care for individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses in both the community and at our state developmental and mental health centers.
2,295 more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now living in community integrated living arrangements (CILAs) compared to 2010, which is a 19% increase. The increase of individuals living in CILAs has increased the amount of allegations of abuse and neglect in these facilities. Since fiscal year 2011, the rate at which these allegations are substantiated has remained around 16%.
In the past two years, we have more than doubled staff and streamlined many previously manual processes. The larger workforce and new processes are already having a positive effect on investigation thoroughness and timeliness. Since fiscal year 2016, the number of days to complete an investigation has decreased by 15%. IDHS will continue to examine our investigation processes and staffing levels to determine any additional improvements that we can make.