Audit shows issues in homes for disabled

Local News
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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A new audit reveals the state is still underserving one of its most vulnerable populations: the disabled.

The audit general’s new report shows the Department of Human Services isn’t properly monitoring group homes where they live nor caretakers watching over residents. According to the 200+ page document, these are just a few of the biggest problems.

The auditor general called the reporting system “weak” which allowed many reports of abuse to slip through the cracks. DHS reports were often inaccurate, omitting information or not done in a timely manner.

Because of this, many community homes were able to keep their licenses when they should have been revoked.

Greg O’Connor is the director of the non-profit Sparc. The group owns more than a dozen homes for the disabled in Springfield. He says the findings are not surprising. He says the state needs to invest more into these programs so more places can attract better staff.

DHS says it’s acted to improve a list of the problems cited in the audit. It’s created a new and improved online score card. On it, each community home is given a rating. By clicking on them, you can find any reports of abuse or neglect.

DHS says the scorecard could be useful for families looking to place a loved one in a home. One problem the vast majority of residents in these homes have is the lack of family. DHS says it has this online to improve transparency and will continue taking steps forward to keep those they look after safe.

The audit also reveals wasteful spending. It says the state spent more than $230,000 in services already paid for. 

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