Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) served on the joint House and Senate Human Services Committee hearing held in Chicago on December 13. The committee discussed the abuse and neglect which took place at state funded group homes throughout Illinois and heard testimony from Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Director James Dimas regarding what went wrong, the improvements the department has made, and how the state agency plans to make improvements moving forward.

“I expressed my concerns for several years regarding the abuse and neglect with the prior administration and my concerns were left unanswered,” said Rep. Meier. “It’s refreshing the Rauner administration has and continues to listen. I am pleased to know the new administration has made and is currently taking the necessary steps to improve the safety and well-being of Illinois’ most vulnerable.”

The legislative hearing was prompted as a result of the Chicago Tribune publishing a series of articles which identified 1,311 cases of documented harm occurring in state funded group homes for the developmentally disabled since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. The Tribune articles came to light thanks to the Murray Parents Association working with the newspaper to expose the abuse and neglect which took place in group homes throughout the state.
Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and the Murray Parents Association are heading to Chicago on December 13th for a joint House and Senate Human Services Committee hearing to discuss the abuse and neglect which took place at group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities. The committee scheduled the hearing following two investigative reports published in the Chicago Tribune concerning the abuse and neglect which took place in multiple Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) otherwise called “group homes”.

“At the hearing we will discuss what went wrong and how to improve the safety and care for all individuals living in group homes,” said Rep. Meier. “Nothing can be done to bring back the lives lost or erase the abuse which occurred. However, the State is finally starting to listen by taking the necessary steps to properly care for and protect individuals living in group homes. During these hearings I will question the lack of oversight as well as discuss the need for southern Illinois to have a crisis center in order to help improve the safety and well-being of residents living in group homes.”

The Tribune reported in their story titled SUFFERING IN SECRET: Illinois hides abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities, identified 1,311 cases of documented harm since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. The Tribune articles came to light thanks to the Murray Parents Association working with the newspaper to expose the abuse and neglect which took place in group homes throughout the State.