Group Home Abuse Attorney
Group homes (adult foster care or personal care homes) are an alternative to larger assisted care facilities for older adults or people with developmental disabilities. The concept of these nursing homes seems noble, offering a more "home-like" atmosphere with fewer residents.
Unfortunately, these smaller versions of long-term care facilities can be run by individuals more concerned with their profits than providing care.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyer, LLC represent children and adults who have been abused and neglected in a transitional home setting. If your loved one has suffered abuse, serious injuries, or wrongful death, contact our group home neglect attorneys for a free consultation and review of the circumstances involving the harm.
Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers are fully committed to holding Adult Residential Facility operators and management companies accountable when disabled victims are injured at their facility. Contact our Chicago law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for a free case evaluation of your legal rights for a civil claim under Illinois law.
Establishing an Attorney-Client Relationship to Resolve a Group Home Abuse Case
Families with a loved one in a group home or other care facility should know the signs of abuse and what to do if they suspect their loved one is a victim. Families should also know how to find an attorney to help them resolve a group home abuse case.
An attorney will provide a free consultation to determine whether you have a case and if the attorney will represent you. A case settled out of court may take months or years. If your case goes to trial, it may take even longer.
Has your loved one suffered abuse while residing in a group home? If so, it is essential to consult with an attorney to establish an attorney-client relationship.
Illinois Group Home Regulation
Adult foster care homes provide a residential living environment for a small group of people with similar issues. For example, these homes could house elderly persons, mentally ill persons, those with developmental challenges, drug dependency issues, or anyone who needs daily living support.
Many medical facilities have inadequate staffing when caring for the residents' needs. In addition, group home residents are often subjected to emotional abuse when staff neglects their meals and personal hygiene.
One issue with adult residential facilities for the elderly or disabled is the limited regulation these smaller group homes receive. Although they must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and adhere to similar rules as large commercial long-term care facilities, these homes may only have a few residents, making them less likely to receive the same scrutiny.
There may only be one or two people working at the adult foster care home in a small residential transitional home, making it easy for abuse or neglect to happen and not be reported.
Group Homes and the Developmentally Disabled
Many group homes provide care to people with intellectual and developmental challenges to encourage participation in a community. The individual member at a group home is often encouraged, when possible, to establish relationships, interact with peers, develop social skills, and develop interests through participation and communication.
Intellectually and developmentally disabled adults deserve a home that provides protection, safety, independence, security, and a sense of comfort. Additionally, residents of group homes should be treated with dignity, appropriate care, and respect at all times, free from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect.
For years, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General, has followed congressional requests to audit adult foster care homes nationwide where residents experience severe injuries and preventable medical conditions requiring emergency room visits.
The Office of Inspector General's investigation found that "99% of these critical incidents were not reported to the appropriate law enforcement or state agencies, as required."
Abuse of Disabled People in Group Home Environments
Some small adult residential facilities are owned or staffed with abusive workers. Adult foster care home employees can use their power and position to commit atrocities against those paid to provide appropriate care to ensure all needs are met.
In elder abuse cases, the residents feel powerless to safeguard themselves from their abusers and seek help from authorities for protection. Some of the types of nursing home neglect and abuse that may happen at the facility include:
- Physical Abuse: Residents of adult residential facilities may be subjected to physical assault such as being struck, restrained, or even cut or burned.
- Emotional Abuse: The group home staff member can be verbally abusive and controlling, causing emotional abuse and pain. In addition, nursing home residents can become withdrawn and depressed due to poor treatment.
- Malnourishment and Dehydration: The staff may fail to adequately nourish and hydrate the resident, leading to serious medical issues, including kidney and organ problems.
- Home Neglect: The nursing home staff could fail to provide any service or medical care necessary for the patient to maintain a quality of life. The group home doctor could harm the patient through medical malpractice. The nurses administering drugs might harm the resident through medication errors.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual predators are drawn to working at nursing home facilities like transitional homes, where victims are easily accessible with little supervision and are vulnerable due to age or mental disabilities. As a result, the working staff, visitors, or other residents could sexually abuse the victim.
- Financial Abuse: Residents living in assisted living facilities could become victims of financial abuse by their medical care providers. Caregivers have been accused of stealing checks, credit cards, and the resident's identity.
The Nursing Home Care Act protects residents against group home abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, not all staff members follow federal and state laws, resulting in severe personal injury and wrongful death.
Many cases of abuse in Illinois nursing homes go unreported, where the victim lives in fear of retaliation or cannot speak up to protect themselves. In addition, elder abuse violates the patient's civil right to live without mistreatment.
Stopping Group Home Physical Abuse in Illinois
A family can protect their loved one from emotional, sexual, or physical abuse by watching for signs and proactively visiting group home residents.
Relying on government officials to catch these abusers is unrealistic as some group residential homes are run without the proper licensing and fall under the radar or, even if licensed, are rarely inspected. However, family members should know of any physical signs of abuse, changes in behavior, or suspicious circumstances surrounding financial accounts.
Group home abuse, like all caregiver abuse, can devastate the victim and their families. Abusers deserve to be punished and held liable for the damage they cause to their victims, financially, emotionally, and physically.
Group Home Abuse FAQs
Has your loved one suffered abuse while living in a group home? If so, our law firm knows that many families have unanswered questions in dealing directly with group home abuse, physical violence, sexual abuse, and other preventable serious injuries. A group home abuse lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
For additional information, contact our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for a free consultation to discuss the legal process. Our law firm could work on your behalf with law enforcement if your loved one suffered abuse, and neglect at the hands of their caregivers, other residents, or visitors.
How Do You Report Neglect in a Group Home Setting?
You can report every incident, accident, or injury in any licensed medical facility, including group homes, to the Illinois Department of Public Health at (800) 252-4343 or (800) 226-0768, 24/7. Also, you can notify law enforcement, the local police department, and the local long-term care home ombudsman.
Who Regulates Group Homes?
The Illinois Department of Human Services (800) 843-6154 is responsible for regulating group homes. All adult foster care homes must be licensed by the state and staffed with employees who have passed the required qualifications and training.
In many cases, residential group facilities specialize in providing care, like individualized care for persons with developmental challenges, dementia, memory loss, or other conditions that might not improve over the years. In addition, these professional caregivers are typically trained to provide immediate attention to people who require specialized care in all situations.
How Do Group Homes Work?
The nursing staff members provide residents of adult foster care homes with prescribed therapies and twenty-four-hour supervision in a home-like atmosphere. Typically, smaller homes have ten or fewer residents, unlike big corporate facilities that provide care to hundreds of patients.
These homes are typically staffed with professional nurses and nurse's aides. These caregivers must work hard to meet the needs of all residents and protect them from neglect, abuse, or a significant injury caused by a preventable event, like a slip and fall accident.
Are Group Homes Safer for Adults With Disabilities Than Assisted-Living Facilities?
Adults with disabilities often require specialized care, preferably provided in an emotionally, mentally, and physically safe atmosphere. The ideal location will have adequately trained staff, follow safety procedures, provide ongoing treatment, supervise activities, offer healthy meals, and provide inclusion for family involvement.
When selecting the ideal location, consider all the amenities above, and ensure that safety remains the top priority. Then, visit the facility unannounced during odd hours of the day and watch the staff, employees, fellow residents, and visitors while spending time with your loved one.
What Is a Children's Group Home?
While many children enter the family foster program, others are placed in alternative settings like children's group homes that typically house up to a dozen occupants. These homes provide their young residents access to community resources, including education, medical care, recreational opportunities, and sometimes jobs.
These children's homes typically provide specialized attention where caregivers' high level of compassion is necessary to ensure that the resident is always protected. In addition, these caregivers are typically highly knowledgeable and sympathetic to the child's needs.
Hire Legal Help from Illinois Group Home Abuse Attorneys to Resolve Your Adult Foster Care Home Abuse Case
Operators of Illinois group homes have a legal responsibility to keep their residents safe and free from abuse and injuries. When episodes of mistreatment occur, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC stands ready to prosecute these cases on behalf of the affected disabled, children, and adults.
If your loved one suffered injuries or abuse in an adult foster care home, call our nursing home negligence attorneys at our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Your discussions with our law firm will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Your Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer will review your case, provide immediate legal advice, and discuss options on how to resolve your nursing home abuse case.
Our law firm serves clients in several practice areas including but not limited to personal injury and medical malpractice. Currently, we represent clients throughout the United States.
As with all our practice areas, our Chicago, IL law firm accepts all personal injury cases through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures that no fees are paid until resolving the case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.