Report Puts Issue Where It Can No Longer Be Denied!

Too many NC Citizens live in “Adult Care Homes”

The report produced by Disability Rights North Carolina entitled ”Trapped in a Fractured System,” it is a must-read for all advocates who have been concerned about citizens being placed, with no choice, in “adult care homes.”    Placement in these settings was the topic of a presentation at NC CANSO’s “Bright Ideas Forum” in June, and it touched a familiar “hot button” among participants.   For many of us have seen inside those facilities either as residents or visiting friends or simply as part of our advocacy efforts.  But not enough of us in North Carolina have truly accepted what has been happening to now nearly 6,500 of our fellow citizens.                                   
Recently, Disability Rights (DRNC) asked the US Department of Justice to investigate the placement of so many citizens in adult care homes, questioning the validity of these settings as “community settings” according to the federal ruling on the Olmsted case.  This is the ruling that guarantees that people should be able to live in the least restrictive environments with the rights of full citizens.  To learn more about the issue and the DRNC action, click this link http://www.disabilityrightsnc/pages/270/investigative-report-adult-care-homes/

Through the years, many advocates have questioned leaders in Raleigh about the legal legitimacy of these settings.  Also, some have asked about the use of Medicaid to pay for medical services in these institutions, which do not meet criteria for use of these funds.  Yet many of these facilities have done just that through the years.

One has to wonder why our legislators have for so many years protected the growth of this industry, restricting the rights of so many citizens.  People have eventually thrown up their hands about this, the political forces and the money involved are so powerful.

But we must not give up. North Carolina citizens must ensure the safety, rights, and independence of those who have disabilities, whether short-termed or longer in duration. We should support clarification in our state’s Olmsted plan that ensures the rights of people to live in our communities as full citizens and no less.  We should evaluate the actions of our legistators, monitor contribution patterns of those who may lobby for ongoing growth of the industry.  And finally, we must develop a system whose services foster recovery, independence, and growth.

NC CANSO is committed to promoting systemic solutions that improve the quality of life for our brothers and sisters who live with a psychiatric diagnosis, a developmental disability, or an addiction disorder.   We are glad that our leaders will now be focusing on this issue and stand ready to help in any way we can.



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