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Group Home Death Sparked More Investigations; No Major Patterns Of Abuse Uncovered, Says EOHHS

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After a death at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities, state officials have completed their investigation of 30 group homes. The...

After a death at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities, state officials have completed their investigation of 30 group homes. The survey found no widespread pattern of abuse.

More than 2,000 Rhode Islanders live in private and state run homes for the developmentally disabled. One of them died earlier this year after serious neglect. That kicked off the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ investigation of additional facilities and a senate oversight hearing, says secretary Elizabeth Roberts.

“We sent survey teams out to 30 group homes. We looked at all the group homes, and there were 30 that had multiple incidents that rose to a level of concern over the prior year and that’s where we sent the teams," says Roberts."

A criminal investigation into the death at the College Park apartments for the developmentally disabled in Providence is still ongoing. 

Roberts says she wants to empower investigators to do more, and to make investigations of incidents at group homes more transparent and available to the public. 

A senate committee will also continue its oversight over reforms following that incident.

Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals department director Maria Montanaro, left, testifying before a Senate oversight committee with Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts, right.
Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals department director Maria Montanaro, left, testifying before a Senate oversight committee with Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts, right.