The lack of uniformity in policies regarding monitoring of licensed community living arrangements across states and the fact that many states require only minimal supervision raise concerns for parents of developmentally disabled adolescents and young adults. For instance, California requires multiple home visits per year, some of which must be unannounced. Illinois only requires that the state check on its licensed community living arrangements once every three years. No unannounced visits are required.
It is inevitable that these parents need to prepare their children to be on their own one day. They are worried that one day, some unscrupulous person will take advantage of her sexually. Citing an article in Journal of Family Violence, Professor Daniel Pollack and attorney Jonathan G. Lerner state that among the developmentally disabled, as many as 83 percent of the females and 32 percent of the males are victims of sexual assault. Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable.
What needs to be done? States with minimal supervision need to enact legislation that will mandate more supervision, particularly unannounced visits. See “Do States Adequately Oversee People with Developmental Disabilities in Community Settings?”
Guest bloggers today are Daniel Pollack, MSSA, J.D., a professor at the School of Social Work, Yeshiva University in New York City, and a frequent expert witness in cases involving child welfare and developmental disabilities and Jonathan G. Lerner, a licensed attorney in New York and Connecticut.