Village Concept; Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services to report. (HJ173)

Introduced By

Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services; Village Concept; report. Requests the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to promote the Village Concept as an alternative to institutional-based care. The resolution requests that DARS inform relevant stakeholders about the Village Concept, encourage the creation of grant opportunities for existing and future Villages, and encourage one or more universities or nonprofit organizations in the Commonwealth to evaluate the Village Concept as an alternative to institutional-based care. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/17/2014Committee
01/17/2014Presented and ordered printed 14103605D
01/17/2014Referred to Committee on Rules
01/31/2014Tabled in Rules

Comments

spotter writes:

Delegate Krupicka, you place far more trust in the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services than their recent actions suggest they have earned.

If this bill passes, the well-paid staff at DARS will attend a bunch of meaningless conferences, meetings, and workshops, issue a bunch of hortatory self-congratulatory papers, present plaques to each other and to their Board and Council members, and do NOTHING to change the actual lives of the real people DARS is supposed to help and protect.

For an example of the real-life response of DARS to the plight of real-life people in serious danger, you need look no further than the out of control public guardianship programs, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, DARS is supposed to supervise and oversee.

For years, the notorious Scott Schuett operated six dangerous, disgusting adult homes with 400 residents in the Hampton Roads area. (For the appalling details too shocking to enumerate here, please google Scott Schuett.) It took our indolent state officials over a year and a half, from March 5, 2012 to October 1, 2013, long after Scott Schuett had lost license after license based upon incontrovertible findings that he represented "a substantial danger to the public health and safety," to shut down these unsanitary, unsafe facilities.

While that saga ground on, DARS belatedly learned that its public guardianship clients had been dumped in these hellholes, in one case by Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia in direct violation of a court order. Nevertheless, Janet James, Esquire, the public guardianship coordinator with DARS, refused to investigate how many clients of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia had suffered this fate. Instead, Ms. James offered this April Fools Day 2013 masterpiece of lawyerly obfuscation:

"No DARS does not track the number of Public Guardianship Clients (individuals) that are in a specific licensed facility.

Even if we did track the numbers for the 601 individuals served by the Public Guardianship Program (which we do not), the number would be reflective only of a particular day in time, a snapshot, because there can be constant movement in residential placements ("i.e., an individual's condition may improve or deteriorate necessitating a move or may otherwise be relocated based on funding streams/type of funds available, at other times, after a trip to the Emergency Room, the facility may refuse to take an individual back, etc.)"

In other words, we supposed to oversee and protect these 601 people, but we can't even figure out where they live! It's impossible!

In actuality, in addition to these 601 clients, there are an additional 611 clients of the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia public guardianship programs whom DARS refuses to track due to intentionally-created loopholes in its supervisory authority. (For example, DARS considers public guardianship cases funded by local Community Services Board and by Adult Protective Services, recently moved to DARS supervision, to be "private" guardianship cases that NO ONE oversees.)

In reality, if attorney James wished to find out how many public guardianship clients were among the 400 victims in the SIX (not two, not three, SIX) Scott Schuett facilities over a year after Schuett lost license after license, she could have done one of two very simple things:

1. Send two emails, one to Dorothy Salomonsky of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, and one to Kim Walker of Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, demanding that readily available information.

2. Look at the annual reports these public guardianship programs file for each of these clients. These reports specify where the client lives.

Either of these actions would have resulted in an honest answer to an important question. Either of these actions would have taken far less time than the obfuscatory soliloquy chosen by Ms. James.

But then, DARS is far too busy engaging in theoretical discussions like the Village Concept to provide even the most rudimentary protection to these real-life vulnerable elderly and disabled citizens.

Shameful.