News & Information > News Releases
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2012
Melanie Mowry Etters
APD Strengthens Group Home Oversight
Tallahassee - The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is enhancing its group home monitoring procedures to improve oversight and accountability. APD issued a new monitoring form to include a signature line for a group home representative that is in addition to the APD employee's signature. This will verify and confirm that both parties are aware of the inspection, the date it occurred, and the outcome of the monitoring visit.
The agency already currently requires monthly monitoring visits, including some unannounced inspections. These changes do not add any additional burdens on service providers, but are additional accountability measures within the process.
These actions are following a preliminary review by the agency's inspector general (IG) of some group home inspection reports. The IG determined that the agency should consider strengthening the oversight of the group home monitoring process.
APD Director Michael Hansen said, "Our agency is responsible for the health and safety of all individuals in our care. I asked our inspector general to take a look at our policies and procedures related to group home monitoring to ensure as many safeguards were in place as possible. Based on the IG findings and other reviews, we are immediately updating our monitoring forms as another safeguard for our customers."
The agency is working to automate its group home information over the next several months. Once the system is operational, all monitoring information will be available online.
Group home providers contract with the state of Florida under the Home and Community-Based Services waiver to deliver services to APD customers who are Floridians with developmental disabilities. There are 1,300 APD-licensed group homes statewide that are required to be inspected at least once a month by APD employees. To review the agency's policies and procedures related to group homes, visit http://apdcares.org/providers/group-homes.htm
APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information on the agency, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).