US Sues Florida Over Kids Kept in Nursing Homes
DOJ suit says 200 kids with disabilities in nursing homes shouldn't be there
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2013 2:07 PM CDT
A more typical nursing home resident.   (?)

(Newser) – The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Florida yesterday, accusing the state of unnecessarily institutionalizing about 200 children with disabilities in six nursing homes around the state; the suit argues the kids don't need to be there and could benefit from care at home or elsewhere in the community. The investigators found that once in the facilities, many children stay for years, some growing up in the nursing homes, and are subject to conditions that ignore their developmental well-being. From the lawsuit:

  • The investigation found cold, hospital-like facilities where children share common areas with elderly patients and rarely leave or go outside.
  • Investigators noted that the children are not exposed to social, educational, or recreational activities critical to development.
  • They also said educational opportunities are limited to as little as 45 minutes a day and that many of the children's families live hundreds of miles away.
Parents say they have no other option because the state has slashed in-home services, including nursing care for critically ill children on ventilators and feeding tubes. Investigators said Florida is violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and infringing on the children's civil rights by segregating and isolating them. The average length of stay is three years, federal officials said. Many of the children are physically disabled but mentally cognizant. A state health official called the suit "disruptive." Click for more on the suit.

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Jul 25, 2013 3:35 PM CDT
WAIT a minute....what are these kids like? We have a school here locally in which there are students(about a dozen or so) and they can't feed or wipe themselves let alone open a locker and such. They have aides that take the student around school throughout the day, 1 aid for 1 student. so they can interact with other students. These students communicate with uncontrolled wailing and screams....their arms thrash about wildly and they disrupt the kids who are trying to learn and can actually do so. If the students in FLA are like this, the state should keep them there.
Jul 24, 2013 7:50 PM CDT
just when you------ this is SICKX99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999! fine for kid to visit but to live in a nursing home! SICK!
Jul 24, 2013 9:08 AM CDT
Rick Scott profiting from his health industry buddies. They are going to push him to fight this and continue to waste our taxes with another pointless defense in court.