Developmentally Disabled

  • Castro looks to expand care for individuals with developmental disabilities

    Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – A pilot program meant to provide supervision and care to adults and children with developmental disabilities will be expanded and made permanent under a measure sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

    “Taking care of an individual with developmental disabilities can be a real challenge and many families across the state struggle to do so,” Castro said. “The pilot program proved to be successful in providing services to those in Illinois who really needed it, which is why it should be made permanent and expanded to provide even more assistance.”

  • Steans pushes raise for workers who care for people with disabilities

    Sen. Heather A. Steans“We should not have needed a court order to tell us to do this.”

    SPRINGFIELD — Responding to a 2017 court order that ruled Illinois has not fulfilled its end of an agreement to better care for the developmentally disabled, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate today to give the people who take care of their day-to-day needs a raise.

    “Direct care workers in these facilities are feeding, clothing, bathing, monitoring, diagnosing and treating people with developmental disabilities and complicated medical conditions, and they’re currently doing that for less pay than the average receptionist,” Steans said. “They make less than Chicago’s minimum wage. It is a source of burnout, of turnover, of resentment. The situation has to change – both for the workers and the people they care for.”

  • McGuire: Rauner lacks plan to stabilize developmentally disabled group homes

    mcguire 040417SPRINGFIELD — Without a plan to address problems of inadequate pay and staff shortages, the workers who care for those with developmental disabilities are struggling just to keep the state’s most vulnerable people safe, said State Sen. Pat McGuire.

    In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, McGuire told Department of Human Services Secretary James Dimas that non-profit providers like Cornerstone, Trinity and Easter Seals are losing staff from group homes to local warehouses and distribution centers.

    Low reimbursement from the state limits the starting wages of group home workers to $9.35 per hour, while some logistics companies are paying starting employees as much as $15.

    “As a result,” McGuire said, “group homes are short-staffed, the remaining staff members are working up to 70 hours a week, and the emphasis now is solely on safety, on keeping residents alive, rather than on finding job opportunities and other community activities for group home residents.”

    Dimas revealed that the governor’s only plan to raise these workers’ wages relies on the Senate’s Grand Bargain bipartisan compromise, which the governor to date opposes. The department has nothing in its own budget to address the situation, nor could Dimas identify a specific hourly wage for group home workers the administration deems to be fair.

    “Secretary Dimas strikes me as an honorable man,” McGuire said. “But his boss, Gov. Rauner, looks to be ignoring the risks created by underfunding group home disability support workers – unconscionable, unnecessary and unacceptable risks.”

  • Services for developmentally disabled threatened by budget impasse

    devel dis 030717Stories pop up every day all across Illinois about the effects of the budget impasse. Those stories range from facility closures to students who may be on the hook for thousands of dollars for their education. One story in the 18th District shows that the developmentally disabled are especially at risk during the budget impasse.

    “Sertoma Centre is just one example of the crisis that the state is facing,” Senator Bill Cunningham said. “We need real governing to ensure that we can end this fiscal crisis that is doing real harm to our community.”