The Assembly approved a resolution today urging the Christie Administration to give the Attorney General the responsibility of investigating abuse and neglect of disabled people at state-licensed facilities.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) sponsored the non-binding resolution (ACR147) at the request of families who testified at a hearing Monday that they have lost confidence in the Department of Human Services’ ability and impartiality to investigate the people who run group homes and facilities the department also pays and licenses.
Huttle said she is asking the Christie administration to make the change, rather than forcing the issue by passing a bill "to start a positive dialogue on abuse, neglect, and exploitation in the system. . . There are a lot of concerns about how allegations of abuse are addressed."
The resolution passed by a 50 to 23 vote with three abstentions, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
During a hearing Monday of the Assembly Human Services Committee, a half-dozen parents testified about how the department's "special response unit" has failed to keep them informed when investigating whether their children have been abused. They also said they suspected private agencies and Human Services employees have a cozy relationship.
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Assembly Wants Attorney General to Investigate Abuse and Neglect of the Disabled