Sen. Barto Strengthens Transparency and Oversight Inside Group Homes for Arizona's Most Vulnerable
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sen. Nancy Barto Strengthens Transparency and Oversight
Inside Group Homes for Arizona's Most Vulnerable
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— In an effort to protect one of Arizona's most vulnerable populations and provide greater independent oversight of care for those living with developmental disabilities, SB 1542 (group homes; electronic monitoring) sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto, was recently signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey.
This bill is one of several championed by Senator Barto this legislative session aiming to provide better accountability and safety nets for families who have loved ones within Arizona's group homes, nursing-supported group homes and intermediate care facilities. SB 1542 will allow the installation of video cameras in common areas of these establishments. It also prohibits contracted service providers of group homes and intermediate care facilities from preventing their installation if clients and their families agree to pay for any costs associated with these devices.
"We've received countless reports and testimony from families who have experienced horrific problems from service providers- especially within many group homes," said Senator Barto. "Matty, an 18-year-old who is severely autistic with the functionality of a 6-year-old, has been exposed to terrible traumas from staff including those who were working while under the influence of drugs, verbal abuse and physical assaults against him that led to black eyes and head injuries, failure to provide medical care for his infections, even soaking him with a garden hose and shoving him in a closet as responses to his behaviors and agency oversight was not effectively addressing it. After his family purchased and installed a camera system on their own, they are now seeing the benefit of a much safer environment. We want to ensure the same for other families experiencing such appalling events."
"Homes that are charged with protecting and supervising those with developmental disabilities need to meet specific standards," said Senator Barto. "By allowing video monitoring systems within these establishments, we will be able to give families peace of mind, accountability, transparency, and potentially stop life-threatening misconduct in its tracks."
This legislation will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus