Monday, July 22, 2013

U.S. Department of Justice Sues Florida State Agencies on Behalf of Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice has sued the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children & Families due to the increasing number of Florida children with disabilities being institutionalized in settings such as nursing homes for the elderly. Many parents are forced to place their children in nursing homes because Florida's state agencies often refuse to pay for in-home care for children with disabilities. Thus, families without means are left with no option from the state other than placing their children in nursing homes.


The lawsuit is brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which forbids discrimination against people with disabilities. The suit alleges that Florida's agencies mismanaged community programs and funding which caused children with disabilities to be placed in nursing homes. For instance, three years ago, Florida cut $6 million in funding for a program that pays for private nursing care for those who do not wish to be institutionalized. At the same time, Florida declined to accept $40 million in federal funds for a program that transitions people from nursing homes back into the community. This suit shows the seriousness with which the US DOJ takes the treatment of children with disabilities.

To learn more about this suit, check out the following links:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/ap/ap/health/feds-sue-fla-for-keeping-kids-in-nursing-homes/nYy43/
http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/justice-department-files-lawsuit-against-florida-over-medical-care-for/2132566

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