Group Home Injuries
When your loved one enters a group home, you expect that he or she will receive an appropriate amount of care and support to meet his or her daily needs and long-term goals. Unfortunately, the fulfillment of this expectation often depends on the individual workers and the effort that management puts in to employing professional and well-trained staff members. Poor care and supervision can leave your loved one injured physically and mentally. When this occurs, rely on an experienced and capable attorney to secure the compensation that your family member deserves.
Recent Issues in a Group Home
The Palm Beach Post is reporting about a 26-year-old health care aide who is facing charges of sexual battery after allegedly having sex with an underaged male in a group home where she was employed. According to the article, a witness saw the two parties engaged in sexual relations within the home. When confronted, the defendant denied the allegations. The alleged victim, who is 17 years old, reportedly told authorities that the two flirted and exchanged text messages. Law enforcement later monitored a call between the accused and the victim. She allegedly admitted to erasing text messages on her phone along with a call log between herself and the victim. The defendant was released on $10,000 bond.
Within the state of Florida, group homes are used for a variety of services, including:
- Housing orphaned minors until foster or adoptive parents are secured;
- Temporarily housing minors who are having troubles within their families;
- Acting as an alternative to juvenile detention; and
- Providing daily assistance and training and assistance for developmentally disabled adults and minors.
Generally run by private agencies, many of these homes do an excellent job at caring for their residents. However, far too many are neglectful in their duties, resulting in reputations for sexual assault, drug use and violence. The incredible amount of money paid to these homes for care of the residents seemingly does not encourage improvements, so when injurious incidents occur, it’s important to hold these facilities accountable for their actions.
What the Law Says
While management of these facilities is outsourced by the state to private agencies, the Florida administrative code still provides some guidance. It states in part that individual facilities must provide transportation for appointments and that “Each facility must provide the level of supervision necessary to ensure that residents are protected from harm and that a safe and healthy living environment is created and maintained.” This includes promoting attendance at school, maintaining a drug-free environment and employing workers who are highly trained and capable of providing proper care.
A report by Broward County New Times alleges that between the January 2012 and October 2014, more than more than 400 visits were made collectively to three of the most popular group homes in Fort Lauderdale, with calls spanning from drug use to allegations of prostitution.
Let Our Attorneys Help You
If your child or loved one received an injury or improper care within a Florida group home, contact the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group at (813) 803-6518 for a free case evaluation. Our knowledgeable attorneys will fight for your interests and work to secure the compensation your case deserves.