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By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2011
Operators of private group homes that serve troubled youths across Maryland are asking the legislature to scrap a forthcoming requirement that their staff members be certified by the state, calling it expensive and unnecessary. But state regulators and some legislators, who imposed the new rule after reports in 2005 of mistreatment and lax management in group homes, say the certification is needed to help protect vulnerable children. A bill scheduled for discussion in two General Assembly committees Thursday would do away with the certification mandate — not set to take effect until 2015 — for employees at about 30 "therapeutic" group homes that care for youths with the most challenging array of emotional and behavioral problems.
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NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2014
State officials said at a legislative briefing Thursday that their agencies must do more to flag financial mismanagement at group homes - problems similar to those that went unheeded at an Anne Arundel County facility where a 10-year-old disabled foster child died this month. Maryland's health and human resources secretaries appeared together before a joint committee of state lawmakers in Annapolis to answer questions about oversight of LifeLine, the operator of the group home where the boy died.
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NEWS
April 28, 2011
While I didn't choose to move to my Baltimore neighborhood because there was a group home for adults with mental illness nearby, it helped to "seal the deal. " My daughter was being treated for mental illness, and I found some solace in the presence of this option for the care of people with this challenge. Twenty-four years later, this group home is still one of the best kept homes in the neighborhood. As the parent of a daughter with a mental illness, and as a citizen, I need to place my behavior in a much broader context than consumerism.
NEWS
July 15, 2014
The death of a severely disabled foster child earlier this month while under the care of a group home in Anne Arundel County that Maryland health regulators were in the process of shutting down inevitably raises the question of whether the boy's life could have been saved if state officials had acted more quickly. The state has launched three separate investigations into 10-year-old Damaud Martin's death, but the results may not be known for months. Regardless of whether anything could have changed Damaud's fate, though, the investigative reporting by The Sun's Doug Donovan into the troubled history of LifeLine raises real questions about whether the state's oversight of such care providers is adequate to protect some of the state's most vulnerable young people.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,SUN STAFF | November 19, 2004
Declaring a renewed effort to hold group home operators accountable, the head of the state's Department of Human Resources, announced yesterday a handful of new regulations. Christopher J. McCabe, the department's secretary, said the new policies would send a message to the operators of the 187 group homes his agency licenses that they are being watched. "Maryland is raising the bar for residential facilities for youth," he said during the announcement at Aunt Hattie's Place, a northwest Baltimore group home that has received high marks from the state.
NEWS
By Elise Armacost | October 19, 1997
IN OUR postcard-pretty community, the neighbors include TC two men who do not live in a group home, although they could. They are mentally disabled. I'll confess they scared me a little at first.We learned soon enough that they were harmless. One likes magazines; you often see him sitting on the sidewalk, going through the recyclables.The other, George, used to bring the newspaper to us every morning; once he accidentally threw it through the glass storm door. Two years ago we found him lying, half-frozen, in a snowdrift in our yard.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2014
State officials said at a legislative briefing Thursday that their agencies must do more to flag financial mismanagement at group homes - problems similar to those that went unheeded at an Anne Arundel County facility where a 10-year-old disabled foster child died this month. Maryland's health and human resources secretaries appeared together before a joint committee of state lawmakers in Annapolis to answer questions about oversight of LifeLine, the operator of the group home where the boy died.
NEWS
July 25, 1995
The Davidsonville residents who are upset about the impending expansion of a group home for the elderly in their neighborhood are not NIMBYs. They have a legitimate reason to complain.Thanks to an egregiously liberal provision in Anne Arundel County's zoning law, the Kris-Leigh group home -- now a modest three-bedroom brick rancher -- is about to expand by 6,110 square feet to 18 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms. The finished facility will encompass more than 7,000 square feet in a community where the biggest home is about 3,000 square feet.
NEWS
December 17, 1993
One in five Baltimore County residents is 60 or older. The county has more senior citizens than any other Maryland jurisdiction. And it has a rate of senior-population growth second only to Dade County, Fla., in all the United States.Yet faced with these jarring statistics, the local government has been woefully slow to provide "assisted-living," neighborhood-based group homes that each serve from four to 15 seniors. In fact, since Maryland started the program 17 years ago, group residences have been established in every state jurisdiction, except in Baltimore County.
NEWS
July 29, 1993
Baltimore County senior citizens and their advocates have long noted a frustrating irony about life in that jurisdiction.Among all 24 Maryland subdivisions, the county ranks first in number of residents over the age of 60. About 138,000 of them live in the county now, and by the end of the decade, the figure should reach 144,000. Only Dade County, Fla., has a faster-growing number of elderly citizens than does Baltimore County, according to Phillip H. Pushkin, the director of the local department of aging.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2014
Maryland's Board of Public Works, a panel that includes the governor and other top state officials, did little to scrutinize millions in contracts it awarded in recent years to the financially strapped operator of a group home where a 10-year-old boy died this month, records show. And state agency officials who recommended LifeLine for various contracts from 2011 through September did not mention the company's fiscal and quality problems to the board - even as they touted a new process to reward only top-quality contractors.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
Maryland lawmakers and child advocates called Monday for an investigation into regulators' oversight of a troubled group home operator, asking why the state continued to give the company millions in taxpayer dollars despite long-standing financial and regulatory problems. State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, chairman of a committee that oversees group homes, said she would call a hearing this month to determine why state officials continued to award contracts to LifeLine even after it had filed for bankruptcy reorganization and a state audit found it insolvent.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2014
When Maryland's government hires a company to provide around-the-clock nursing care to severely disabled foster children - arguably the state's most vulnerable residents - it requires the contractor to have its business affairs in order. But LifeLine, which attracted media attention after the recent death of a 10-year-old resident, had many signs that it was struggling financially to staff its Laurel apartments with an appropriate number of nurses. One recent indication was a sign posted on some of LifeLine's units in the Laurel-area community of Russett Green on May 12. "Payroll Alert," read the sign.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2014
The recent death of a 10-year-old disabled foster child at an Anne Arundel County group home was just the latest in a series of problems at LifeLine, the state contractor that has been paid millions in taxpayer funds to care for "medically fragile" individuals, a two-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun has found. Even before Damaud Martin's death on July 2, LifeLine had struggled for years to provide around-the-clock care for its residents - adults and foster children often confined to a bed or wheelchair by paralysis, cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2014
Two Maryland lawmakers said Friday they will ask a state Senate committee to explore the death of a 10-year-old disabled foster child who was in the care of a group home. Another state senator who advocates for people with disabilities said the boy's death at the Laurel-area group home pointed to a shortage of funding and resources to serve vulnerable people in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that the boy died as the state was in the process of shutting down the home amid concern about staffing problems at the center.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun and The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2014
On the night that 10-year-old Damaud Martin died at a troubled group home in Anne Arundel County, there were not enough staffers to handle the care specified for its severely disabled residents, according to the nurse on duty at the time. Mary Zelio, who was watching over Damaud and two other residents, said Friday that each of their care plans called for the home's operator, LifeLine Inc., to provide one-on-one nursing. But she was the only LifeLine nurse on duty in the apartment, one of four the state contractor has used for its group home for disabled foster children.
NEWS
May 16, 1995
In a victory for recovering alcoholics, former drug users and the mentally ill, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that cities may not use zoning laws to keep out group homes for people who are considered disabled under federal law.The court's decision raised a legal cloud over zoning ordinances in communities across the nation, including Baltimore and other Maryland communities.Article, Page 3A
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer | September 22, 1992
The white Dutch colonial high on a hill in Linthicum is a mere 70 years old. Its inhabitants have been around much longer.They are Joe Anthoney, a former professional football player who is 78, and Nannie DuVall who is 90. Helen DuVall, no relation, can't quite recall her age but says, "it's way up there." George M. Wentz is 92. He does the gardening.When Mr. Wentz moved to a nursing home six years ago, his health began to deteriorate. His grandson, also named George, began looking for a group home, but couldn't find one in Anne Arundel County.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2014
A 10-year-old disabled foster child died last week while under the care of a group home in Anne Arundel County that Maryland health regulators were in the process of closing down, state Health Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein confirmed Thursday. Regulators, he said, are conducting investigations into the July 2 death at the Laurel-area home operated by LifeLine Inc., a state contractor that had provided round-the-clock care for such children - and that was recently warned it would lose its license for having inadequate staff to meet the "health and safety needs of each child" and other issues.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2013
Eight residents and staff members of a group home in Parkville were taken to area hospitals — six of them to Maryland Shock Trauma Center — for possible chemical exposure in the home early Monday morning, according to Baltimore County fire officials. County fire officials said late Monday that they had detected carbon monoxide in the home, in the 2800 block of Hillcrest Avenue, and that it was the apparent cause of the illness. However, the fire department was unable to find the source of the carbon monoxide and said the Maryland Department of the Environment will have to investigate further.
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