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Feds sue Florida over 'warehousing' of children in nursing homes

Florida healthcare regulators have acted with “deliberate indifference to the suffering” of frail and disabled children by offering parents no “meaningful” choice but to warehouse their children in nursing homes along with elders, the U.S. Department of Justice says in a lawsuit against the state filed Monday morning.

The Justice Department’s civil rights division accused the state of violating the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act — which forbids discrimination against people with special needs — by funding and managing its community programs so poorly that hundreds of children have been forced to live — and sometimes grow up — in institutions for the elderly.

Two years ago, the Justice Department told state health administrators that Florida’s system of care for frail and disabled children was discriminatory, because it failed to offer parents meaningful opportunities to care for their medically fragile children outside large, segregated institutions. While the state made half-hearted reforms, the DOJ said, the discrimination persisted.

The Justice Department, the lawsuit says, “has determined that compliance with the ADA cannot be secured by voluntary means” by the state. The DOJ is asking a federal judge to declare the state’s program for disabled children in violation of federal law and to force the state to cease warehousing children in institutions.

“Unnecessary institutionalization denies children the full opportunity to develop and maintain bond with family and friends; impairs their ability to interact with peers without disabilities; and prevents them from experiencing many of the social and recreational activities to contribute to child development,” the lawsuit states.

It adds: “Many of the institutionalized children remain in facilities for very long periods of time, even when it is apparent that their medical conditions would permit return to the community with appropriate supports.” Full story here. 

-- Carol Marbin Miller and Katie Savchuk



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Rick Scott is responsible for this. He doesn't care about helpless children.


Didn't Geraldo Rivera once cover a story in regards to children of special needs being warehoused without supports? I thought we were done with that sort of thing back in the early 1970's...wow...

Dorothee Custer

Rick Scott and the Republican Party are committed to Florida being a "business friendly" state - not a citizen friendly state. This is yet another horror we encourage by voting them in.

Barbara oy

Florida, my home state. It's a never ending story on your stupidity. Do you never grow tired of making National headlines in a bad way? I would laugh if innocent people weren't always the casualities.


This is more of a legislative problem - that means people that you vote for without realizing who you are voting for have done this. The Governor could make this a priority but won't. Pay attention, get educated before you pick a name on a ballot.

Ex-Employee Details Fraud in Rick Scott's Health Care Firm

"Back then, Scott, now a Republican candidate for governor, was head of the world's largest health care company. Such parties -- including a bash at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg -- could cost up to $100,000 and were a standard company tactic for wooing physicians and encouraging lucrative hospital referrals."


Carol Rothfeld

I worked for the New York State Office of mental retardation/developmental disabilities. My job was to develop community residences. When there were no voluntary agencies to do this, New York State did it.It took a court order but this is the way we closed the infamous Willowbrook. I did the same job for NYS/OMH to take people out of Psych facilities who were capable of living in supervised setting. The problem in Florida, where I now live, is the lack of understanding that institutionalization is inhumane. We need community based services.


If Rick Scott is in office after 2014, this will just be further proof that the majority of Floridians are total imbeciles.


We have a problem country-wide with voting in idiots. In Florida you also voted in a criminal. Florida really needs to clean up its back yard. It's starting to infect the rest of the country.

Edwin Blados

This guys a crook, gotta vote the bum out!


Lets just start paying state taxes in FL and maybe we could provide better care for these individuals. Well got to get back to work so that I can pay to put up others.

Barb Reno

Rick Scott is a total embarrassment to the state of Florida. He has screwed the teachers, First responders, those needing health care, gays, women and just about everybody.


When you have k9 dogs busting people fir lobsters its time to move. As a native I am don't with Florida. Over rated. Good for senators for Florida fighting drones taking pictures all over florida

Paul Peterson

These kids needs the support of their families especially with their present condition. Leaving them in institutions, living with other people they dont know is very stressfull. This is unjust to them as well as their family too. http://www.beltonhomesforsale.info/

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