Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Jersey Struggles to Boost Community-Based Services

TRENTON, N.J. -- The commissioner tried to explain why New Jersey needs to close one of its seven institutions for the developmentally disabled if it is to care for more of the 40,000 adults in the state who can’t take care of themselves.
But she was nearly drowned out by boos and catcalls from those in favor of the status quo: public employees with jobs at stake and families of residents at the Vineland Developmental Center who don’t want their loved ones relocated.
Nearly lost amid the throng at the raucous hearing earlier this year was the mother of Derek Legutko, a 26-year-old with autism who’s living at home while waiting for a community placement. It’s already been four years, and likely to be a lot longer.

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