The monitor for a 2011 settlement have found that the state’s effort has been beset by bureaucratic inertia and missed deadlines.
Nearly three years after a landmark court settlement required Minnesota to revamp its services for thousands of residents with disabilities, federal authorities have found that the state’s effort has been beset by bureaucratic inertia and missed deadlines.
County social workers across Minnesota have yet to be trained on how to provide individual support for disabled people moving out of institutions and into their own homes or communities, as required by the settlement. Many county workers are not even aware of the settlement and its mandates, a federal official monitoring the settlement has concluded.
In one case cited by the monitor, a 24-year-old man who moved to a group home for people with disabilities found that the staff kept his shoes locked in a closet along with those of other residents, and he had to ask when he wanted to wear them. Many other aspects of the man’s life, including snack times, family visits and even use of plastic utensils, also were restricted by staff, the court monitor found.
For some people with disabilities, the monitor wrote, such services “are more life-wasting than life-fulfilling.”