COFAR Press release March 27, 2020

DDS must develop a clear coronavirus policy for residential facilities and providers

As the corona virus continues to spread in Massachusetts, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) appears to lack a clear and consistent set of policies and plans for protecting residents in its group homes and other residential facilities.

Instead, there appears to be a patchwork of statements and sometimes contradictory policies on the DDS coronavirus website page.

We are concerned that to the extent DDS has developed policies on how residents should be cared for and what precautions should be taken by staff, those current policies would be inadequate to protect residents of any DDS-run or corporate provider-run facility should one or more of the residents become exposed to or infected by the virus.

Read more on our Coronavirus Information Page.

We are a statewide nonprofit organization established in 1983 that advocates on behalf persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and on behalf of their families and guardians. 

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The January 2020 COFAR Voice  

Our January 2020 issue of The COFAR Voice newsletter is now online, with stories about:

  • Our analysis last year of more than 14,000 abuse complaints in the DDS system, which shows that state-run residential facilities are safer than provider-run group homes,
  • The unusual decision by DDS to terminate the contract of a provider to operate two group homes in the wake of allegations of neglect and poor care in at least one of the residences,
  • Our meeting with a key state lawmaker in which we urged support for voluntary work activities in DDS day programs,
  • Our push for more transparency in the abuse investigation process in Massachusetts, and our finding that the process is frustratingly circuitous,

and much more.

You can find the new newsletter here and on our newsletters page.  

Our Advocacy Guide

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) system in Massachusetts, or if you simply want more information about matters relating to the care of your loved ones in the system, we hope our Advocacy Guide can help. In it, you will find both tips and advice on care and services, eligibility issues, Individual Support Plans, guardianship, and other issues.

COFAR constructed this guide as part of our mission of providing advocacy information and advice to families and guardians of those with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, wherever they may live.

As of March 2016, we have updated the Guide to reflect changes in DDS regulations, and have added new information on issues ranging from guardianship to getting SSI and Medicaid benefits.

You can access the updated Guide by  clicking here.  We welcome your feedback!            

COFAR is affiliated with The Wrentham Association, and nationally with VOR.