According to the Summer 2010 issue of Exchange, a publication of Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, there are fewer employees of the state Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing monitoring group homes. Adult Foster Care (AFC) group homes provide housing and services to people with developmental disabilities, mental illness and to people who are elderly.
In the article "Concerns Regarding Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing", Brian Sabourin provides information on cutbacks to licensing that directly affect monitoring of group homes intended to assure safety and appropriate care of residents:
"In 2002, before massive state employee retirements, there were 80 Adult Foster Care (AFC) licensing consultants with an average caseload of 55 facilities per consultant. In 2008, there were only 49 licensing consultants experiencing double the aforementioned caseload. This comprises the division's ability to regulate the almost 4,800 adult foster care homes."
In 2009, with this staff of 49 people, licensing handled over 2,000 complaint investigations, over 2,000 licensing renewals, and 374 inspections for new licenses. This was in addition to monitoring critical components of care such as staff training, qualification, and background checks, administrative capability, resident care, and resident rights.
It is hard to believe that such large caseloads are not affecting resident care or that residents are not being harmed as a result.
(The Summer 2010 issue of Exchange is not yet available on the MPAS Web site under publications, but should be soon.)