ABCD is relieved that S3301/A4013 which requires certain group homes to install EMDs,
will not be posted for consideration during the 219th New Jersey Legislature’s “lame duck session.” Nevertheless, this is a bitter and humbling victory. Bitter, because the 220th NJ Legislature may not include Senate President Sweeney who was openly supportive of ABCD’s concerns. Humbling, because we learned that too many parents do not trust agencies to adequately care for their adult children and fearing repercussions for their loved ones, are afraid to be honest with us. But education is the first step toward something better.
For now, an ineffective policy based on anecdote will not progress, affording providers time to:
- Consider current approaches to electronic monitors.
- Consider relationships with parents.
- Ensure proper training, supervision, oversight, and wages for all staff.
- Ensure institutionalization does not reassert itself.
- Ensure individuals are not shoved to the margins of their lives.
True victory will be if we use this as an opportunity to address the perceived need for this bill and improve our person-centered system.