A group of parents of developmentally disabled adults are protesting the limitations of “Tara’s Law,” a bill that was recently passed by the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens.
Tara’s Law was originally designed in response to the death of Tara O’Leary, a resident of a foster care facility. O’Leary was a young woman who was abused and neglected, losing more than 70 pounds and weighing only 48 pounds when she died.
Tara’s Law was created to protect individuals with developmental disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. However, the bill does not address the safety needs of disabled residents in developmental centers, group homes, nursing homes, supervised apartments, or day treatment centers.
Thousands of cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation of developmentally disabled adults are reported each year, but few are investigated. The parents have cited the limited scope of Tara's Law, as many of their children have died, or suffered lifetime physical and psychological injuries.