Monitoring & Investigations
Investigating and monitoring facilities is one of the primary jobs of a Protection and Advocacy Agency (P&A). Our staff monitor the conditions in facilities where people with disabilities live or work, such as, schools, group homes, day programs, adult care homes, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, and residential treatment facilities. When necessary, DRSC launches investigations to uncover and address issues of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
DRSC is empowered by federal law to access facilities where people with disabilities live or receive services. We use this access authority to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect and to monitor the rights and safety of people with disabilities. The locations we can visit include, but are not limited to, schools, group homes, day programs, adult care homes, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, and residential treatment facilities. Our access authority applies to state-run and privately owned settings.
Reporting Abuse and/or Neglect
Allegations of abuse and/or neglect can be made to DRSC. DRSC encourages individuals to report allegations to the appropriate agency as described in our fact sheet but you may also make reports to DRSC, especially if you are concerned about the response to your allegation or if you believe the abuse/neglect is systemic.
DRSC Case Example
DRSC received an anonymous phone call reporting a child with a mental illness had been assaulted by a Public Safety Officer (PSO) during a restraint. The officer allegedly choked the individuals. The caller stated the victim had reported this to the agency’s internal advocacy office four times but as of the day of the call to DRSC, no one from that office had come to talk with him. DRSC went onsite with its access authority and spoke to potential witnesses. During these interviews more allegations of abuse or neglect were made so DRSC opened a Group Investigation Project to investigate further.
Through this new program DRSC provides vital accountability services to protect the rights of SSA recipients.
This program was designed in response to repeated concerns about the quality of life for people in institutions and Community Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs). The program is empowered by Section 43-33-350 (4) of the South Carolina Code to conduct surprise inspections of CRCFs in South Carolina. P&A’s staff and trained volunteers have been conducting these surprise inspections since the project was approved by SC legislature in 1985.
Monitoring COVID-19 in SC Residential Facilities
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disability Rights South Carolina (DRSC) monitored the safety of individuals with disabilities living in residential placements during this challenging time. From April 2020 to January 2021, DRSC solicited providers’ insight on various policies and procedures implemented because of the pandemic. DRSC hopes this report will raise greater awareness around these unique issues and provides further information about the pandemic’s effect on individuals with disabilities in South Carolina.Monitoring of COVID-19 Policies and Procedures in South Carolina Residential Facilities
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If you have questions, you’re always welcome to contact us directly. We also have a wealth of information on our site about being a strong self-advocate and knowing your rights.