Tribpedia: State-supported Living Centers

Texas' state-supported living centers are institutional residential facilities for people with disabilities. The 13 facilities scattered across Texas have been the subject of federal oversight and much legislative debate -- between advocates who want to close them in favor of community living, and families who want to keep them open.

The state-supported living centers have been rife with abuse and neglect ...

Disability Groups Hope Turnover Leads to Reform

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Advocates for Texans with disabilities are seeking changes at state-supported institutions, a solution to the caregiver shortage and relief from the massive waiting lists for community-based care. They're hopeful that the turnover in statewide offices in November might help them get what they've long sought. 

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Institutions for Disabled Unlikely to See Major Cuts

Advocates for shuttering Texas’ institutions for the disabled thought they had the numbers on their side: a budget crisis so severe that lawmakers would have to close some state-supported living centers. With less than a month left in the session, their hopes are largely dashed.

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

TribBlog: LBB: State Must Improve Care For Disabled

The way Texas is currently providing care for people with disabilities — keeping all its state institutions in operation, despite increasing demand for community-based care — is not cost effective, and should be changed, according to an analysis released by the Legislative Budget Board on Wednesday. 

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Discharged?

Advocates for shuttering Texas' institutions for people with disabilities say they have a big plus in their column this session: the state’s giant budget crunch. 

Closing for Good?

A barrage of abuse scandals, a federal investigation and the shrinking state budget could be just what disability advocates need to achieve a longtime goal: fewer state institutions and more community-based living services for developmentally disabled Texans who can’t care for themselves.

Clay Boatright, the new president of the Arc of Texas
Clay Boatright, the new president of the Arc of Texas

Clay Boatright: The TT Interview

The new president of the Arc of Texas on why the disability community’s rallying cry to close state-supported living centers has become trite and ineffective, why the movement's messaging should be upgraded (employing everything from the iPad to the Bible) and why businesses and faith-based groups should be mobilized to fill the gaping holes in government services.

Con Jobs

Criminal records don't always exclude job applicants from working with the most vulnerable foster care children, according to a Texas Tribune/Houston Chronicle investigation. At Daystar Residential Inc., where workers forced developmentally disabled girls to fight each other, dozens made it through the state's background check process in the last three years despite records of arrests.

Forced to Fight, Continued

Texas officials have halted the placement of foster care children at Daystar and have assigned the Houston-area residential treatment center a state monitor following revelations of a staff-instigated “fight club” incident two years ago and a new incident that has come to light this past week: a possible sexual assault of a girl living at the facility.

The Dystar Residential Inc. campus, in Manvel, photographed on Friday, June 4, 2010.
The Dystar Residential Inc. campus, in Manvel, photographed on Friday, June 4, 2010.

Forced to Fight

Workers at a center for distressed children in Manvel provoked seven developmentally disabled girls into a fight of biting and bruising, while they laughed, cheered and promised the winners after-school snacks. The fight was one of more than 250 incidents of abuse and mistreatment in residential treatment centers over the last two years, based on a Houston Chronicle/Texas Tribune review of Department of Family and Protective Services records.

State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs
State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs

After the Fight

A year ago, staff at the Corpus Christi State School were forcing mentally disabled wards to fight each other, and state lawmakers raced to enact new accountability measures. How are they working out? Ben Philpott, who covers politics and public policy for KUT News and the Tribune, has this report.

The Buck Stops Where?

Three of the biggest social services messes of Rick Perry's ten-year tenure — the sexual abuse scandal at the Texas Youth Commission, fight clubs at state institutions for the disabled and deaths of children on Child Protective Services’ watch — have been noticeably absent from the campaign trail. Is it because Texans don't hold him accountable for these tragedies? Or because his opponents think GOP primary voters simply don't care?

Donnell Smith (left) is charged with manslaughter in the suffocation death of Lubbock State School resident Michael Nicholson (right).
Donnell Smith (left) is charged with manslaughter in the suffocation death of Lubbock State School resident Michael Nicholson (right).

Abuse of Power: One Family's Fight

With each day that passes, David Nicholson fears that the man who killed his profoundly disabled brother will join the ranks of state school workers who are never convicted for their heinous acts.

Abuse of Power

State employees who commit heinous acts against Texas' most profoundly disabled citizens rarely get charged with crimes, let alone go to jail. A Texas Tribune review of a decade’s worth of abuse and neglect firings at state institutions found that just 16 percent of the most violent or negligent employees were ever charged with crimes.