HARRISBURG, Pa., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Public Welfare today released the 2011 Adult Residential Care Licensing report, which highlights the department's licensing efforts to keep personal care homes safe for one of Pennsylvania's most vulnerable populations.
DPW licenses 1,326 personal care homes, which provide care to 47,000 adults with physical or mental disabilities. These clients require assistance or supervision with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing, or medication management.
"Adults who live in personal care homes deserve a safe and healthy environment," said DPW Secretary Gary D. Alexander. "Our top priority is to protect Pennsylvania's most vulnerable. The adult residential licensing staff has made great strides in enforcing compliance in safety and care regulations."
In 2011, the average number of violations per inspection dropped for the fourth consecutive year, well below the 2008 average. The annual report shows a decrease in emergency closures, with three homes closed due to emergency conditions in 2011, while seven emergency closures were required in 2010.
"While licensed personal care homes have improved significantly in the past few years, we continue to struggle with illegal operators who claim to provide care to our most vulnerable citizens," said Alexander. "Unlicensed care is deadly, so we ask that all Pennsylvanians join in our fight and report any unlicensed homes or activities that may cause concern."
Adults with physical or mental disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, especially if placed in unlicensed care. If you suspect a facility is unlicensed or want to file a complaint, call – toll-free – 1-877-401-8835.
The complete 2011 Adult Residential Licensing Annual Report is online at http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ucmprd/groups/webcontent/documents/report/p_012112.pdf. For more information about the Department of Public Welfare, visit the department's website at www.dpw.state.pa.us.
Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1-800- 932-0582.
Media contact: Carey Miller and Anne Bale, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare