Parents Told to Dump Disabled Children

October 27, 2010; Source: |Parents in Indiana have reported that they are being advised, in the wake of budget cuts, to take their disabled children to homeless shelters if they feel they cannot care for them at home. There are widespread reports that workers at Indiana’s Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services, tired of complaints, have told parents that the shelters are an option when families can’t manage and can not access the Medicaid waivers that pay for services that support disabled young people living outside the home.

One personal story from the article recounts a mother being told by a worker in a residential unit that if she would not take her daughter, severely bi-polar and suicidal, home with her that they would dump the girl themselves. The waiting lists for waivers are more than 20,000 names long.

There are no words to express. I hope these parents are well organized and that they have the firm and loud support of local providers.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Karen Garber

    Ruth,these parents need to tontact the National Alliance on Mental Illness for advocacy support and resources. It is an amazing organization and has affiliates throughout the country.

  • Dr. R. Ruth Linden

    This is appalling. Indiana’s Department of Social Services should be put into receivership by federal court order. Those who are familiar with Nazi Germany’s extermination programs during the 1930s will recall the murder of physically and developmentally disabled children inside state institutions, and they will shudder.

  • Dr. R. Ruth Linden


    I think the ACLU or a similar organization would be more appropriate at this time. I know NAMI well as I am special advisor to the president of the board of directors of San Francisco NAMI.