District officials have recommended that a privately run home for the mentally retarded lose its city and federal funding because recent inspections found that residents were not receiving adequate social services.
The facility, at 2010 Yorktown Rd. NW, is one of six homes for the mentally retarded in the District operated by the Voca Corp. of Columbus, Ohio. The firm plans to open a seventh home for the mentally retarded in Northeast Washington this fall.
The city pays Voca $216 per day in federal Medicaid money for each of the six adults living in the Yorktown Road home.
" . . . What appeared to be a promising program in October has become less than adequate eight months later," a D.C. Department of Human Services inspector reported this month.
Milton Roberts, Voca's area director, said, "I agree we've had some slippage, but I don't agree we've fallen below the standards."
Roberts said he will meet today with city inspectors and will appeal the city's decision in a meeting with city Medicaid officials on Monday. Money will not be cut off until after the meeting, city officials said, and residents will continue living at the home.
City inspectors said that Roberts' wife Sylvia, who was the home's designated retardation professional, didn't perform this job, but monitored a trainee who did the work. " . . . Her presence in this capacity is all but invisible," a city inspector found, adding that some residents' records lacked any record of social work for several months.
Roberts said that the trainee has quit and that he has since hired three retardation professionals to circulate among the six homes.
Inspectors found that psychological services, which are provided under a contract with the Georgetown University Child Development Center, were not given to some residents. City reports also criticized the home for not involving the people who care for residents during the day in meetings about the residents' progress.
Roberts argued that this is impossible to do, as most residents spend the day at different centers run by other companies.
Many of the 37 residents of Voca homes in the District are former patients at Forest Haven, the city's facility for the mentally retarded located in Laurel. The District is under court order to place 100 of its residents each year in community residences and has fallen behind schedule because of lack of beds, officials say.