April 03, 2019

Wyden, Grassley Probe Reports of Abuse at Group Homes in Oregon & Iowa

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are requesting information from two companies affiliated with The MENTOR Network (Mentor) after recent news reports in Oregon and Iowa revealed multiple instances of abuse and neglect, and in one case, an apparent death. Mentor contracts with the two states to provide care for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“When vulnerable Americans are abused or even killed in the care of a taxpayer-funded care provider, that organization must be held accountable,” Grassley and Wyden said. “The Finance Committee has previously investigated The MENTOR Network for failing to protect those in their care, and tragically there is more work to be done. Nobody should have to fear for their loved ones’ safety when they are in the care of a group home.”

The letters, sent to Mentor Oregon and REM Iowa ask the companies to provide information about the services they provide and any previous or ongoing reports, investigations, assessments or performance reviews, particularly in cases regarding suspected abuse. The inquiry follows a 2017 Committee investigation of foster care providers which included The Mentor Network. The investigation raised concerns about treatment and deaths among foster children in Mentor’s care.

The Mentor Network’s community support services (CSS) division provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to Mentor’s most recent 10-K filing in September 2018, the company operates approximately 1,500 group homes and facilities serving 18,500 individuals in 21 states. These services generated net revenue of over $1 billion (representing 64% of total net revenues), which the company receives primarily from a diverse group of state and local governmental payors.

The letter to Mentor Oregon can be found HERE.

The letter to REM Iowa can be found HERE.