Families wait for answers after state decertifies local group home provider

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)-- Citing danger of "irreparable harm," the Alabama Department of Mental Health (DMH) Tuesday filed to have residents of a group home that serves the intellectually disabled removed from the care of their provider.

That provider is Restore Care, Inc.

WHNT News 19 has made contact with several guardians who have loved ones in Restore Care group homes. Ed Sparks says his son, Drew, has had a good experience living there for the past four years.

DMH Commissioner James Perdue said in a letter to Restore Care Executive Director Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney, "The action is deemed necessary due to non-compliance with DMH regulations affecting the safety and welfare of consumers being served, documented as deficiencies in the follow-up site visit conducted August 10-13, 2015."

Sparks says he's unaware of any issues regarding his own son's care.

"He's surrounded by wonderful people who truly make an effort to care for his every need," he said. "We strongly feel like it's not imminent danger. Not to our child, anyhow."

"They have done things for him that we could never do ourselves," said his wife, Pamela.

They're worried because they say they can't get answers from the state. WHNT News 19 has also asked DMH for specifics regarding the allegations of safety concerns, and been told they can't be released right now but will likely be revealed in a hearing scheduled for Monday.

"We have absolutely no idea what the issues are," said Sparks. "You would think that these people in the group home would have the right to know what's going on."

They're also worried about where Drew would be moved if the state did remove residents from Restore Care homes. "To take him out of a home he's used to right now? It's hard on him," said Pamela Sparks. "Change is hard on him. He's not going to understand."

Although some families have taken their loved ones out of Restore Care homes until things are sorted out, the Sparks say they won't.

"He has the best care I think he can get, and I don't see why we should have to settle for someone telling us they're going to change it without giving us a reason why," said Ed Sparks.

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