Would Cameras Make Group Homes Safer?
Since 2018, Children's Aid and Family Services has used video cameras to keep a close eye on the residents inside the 18 group homes it runs for people with developmental disabilities in north Jersey.
The Paramus-based nonprofit spent about $10,000 a home to install cameras in doorways, living rooms and kitchens and train employees what to do, or not do, when a resident is experiencing a behavioral crisis, said Melinda Iannarone Geraghty, the agency's vice president for Disability Support Services. The video recordings are evidence when investigating a resident's injury and an allegation of abuse.
“You also get to see these touching moments,” between residents and staff, she said, “when they are playing a board game and rubbing their arm and head in a positive and endearing way.”