How to File a State OPRA Request
Having access, through OPRA, to a group home or day program’s licensing inspections that you are considering is vital. Requesting licensing reports and plans of correction through DHS will allow you to assess things the state might have found upon inspection of the individual group home or day program.
To file a request with the state, follow the link below to complete the online OPRA request form. BE SPECIFIC! You must know the address of the group home or day program you’re requesting. When requesting these records, it is important to make sure you send in your request correctly or access will be denied. If you request the info to be sent to you electronically, often there’s no charge or a very minimal one.
You can find the specifics detailed in NJAC 10:44A Standards for Community Residences for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ool/documents/10_44A_eff_4_18_05.pdf .
How to Access 911 Police Reports
Additionally, as a parent or guardian, you need to know how many times a week 911 services have been requested at a specific group home or day program. This information has been invaluable for many parents of individuals in group homes or day programs. It should also be noted that each 911 report, submitted by the responding police officer, is to be followed up by a corresponding Unusual Incident Report (UIR) completed by the group home or day program requesting the 911 services. The UIR reports are an in-house document that is private to the group home or the day program and not available to the public. In order to access the 911 reports, visit the towns website where the home or day program is located. Often you will find the OPRA request form under the town clerk or online forms. Simply fill out the form, specifying the address of the group home or day program and what time frames you’re looking for. Make sure you note that you don’t want just a listing of the number of calls, but also the corresponding 911 reports.
If possible, have them deliver these reports to you electronically. Anyone that has a loved one in a behavioral agency will truly find these enlightening. Also, it pays to note that just calling the local police department in the town these homes or programs are located in and asking to speak to the Community Policing Unit can provide you with a wealth of information.
If you believe you have been illegally denied access to a public record, file a complaint.
This Administrative Order establishes policy for the reporting of unusual incidents affecting the health, safety and welfare of the Department’s service recipients.