A Connecticut mother claimed a small victory against the state in her battle to protect her disabled son on Tuesday.
Lindsay Mathews, of New Haven, appeared in court on Tuesday morning to continue the fight to keep him in the group home, he's called home for roughly twenty years.
Mathews said her son George Griffin needs around the clock care. Mathews added she's not happy with the state transferring state-run group homes over to private care. So, Mathews said she sued the state.
They in turn petitioned to take over the guardianship of her adult son, but on Tuesday Eyewitness News was told it withdrew that request.
Mathews and her backers brought their banners to the courthouse on Orange Street.
"DDS filed a petition to take control of my son's healthcare and in court last week, they wanted to take control of my son's guardianship,” Mathews said.
But, that's not happening now because on Tuesday at New Haven Probate Court, Mathews said the state decided to withdraw its petition.
"I was surprised, really surprised,” Mathews said. “The only reason we got was that they just withdrew, so that's all we really know."
For more than 20 years, Griffin has lived at a state-run group home on Brook Street in Hamden. State worker Mary Quesnel helped care for him.
"It’s just a victory,” Quesnel said. “We've been fighting really hard, worried about the people we care for, so today is just one victory of hopefully many to come."
In looking to balance the budget, the State Department of Developmental Services announced it would transfer these group homes such as the one that Griffin lives in, over to the private sector, which would save the state at least $70 million in the process.
Concerned about the quality of care, Mathews said decided to sue the state. She also refused to sign over her son's medical records. That's why the state filed that petition with probate court.
Last week, DDS sent Eyewitness News a statement on the changeover, while calling the guardianship matter, a confidential and legal process.
"While we know these changes are extremely difficult for individuals, families, and staff, they are necessary for us to maintain critical supports. DDS is focused on carrying out these transitions in the most effective and compassionate manner possible,” the statement read.
"Now, they're trying to force down our throats, not just me, but many parents around the state, privatized group homes,” Mathews said. “And that just isn't going to work."
Eyewitness News did reach out to DDS on Tuesday to see if it would comment on why it suddenly decided to drop its petition. Eyewitness News did not get a response.
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