- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A bill designed to better protect group-home residents from abuse and report violence against clients has won unanimous approval in the state Senate.

The chamber voted Monday night for the measure, which increases the severity of the misdemeanor against someone found to have knowingly injured or caused pain to residents, who often have disabilities or mental illness.

New or more severe misdemeanors also are proposed for home employees or volunteers who witness abuse or are aware of harm caused to residents but don’t tell police, prosecutors or social service workers. State regulators also would set rules to train home workers and record problems.

Parents of a group-home resident have lobbied for the change after allegations surfaced that their son was sexually abused and that workers failed to report it.

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