A local mother says Peoria makes it too tough to raise and care for special needs children.
Dominique Gulley says she can't find one such facility for her son here, in Peoria, and now he is living in Chicago. Dominique Gulley says the reason she can't find a local in-home nurse is because the agencies these nurses work for take a large portion of their hourly rate.
Lavar, Gully's son, was born three months premature and for a while had in-home care while Gulley worked, but eventually that nurse quit because she said she wasn't making enough money. Because Lavar's medial needs require such extensive care Gulley is forced to leave him in Chicago and travels back and forth while still living and working in Peoria.
"Once the agency gets involved, they are taking the $30 and then only paying the staff $19 an hour," Gulley said.
Lavar's father passed away from congenital heart failure, leaving Gulley to care for her children alone. She gets some help from her best friend and Lavar's grandmother however that is not always enough.
"We help her out when Lavar has to go somewhere for a couple hours or something like that, " Delores Sledge, Lavar's grandmother said. "However, I am at that age now where I am not able to pick up a child and carry him around with my arthritic problems."
"I have broken down so may times. I have done everything that I was supposed to do for my son. He didn't ask to be like this." Gully said.
Not only is Dominique working around the clock to support her family. She is also working to find resources for specialty needs children, by creating a petition and asking everyone who is willing to sign.
"Just Putting it out there, What is going on with specialty needs kids and for the needs of the daycare. I have gotten over 1000 signatures." Gulley said.
Instead of government assistance being given to families directly for in-home care, Gulley is suggesting parents have the option to use that money to build a local group facility for pediatric patients.
We reached out to the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) and they confirm that companies which contract out nursing care do take a percentage off the top. They explained though that how much money they take is determined by state medicaid and nursing agencies negotiate that number with employees.
Gulley says she wants to offer support to other families experiencing similar situations. If you know anyone having the same type of issues or you would like to reach out, you can reach her at Dominique Nicole Gulley Facebook Page. If you would like to sign the petition please visit Specialized daycares and financial help for parents that need to stay home.