Archive for June 2010
It’s not the Truth, it’s the Narrative.
By Joshua Allen
The Business of Child Abuse.
The County lets us know that everything is in hand. CSW’s have been given a ‘new’ tool that enables them to check every home that is in the FFA system. (The tool is a check list. I feel better, don’t you)?
Homes have been checked and rechecked, officials from state and county agencies have visited homes from the disgraced agency United Care a half-dozen times by various workers ensuring that foster children remain well cared for and that homes at FFA’s are acceptable. (The majority of Los Angeles foster homes are run directly by the county and visited less than once per month by CSW’s but don’t worry, they have the check list for them too).
Homes with other agencies have been checked much more than usual, and compliance with title 22 regulations is now ensured. Audits of agencies are now much more intensive (Hooray!). Agencies have to prove that rules are followed and that foster homes are appropriate and foster children have their needs met. (The check list again. But dat’s okay).
The county shall now require appropriate proof (beyond checking time cards) that CEO’s with little or no mental health expertise or credentials as well as family and friends are no longer on county payroll with salaries incommensurent with their duties and responsibilities. (They have always done this right? Right..? Well one can hope…) The county will ensure to the best of their ability that there is no Falsifying Time Cards which is considered fraud and has legal consequences. (“Consequences,” said the FFA. “What are those?”)
Board members (of course) shall no longer be allowed to work for agencies, vote on their on salaries and work performance, and appropriately, shall be held responsible for the mismanagment of agency funds and ethically breaching the public trust by giving contracts to themselves for unaudited services. (Uhh, sounds like a good idea right)? (Then why aren’t you doing it?!!!) What does it take to change this?
Los Angeles Board of Supervisors including Mark Ridley Thomas and Gloria Molina (and staff member Martha Molina-Aviles) will as always, perform due diligence before assisting or looking the other way for disgraced or suspect agencies such as United Care, America Care, Fred Jefferson Homes, Wings of Refuge, Homes of Hope, Hanna’s Foster Agency, Nuevo Amencer and Futuro Infantil Hispano. (There are others but you get the idea). (It’s the money stupid!)
County auditors shall continue to diligently assure when examining the above and other agencies, that no tax money is used on mostly absent executives who receive full salary despite being semi-retired, wholly involved in outside business activities, or frequently absent from the office because they can do it with impunity. (If auditors would just talk with underlings from various agencies they may learn a thing or two). It’s the money stupid.
If auditors want to interview an ‘at will’ employee to determine ethical violations or financial malfeasance, they will do so under circumstances that protects the worker from retaliation.
Any taxpayer money used for consulting services from executives of concern such as Craig Woods, Louise Fernandez, Joe Steinberg and George Gutierrez will be monitored to assure proper usage. The county will assiduously assure that any monies owed to the county by these and other agency executives be returned without preconditions. Any laws previously violated shall be prosecuted. Consulting fees shall not be used as a cover for steering foster parents to a particular agency.
Having a reputation for serially sexually harassing female employees (including settling financially with several-many-mucho-a lot) should probably be enough for the county to insist that you can no longer work with or in the vicinity of abused and neglected children. (Ya think?)
The county will admit to turning a blind eye (perhaps unintentionally) to malfeasance and strongly assure that taxpayer monies go towards the care and maintenance of abused and neglected children.
The county shall stop obsessing on “measurable goals,” in reports and “disaster plans et al… and instead ascertain how taxpayer money is being spent towards the children’s benefit. (Just like students who are taught to pass the standard test, social workers write what auditors want to see which is a win-win for everyone but the foster child. Ask any social worker if they are thinking about “measurable goals,” when they try to help foster children to the best of their abilities. Does the county really believe that requiring Social Workers to write about such things actually helps the child? Who comes up with this stuff?
Intentionally making false allegations of child abuse is a crime and will be prosecuted. The making of false allegations of child abuse by an individual with an agenda has done more damage to children placed in foster care than just about anything the author can think of. Indeed, the author cannot think of one time where an intentional false allegation has ever been prosecuted in Los Angeles.
Next: Letters from Foster Children…
Things I lose sleep over:
By Joshua Allen
The Business of Child Abuse.
How come some Agency CEO’s allowed to pay themselves six figures while working very little? And when office employees know this person is rarely in the office or involved in the day-to-day dealings, why do county auditors do nothing more than glance at the CEO’s time cards if there is any question?
After agencies are shut down for gross mismanagement, how come CEO’s who paid themselves millions of dollars over their term of administration are allowed to simply walk away without further consequences?
And…Why are these CEO’s allowed to continue to consult, and or work with abused and neglected children after numerous ethical breaches?
Why are agency CEO’s allowed to use taxpayer money to rent buildings and land from themselves? Why has this practice been allowed to continue? Does anyone think this is proper?
When an agency CEO has settled many-many claims of sexual harassment before reaching trial, then tried to use taxpayer money to pay attorney fees in at least 3 of these cases, then continued to serially sexually harass ladies of all types; (and within the industry this is all common knowledge), well why is he still given clearance to work around abused and neglected children?
When an agency is closed down for mismanagement and there is money left over, what happens to this money? Is it true that some CEO’s are allowed to continue on their same salary for quite some time doing very little beyond perhaps running a simple parenting class or putting on picnics for kids?
When somebody is reportedly warned that there are major problems with a foster home, does nothing, and a child dies – why are the involved individuals allowed to move on to other agencies to consult and supervise?
When a CEO brags several times in front of witnesses that a Los Angeles County Supervisor helped him personally get his agency off of administrative hold, and apparently does this without talking to the county officials who know of him and the circumstances of the hold, and then a child dies – how come the Supervisor won’t answer the question if what the CEO said was true? And if it is true, what exactly did the Supervisor do to help the CEO get his agency off of administrative hold?
Why is there seemingly never any consequences for Board Members of grossly mismanaged agencies who vote huge salaries for disgraced CEO’s, do little deals with the CEO’s, and know the whole time this is unethical if not illegal?
If the county because of a change in policy, is now substantiating a much higher percentage of child abuse allegations, what happened to all the children (before the change in policy) who were previously abused when the allegations against their abusers were incorrectly found to be unsubstantiated?
The last one haunts me the most…