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The Business Of Child Abuse: The Good, The Bad, The Corruption

The Ongoing Normal: Tax Fraud in L.A. Foster Care

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The Ongoing Normal: Tax Fraud in L.A. Foster Care

The Business of Child Abuse

By Joshua Allen

Article first published as The Ongoing Normal: Taxpayer Fraud in L.A. Foster Care on Technorati.

Two reporters from the Los Angeles times have just won a Pulitzer Prize,0,7977149.column for their story on the ongoing corruption by the city of Bell California government officials and politicians.

Several members of this small city of mostly immigrants of limited wealth were paying themselves up to a million dollars a year.  Part time Council members had to settle for several hundred thousand dollars, and the assistant controller was earning the well over a half million.

Why bring this up here when our focus is on abused and neglected children in foster care?

Most of us recall the City of Bell story was gigantic.  And for good reason.  Individuals whose very job was to serve and protect the community instead profited off of it enormously.  We found it disgusting, the obvious greed and contempt for their constituents who they most of thought of as pathetic sheep.

And it strikes a nerve, using our tax dollars to enrich themselves from innocent, decent, hard-working people, just trying to survive, make a life for themselves and their children, and basically, live their part of the American Dream.

So we must ask in our media outlets, why do we hear or read so little about the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars each year which are siphoned from money meant for abused and neglected children?  Apathy?  Racism? Cover-up?  What don’t we get?

It is true, the author knows of no single individual in the Foster Agency system earning a million a year, but what about close to half that amount?  Is that scandal enough for you?

What if the same individuals worked in their Foster Agency office infrequently, and rarely did any actual work despite the 6 figure salary that the modest population from the City of Bell could only dream of?

Well, many of the business folks, these guys and girls, have other businesses that need attention.   The foster agency already provides the guaranteed check, and they are supervised by …well nobody.

And they know a perfectly able relative (we hope) to do the actual administration.  And that lackey will earn a salary commensurate with their status of being a relative to #1.!  It’s good to have influential family, no?  Nice non-work if you can get it.

The cynical calculations of the culprits goes something like this. They know that if abused and neglected children in foster care with their agencies receive adequate care the county will generally turn a blind eye towards all but the most blatant malfeasance. And experience has shown them that they are right.

County audits seem to focus on social worker documentation and brief interviews with foster children, along with a prearranged and known in advance inspection of the home.  Talk about collusion… And the auditors?  Well they will find something, they always do, jeepers, it’s their job!  They will always need to find enough to show they are doing it…

Forensic accounting seems beyond any consistent county supervision with even cursory financial audits taking place less than twice in a decade.

Is it too much to expect inspectors to honestly verify that directors and administrators answerable only to a Board of Directors stocked by friends and family actually work full time for the salary for which they are paid?

We are indeed speaking about a cumulative financial windfall equal or much greater than the malfeasance witnessed in Bell. And it’s been going on for 2 decades.

If you want to delegate work and authority to the point where you rarely need be on hand, open a widget factory and bask in the American Dream.  You’ve earned it.

If you want to help Abused and Neglected Children – Need I say it?  Be there.

We have spoken with employee after employee, received confidential (always confidential) emails from place after place, all saying the same thing, all saying the above.  And nobody in government  seems to care as it goes on year after year until the foolish Administrator or Director pisses off enough angry employees that true to form, these disgruntled folk go on to make so many true (and sometimes false) allegations that the County  is forced to expend time and funds to investigate.  Time and funds….hmm….

Maybe their hands are tied.  Maybe the laws are weak.  Yet why hasn’t that been looked at?

Our County Board of Supervisors knows what a cesspool the agency system has become.  But then they knew about MLK Hospital for 2 decades and could do nothing until some poor soul died on the waiting room floor in front of a camera while a janitor swept around her.

A missing quarter million was only a minor annoyance until the alleged murder of Viola Vanclief broke the camel’s back. Oh yes, a teachable moment.  After 2 decades such things are easy to get used to, and that’s the rub.

Without a doubt, DCFS has tightened up on care and safety issues to the benefit of hard working social workers, foster parents, and most importantly abused children.  Foster Care is hard, and we admire this brave and largely unsung work.

However, don’t Abused and Neglected Children deserve better?

Don’t we?

Written by joshuaallenonline

April 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Posted in Child Abuse

One Response

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  1. RE: The Foster Children

    Dear Sir

    I take this opportunity to formally introduce myself as Frankie Panaino and I thank you sincerely for your earlier communication.

    About my siblings and I as foster children:
    Our mother was a good woman who came from a family of seventeen siblings and was unfortunate to be the youngest, so she suffered much bullying and little parental attention.
    Our father was a responsible and caring person, one of a twin in a family of fourteen siblings, but a family that was fragmented because of the vast distances between them, a primitive communication system and settlement in an exciting new country that had not been ravaged by the Colonial wars of Europe and North Africa. He became blind as a result of diabetes and subsequently lost his job.
    Under the burden of a crumbling marriage, our mother took refuge in morphine, which she stole from the hospital at which she was working and for which she was discovered and summarily dismissed. With no support from her siblings, she became a profoundly directionless woman.
    During 1952, our parents divorced and the two eldest siblings ran off to build their lives, whilst the four younger children were placed in the foster care of our mother’s sister, Kitty, a callous, avaricious and pretentious concubine of a predatory war veteran.
    Some compelling forms of abuse, including but not limited to paedophilia and nepiophilia (i.e. persons who can only attain orgasm with a sexual partner who is a baby or an infant younger than four years old [our small brother was only 30 months old]), were practiced upon us by both of our foster parents and Kitty’s biological offspring (her two teenage sons), who shared their home with us, the foster children.
    Violent attacks upon us by Kitty and her one son have left me with hideous burn welts upon my back – a horror with which I am confronted every day of my life.
    Institutions – especially the judicial and welfare systems were essentially indifferent, corruptible and biased towards the truthfulness of the adult predators. Our complaints to the Social Welfare officers were ignored.
    All we eventually had to cling onto was our tenacious will not to surrender wholly to our circumstances, not to stop resisting, not allowing ourselves to sink into an identification with the justness and rightness of our tormentors – and our decadent guardians in particular.
    Anyway, to cut a long story short. After three years of suffering under Kitty and her extended family, a compassionate School Psychiatric team caused an equally compassionate Magistrate to remove us from Kitty.
    My younger brother, Bertie and I were placed under the foster care of our eldest sister, Eileen and my elder sister, Pat(ricia) and brother, Georgie were returned to our mother.
    Eileen and her husband were even worse than Kitty, so I was soon introduced to child prostitution and thus, our societal severance was complete.
    Using Eileen’s own depravity, I plotted Bertie’s return to our mother and two years later, the team had me accepted to Boys Town, where a gradual recovery of my self-worth, under the compassionate guidance of Rev. Father Reginald Orsmond and the staff took place.
    Leaving Boys Town, I returned to a hopelessly fragmented family and it was then that the scarring of the childhood abuse upon us became apparent.
    Georgie was terminally ill, Pat was married, but delinquent, Bertie was sent to Boys Town and our mother was also succumbing to her excessive drug abuse.
    I soon started several relationships, but my psychological destruction had caused in me a terrible psychosis and I was a possessive and brutal partner, who was sexually inadequate and violent toward any of my numerous lovers, who dared stray beyond the boundaries that I dictated for them.
    Pat indicated a similar psychosis and (believe it or not) was an active member of a baby factory, which was a gang led conglomerate that controlled several women, who were impregnated with the intention of having babies to subsequently sell to rich, but infertile couples. She later needed to escape to England after having crossed the gang by hiding her son and they pursued her. (Her escapades were recently divulged to me by one of her sold children and would supply enough compelling material for a book on its own.)
    I worked for the Department of Civil Aviation and was later accepted as a cabin attendant for S.A.A. It was then that I met my first wife, but I was an abusive husband and, after the birth of our daughter, they were removed from me by her parents.
    I shared a flat with a friend and colleague, because of the convenience of either one of us being at home whilst the other was away on a flight. He learned some of my background and I admitted to him that I was abusive, but he often spoke to me about the meaning of kindness and he threatened to throw me out if I persisted with my psychotic behaviour. We remain friends to this day, again sharing a flat in Sasolburg.
    Three years after my divorce, I met and married my second wife, Terry. To her, I was compassionate and caring. I left the airline and opened a travel agency and a year later, my son was born.
    Eighteen months later, my wife died after a mismanaged C-section by an inebriated gynaecologist, during the birth of our second child, a daughter.
    In a considerable dilemma, I had our daughter adopted by my wife’s sister and I opted to raise my son alone.
    Three weeks after Terry’s demise, the police broke down the door of my temporary home and arrested me with extreme violence… Again I was gang-raped in the cells of the Germiston police station. That time, it was as an adult and I could understand what was happening.
    I was released because the arrest was unlawful and had been because a neighbour had shot his dog in a municipal area, after the dog had been injured by a car.
    I had to search for my son and found him at strangers who lived in Boksburg. I did however successfully sue the S.A.P.

    Having been there, done that, I was well equipped to raise my son alone and, using my experience, I did so responsibly and carefully for twenty six years. Today, at twenty eight, he is a responsible young man with an administrative career that he built in Tiger Brands, where he has worked since leaving school. He left my home only weeks before his marriage to a wonderful ecobiologist and he is a proud and responsible husband to her.
    During the time that I raised my son, there was no space between us for another person and I did not have any relationships. I have been completely celibate since Terry died.
    It was only when I started writing my first book, ‘Frankie, a book of hope.’ That Chico, my son, learned about my history and he realises that he is the beneficiary of that legacy.

    What inspired you to write it? Fortunately, relatively few people have any experiential knowledge of child abuse and it is good that they remain within their comfort zone, but in reality, child abuse is thriving because there is not enough awareness of its existence.
    Who could better know the dark recesses of fear and horror within a child’s mind when he or she is helpless, than one who remembers? Who can be more helpless than the child who tries to tell, but is not believed?
    After I wrote ‘Frankie, a book of hope’ I was invited to participate in the sexual offender’s rehabilitation programme of the Groenpunt Maximum Security Facility. I became an integral part of the programme, but each time that I visited, I realised that I came away from there, feeling drained. Each time, I was advising the same sort of people who had done to others what had been done to me.
    After some months, my health started deteriorating because of the harrowing emotional experiences, so I terminated my involvement in the programme.
    There was no reason for me to listen to people claiming that they now understood what damage they had done. They could not possibly know, because they had no idea what a victim feels.
    Yes Sir, the majority of those people claimed that they had been abused as children, but if that had been the truth, then they would have had compassion for their victims and not have done their crimes. They would have spared their victims’ sanity.

    What do you hope that people will take from it? I hope that people become more aware of the scourge that silently plagues society. The devastating effects on a victim of child abuse are more horrifying than can at first be recognised, but they are life-long.
    One may ask if a child as young as two years old can remember into adulthood, the abuse that he or she may have tried to communicate at the time of the incident.
    I have openly been challenged by somewhat remarkable academics about this matter, but I remain with the scars, my particular psychosis and yes, the memory.

    I hope that people will be made aware that offering a victim support and assistance, fulfils the victim’s need for care, at the time that such care will minimise the impact of such traumatic episodes.

    Do you think that child abuse is a big problem in South Africa? I believe that it is, because of the many incidents that go unreported. In terms of the diversity of cultures in a society of mixed ethnic groups, there is perceived stigma attached to being a victim.
    Together with developmental complicit silence, which has been enforced by the culture of secrecy and also traditional taboos, the combination becomes very volatile indeed.
    Education in the risks of haphazard sexual interaction can go a long way in preventing inaccurate rumours like deflowering a child can cure AIDS from spreading. Such education can serve to minimise child rape and be a considerable tool in the general combat against child abuse.

    Francisco Panaino

    June 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

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