Joshua Allen Online

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

Teens Happy Homes: Contract discussed behind closed doors: Which Agency is Next to Crumble?

with 2 comments

Teens Happy Homes: Contract discussed behind closed doors: Which Agency is Next to Crumble?

The Business of Child Abuse:

By Joshua Allen

We have been writing about Teens Happy Homes, and other agencies of concern for over 3 years.  For 3 years we warned the county, and anyone else who would listen, that the system of audits in place are inadequate, and so weak, as to encourage malfeasance. Children’s welfare suffers when there is malfeasance.  How can it be otherwise?

Foster Care Agencies have a Board of Directors.  This Board is supposed to be supervising, the agencies care of abused and neglected children, and they also monitor an agencies finances. However, since board members are almost always friends and family, they do neither.  And therefore, the children suffer, as they always have.

So it comes as no surprise, about today news. LA TIMES STORY

The County Board of Supervisors, is going through the motions, and finally considering closing Teens Happy Homes.  This after years of warnings, destroyed financial records (which happened the same week as one of the audits), and the deaths of abused and neglected children.

“The routine audit of Teens in 2003 faced problems from the beginning. Shortly before auditors arrived, a sewage backup destroyed many financial records. The remaining documents painted a picture of financial chaos.”

One would think the above quote, which came from the Previous Times Story, would have caused a large red flag warranting significant attention.  But that didn’t happen.  And now, apparently, because of county incompetence, children are dead.  There is no other way to put it.

One of the new proposals, by Zev Yaroslavsky, would be to hire 6 or 7 additional monitors to track agency finances.  This is a good start.

Why has such an obvious partial solution taken so long?  It is a question best asked, while pondering the thousand mile stare of sexually abused children.

Older foster kids know when money is being siphoned from its intended purpose.  Go ask some of the kids – ask them what gifts they received for Christmas from their agency.  One agency had no gifts for 2 out the past 3 years.  This, while 3 staff members received almost 10% of the gross.  Does that sound right?

Whistle blowers, who risk everything, including violence, feel betrayed, when they come forth and nothing happens.  When officials throw up the hands and say, “…there is nothing I can do.”

There must be a cap on top salaries, perhaps in the $125,000 range?  Especially when an agency has a gross below 6 or 7 million dollars.  If foster care workers want to make more, perhaps the private sector is a more suitable solution, rather than toiling in the trenches.

The Agency Board of Directors must be unconnected to the CEO’s, who is answerable to them.   Shouldn’t board members be people who do it only to contribute their time and energy towards helping abuse victims?  Instead, we have boards made up of friends and family members, or employees of the agency, who police their own, and often, get little, under the table deals.

When auditors come, especially financial auditors, a practical idea would be to interview lower staff members, and do so in private.  Auditors must see such individuals away from the prying eyes of the administration, who may be timing the interview, as they sit outside the door.

Shouldn’t whistle blowers have some form of protection, beyond getting a lawyer they can’t afford, and waiting years for any sort of resolution?

Administrators, directors, treasurers, and other 6 figure staff members must be able to prove they actually work full time, or something close to a 40-hour week.  That is, proof, beyond silly time cards, which mean nothing in the scheme of things.

How many days and hours per week, can some of these guys be away from the office?  Who holds them accountable? Their cousin Vinny?  Dad?

Foster agency salaries, for the most part, are paid for by our taxes.  These are not private foundations.  This is part of the problem, because heads of these places, consider the non-profit agencies to be their personal businesses.  And these agencies are not theirs to do with as they chose.  Not when they take tax money to survive.  They belong to us, and are accountable.

Finally, and most obvious:  Why are foster parents, who hurt foster children, allowed to pop up somewhere else and do it all over again?  This last part hurts, because we are big fans of foster parents, and consider it one of life’s toughest and most thankless jobs.

But the good ones don’t do it for “thanks.”  And that is why, it is so egregious, when money is siphoned away.  Because it is money that could be helping these children, rather than lining pockets.

Thank heavens for good foster parents, and good social workers, and supervisors.  Because it is this group of people, beyond everyone else, except for foster children,  who know how bad things can really be.

Joshuaallenonline.com

http://documents.latimes.com/Teens-Happy-Homes/

Advertisements

Written by joshuaallenonline

May 2, 2013 at 8:32 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. …first and foremost…”…what an amazing turn of events!!”. Aaand here comes the bummer…nothing will materialize from this. Ms. Robinson has been operating her agency unfettered for years showing blatant disregard to County and State monitoring entities. One can only deduce (…as Gutierrez also hinted) that she knows some powerful and well connected staffers at DCFS, CCL, and dare I say downtown at the Board of Supervisors table. Imagine how many people’s careers and political lives might be impacted if this Teens web of deceipt and corruption was to unravel? Exactly…powerful networks will prevent it from doing so…unless Ms. Robinson herself goes rogue and exposes everyone who dares to skirt her pleas to cover up this fiasco. Stay tuned…I am sure…

    Trailblazer

    May 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

  2. […] county has enough bed space (read: money) for abused and neglected children?  Audits have shown mismanaged spending and large financial handouts to friends and […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: