Thursday, September 30, 2010

AFCARS 2009 Foster Care Data Are Released

For those who are into the statistical side of foster care, here are the States reported data for 2009.

These data are the nuts and bolts for the funding of the States child welfare operations.  In order to participate in the conversations of a particular subject, it behooves a policy maker to master the subject matter.

Data tell stories, complete with pictures.  This was how I was able to circumvent the secrecy of the child industry.

On the last few pages, pay attention to the reporting errors.

AFCARS User’s Guide  Foster Care File  Annual Supplement, FY 2009

Here is the AFCARS Code Book to the above data sets.


The Educational Restructuring of Child Welfare

Oh dear, it seems there is much activity at the federal level on "amending" the current structures of the nation's child welfare philosophies.

Not since the introduction of the factory school model did we have any movement to invest in family and community to generate the best interests of society.

The factory school model is exactly what it is.  It is a model to give just enough education for a public school child (mainly designed for the inner city) to learn the basic skills to go and work in a factory.  It was the dumbing down of America.

The factory school model also came with a disciplinarian component.  Not corporal punishment of the child, but a discipline far more severe, moral discipline for the parent as a result of the removal of opportunity barriers and the enfranchisement for political participation.

Complete with the destruction of independent thought, the model was quickly adapted to form the child protection model.

During the 1960s and 1970s, these newly developing social service channels motivated the public to begin reporting suspected abuse. David Gil’s 1965 public opinion poll revealed that although only 23 percent of respondents said that they would report families they suspected of being involved in child maltreatment to the police, 45 percent said they would report such suspicions to social service agencies.9 The increase in formalized channels for reporting helped to build the field of child maltreatment prevention as a scientific and applied endeavor. It also advanced the professionalization of practitioners working with children and families affected by maltreatment. The focus of these systems, however, was on responding to reports of maltreatment, rather than on prevention.

And the State to make it first to the front of the uncapped federal funding handout line was...

I could go on, but I already covered this in detail in my book.  

The interesting piece to this restructuring child welfare puzzle is not many people are catching the funding issues.  This is a Medicaid funded project.  This is the expansion of Medicaid, a singular funding source for community health.

S. 3769 To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to promote  family and community engage...

National Commission on the Disasters of Child Welfare

More evidence that the child welfare system, as we currently know it, is being transformed.

The final report should be out in the next few weeks.  There are strong recommendations, importing the authority of multiple federal agencies, to work with the States to improve current child welfare systems because they are an absolute disaster.

National Commission on Children and Disasters  2010 Report to the President and Congress, Executive Summary...

Is HELP Finally On The Way To Fight Medicaid Fraud In Child Welfare?

Is it possible the Legislative Branch is waking up to the realities of child welfare fraud?

Is Beth Stein working on a special Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse in child welfare investigation?

Stay tuned.

Harkin Names HELP Committee Team Leaders, New Investigation Unit

Wednesday, May 05, 2010Kate Cyrul / Bergen Kenny (202) 224-3254
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), today announced the selection of his team leaders for health, education and labor and the development of a new investigation unit for the Committee.

“The opportunities before this Committee are limitless, but they center around the issues that touch the daily lives of all Americans – ensuring access to affordable, quality health care and a continued investment in recognized prevention and wellness efforts; that learners from birth through adulthood all get world-class educational opportunities; and that  workers have safe workplaces, that their retirement is secure and labor laws create possibilities for working families and the middle class,” said Chairman Harkin.  “With this team in place, the HELP Committee will achieve these goals and strengthen laws that benefit hardworking Americans and their families.”

Chairman Harkin announced the following staff appointments today:

Jenelle Krishnamoorthy will serve as Health Policy Director for the Committee.  A native Iowan, Jenelle first joined Chairman Harkin’s team as an AAAS Fellow in 2003 and 2004.  During that time Jenelle, along with her colleagues, wrote the HeLP America Act, which included a menu labeling provision that later inspired a provision in the health reform law.  During 2004 and 2005 Jenelle worked at the U.S. State Department on an AAAS Diplomacy Fellowship, but rejoined the Harkin office in January 2006 as the Senator’s lead health staffer.  Since that time, she has been the driving force behind efforts to invest in prevention and wellness, one of the Senator’s signature issues.

Trained as a licensed clinical psychologist, early in her career, Jenelle worked at Brown Medical School where she was part of The Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine and the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry and published in the areas of childhood obesity and tobacco issues.  While there, Jenelle did clinical work with kids and families that had chronic illnesses.  She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology/Biology from Randolph-Macon College, Masters of Science in Psychophysiology from the University of Tennessee, Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Residency and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Clinical Psychology from Brown Medical School.

She replaces David Bowen, who worked for the HELP Committee for 10 years.

Bethany Little will continue in her role serving as Chief Education Counsel for the Committee, responsible for legislation governing early childhood programs, elementary and secondary education, higher education and workforce training.  Prior to joining the Senate HELP Committee staff in March of 2009, she was Vice President for Policy and Federal Advocacy at the Alliance for Excellent Education where she led the Alliance's policy work on high school reform issues, including accountability and school improvement, adolescent literacy and college preparation.  Bethany came to the Alliance from the Children's Defense Fund, where, as Director of Government Relations, she managed advocacy efforts and provided policy direction. From 2001-2003,  Bethany worked in the office of United States Senator Patty Murray (WA) as a Legislative Assistant focused on education, welfare and children and families issues. Prior to that, she was Associate Director for the White House Domestic Policy Council serving as an education policy advisor to President Clinton and Vice President Gore. She has also held positions at the U.S. Department of Education, Council for Excellence in Government, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and Clinton/Gore '96.  She is a graduate of Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Service.

Lauren McFerran 
will serve as Labor and Pensions Policy Director for the Committee.  Lauren has been a member of the HELP Committee since 2005, previously serving as Senior Labor and Employment Counsel.  In her prior role, she developed policy and legislation in a broad range of areas, including labor-management relations, wage and hour law, work-family policy, immigration and pensions.  In her new role, Lauren will oversee the Committee’s Labor and Pensions team and be the primary liaison with the many constituencies interested in these important issues.

Prior to joining the HELP Committee staff, Lauren was an attorney at Bredhoff & Kaiser, representing workers, labor unions and pension plans.  She clerked for the Honorable Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas, and is a graduate of Rice University and Yale Law School.

Lauren replaces Portia Wu, who joined the National Partnership for Women and Families earlier this year.

Chairman Harkin also announced a new investigation unit:

“I have always believed that government has a role to play in standing up to powerful institutions that can forsake the interests of the American people in pursuit of their own,”continued Chairman Harkin.  “The new HELP Committee investigations unit will exist to play an active role in consumer protection and to make sure that public money is spent well rather than wasted or squandered through fraud.”

The new Investigations Unit will be led by Beth Stein who will serve as Chief Investigations Counsel for the HELP Committee.  Beth has been on Senator Harkin’s staff since 2004, serving first as counsel and then handling special projects.  Prior to that time, she was Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator Maria Cantwell, and Election Counsel to Rep. Steny Hoyer.  Prior to those assignments, Beth served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, as well as the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, both chaired by then-Senator John Glenn.  In that capacity, Beth played a key role in the investigation into campaign finance abuses in the 1996 election and helped lead investigations into a variety of subjects including food safety, Medicare fraud waste and abuse and the relationship between thyroid cancer rates and exposure to nuclear fallout from Nevada testing in the 1940s.  Beth is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Elizabeth Baylor will serve as Senior Investigator in this new unit.  Elizabeth served as Research Director for Obama for America in the Office of the Vice Presidential Nominee.  She has been the Research Director for a number of campaigns including Biden for President, Rendell for Governor and Wal-Mart Watch.  In addition, she held research positions at the DCCC, the 2004 Dean for America presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  Elizabeth started her career working in the Clinton White House, first as an intern and later as Associate Director of the Office of Communications Research.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. 


HHS OIG Work Plan Part VI: Human Services Reviews FY 2011

DOJ Makes Novartis Pay $420 Million For Kiddy Kickback Scheme

I cringe when I see the growing list of pharmaceutical corporations that not only drugged kids for cash, but drugged the entire industry of child welfare to believe that it was a good thing for kids.

When you look at the national statistics, you will see a category labeled as " physical neglect".  Physical neglect has 12 codes assigned to break down the different categories for purposes of research studies.

There are two specific codes which address issues of medical neglect:

Refusal to allow or provide needed care for diagnosed condition or impairment.
Unwarranted delay or failure to seek needed care

TRANSLATION: When a parent refuses psychotropic medication to the child, this constitutes medical neglect, a reportable condition to increase the national statistics of child abuse and neglect, and grounds for removal.

This is a classic Title IV-E funding training technique (usually billing at the improper higher rate of 75%) where a Child Welfare Worker will use the tactic of performing an Axis III diagnosis, without medical license, to support the placement of the child in foster care and to automatically classify the child as special needs, accessing Targeted Case Management funding benefits called kiddy kickbacks.

Novartis resolves its own kiddy kickback liabilities, generated from Social Security dollars while the States child welfare systems continue its pattern of practice of promoting the drugging of children.

Trileptal is a commonly prescribed as a psychotropic drug for foster children.

Wolverine Human Services of Michigan uses this drug liberally with foster children.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. to Pay More Than $420 Million to Resolve Off-label Promotion and Kickback Allegations

WASHINGTON – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has agreed to pay $422.5 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal marketing of certain pharmaceutical products, the Justice Department announced today.

According to the agreement reached with the government, the East Hanover, N.J.-based company will plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $185 million combined criminal fine and forfeiture for the off-label promotion of Trileptal in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Trileptal as an anti-epileptic drug, for the treatment of partial seizures, but not for any psychiatric, pain or other uses. Once a pharmaceutical is approved by the FDA, a manufacturer may not market or promote it for any use not specified in its new drug application. The unauthorized uses are also known as "unapproved" or "off-label" uses.
In addition to the criminal fine and forfeiture, Novartis has agreed to pay $237.5 million to resolve civil allegations under the False Claims Act that the company unlawfully marketed Trileptal and five other drugs, and thereby caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs. Specifically, the civil settlement resolves allegations that Novartis illegally promoted Trileptal for a variety of uses, including psychiatric and pain uses, which were not medically accepted indications and therefore not covered by those programs. In addition, the agreement resolves allegations that the company paid kickbacks to health care professionals to induce them to prescribe Trileptal and five other drugs, Diovan, Zelnorm, Sandostatin, Exforge and Tekturna. The federal share of the civil settlement is $149,241,306, and the state Medicaid share of the civil settlement is $88,258,694.

"This resolution demonstrates the Department of Justice’s ongoing dedication to taking action against pharmaceutical fraud in all its forms," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. "Unlawful off-label promotion and providing illegal inducements to health care professionals undermine the integrity of our health care system and we will continue to pursue these types of violations."

"Off-label marketing can undermine the doctor-patient relationship and adversely influence the clear judgment that a doctor’s patients have come to rely on and trust," said Zane D. Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. "Pharmaceutical companies have a legal obligation to promote the drugs they manufacture only for uses that the Food and Drug Administration has deemed are safe and effective. That legal obligation takes priority over a company’s bottom line. This prosecution demonstrates our continuing commitment to ensure that pharmaceutical companies comply with the law."

The civil settlement resolves four lawsuits filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private citizens with knowledge of fraud to bring civil actions on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. The four cases are: U.S. ex rel. Austin v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; U.S. ex rel. McKee v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; U.S. ex rel. Copeland v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; and U.S. ex rel. Garrity v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. As part of today’s resolution, the whistleblowers, all former employees of Novartis, will receive payments totaling more than $25 million from the federal share of the civil recovery.

"This settlement represents a landmark victory in our district’s continuing battle against health care fraud. We intend to bring to justice any pharmaceutical company that attempts to cloud physicians’ medical judgment through kickback practices and illegal promotional activities," said A. Brian Albritton, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

Novartis also signed a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The company is subject to exclusion from Federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, for a material breach of this CIA and subject to monetary penalties for less significant breaches. Among other things, the CIA requires the board of directors (or a committee of the board) to annually review the company’s compliance program with the help of an outside expert and certify its effectiveness; that certain senior executives annually certify that their departments or functional areas are compliant; that Novartis send doctors a letter notifying them about the settlement; and that the company posts on its website information about payments to doctors, such as honoraria, travel or lodging. The five-year agreement further requires the implementation of a compliance program addressing promotional activities.

"OIG will carefully monitor the Corporate Integrity Agreement to ensure that Novartis is more transparent in its business transactions, that its Board of Directors is held more accountable, and that the names of physicians receiving payments are publicly disclosed," said Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson. "The result will be stronger protections for patients and the nation's taxpayers."

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Justice Department’s Office of Consumer Litigation prosecuted the criminal case. The Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida handled the civil lawsuit, with assistance from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units and the offices of various state attorneys general.

This settlement is part of the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and another step for the HEAT initiative, which was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in May 2009. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in that effort is the False Claims Act, which the Justice Department has used to recover approximately $3.445 billion since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 have topped $4.595 billion.

HHS OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Gratitude For Embracing The End Of Medicaid Fraud In Child Welfare

Today, I would like to extend my thanks to all who have taken the time to learn about Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare.

Today, I have officially broken the 10,000 mark on my site, and have exceeded the 110,000 level on the National Archive On Child Welfare Fraud.

In honor of this auspicious occasion, I share with you a taste of reality.

My Statement To Wayne State Board of Governors on Education Trust Report

Statement of Beverly Tran to Wayne State University Board of Governors on Education Trust Reports, Septembe...

A Baby LK Special Report CAPTA Reauthorization

Support the expansion of Medicaid and bring back its rules.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's The Difference Between Home Health Care and Foster Care?

Q: What's the difference between home health care fraud and foster care?

A: If you are busted for foster care fraud, you do no prison time and get to keep the money.

Home Health Agency Manager Pleads Guilty in Connection with Detroit Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON—Detroit-area resident Hassan Akhtar pleaded guilty today to his role in managing a home health care fraud scheme, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
Akhtar, 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. At sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 27, 2011, Akhtar faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to plea documents, Akhtar began working for co-conspirator Muhammad Shahab in April 2008. In June 2008, Shahab asked Akhtar if he wanted to assist Shahab in setting up and operating a new home health agency. Akhtar agreed to the arrangement. Shahab helped finance and establish All American Home Care Inc. located in Oak Park, Mich., which also purported to provide home health services. Akhtar was the office administrator and ran the day-to-day operations at All American.

Akhtar admitted that he and his co-conspirators at All American billed Medicare for home health visits that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided. To deceive the Medicare program, Akhtar and his associates created fictitious therapy files that appeared to document physical therapy services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact no such services had taken place. Akhtar admitted that he knew the fictitious services reflected in the files were billed to Medicare by All American.

Akhtar also admitted that he knew his co-conspirators paid cash kickbacks and other inducements to Medicare beneficiaries, in exchange for the beneficiaries’ Medicare numbers and signatures on documents falsely indicating that they had received home health services from All American. In addition, Akhtar’s co-conspirators secured physician referrals for home health services through the payment of kickbacks to physicians or individuals associated with physicians. Akhtar and his co-conspirators also employed several physical therapists and physical therapy assistants to sign medical documentation necessary to commence Medicare home health billing processes, including initial payments and payments for each visit to a Medicare beneficiary. Akhtar admitted that he knew the physical therapists and physical therapy assistants were not actually conducting a large majority of the visits or treating a large majority of the patients.

Between approximately June 2008 and October 2009, Akhtar and/or his co-conspirators at All American submitted claims to the Medicare program resulting in approximately $4.65 million for physical and occupational therapy services that were never rendered or were medically unnecessary.

Shahab pleaded guilty in February 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and is awaiting sentencing.

Today’s guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer; U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan; Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the HHS Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Chief John K. Neal and Trial Attorney Gejaa T. Gobena of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 810 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $1.85 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to:

Throwing Dead Babies Effect

Throwing dead babies is an effect I coined during the 2006 campaign of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.

Michigan had just gone through a horrific year where Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan had put on a television campaign for position of Chief Justic, asking everyone to call in and thank her for her wonderful work in foster care and adoption while almost 100 children had died in state care that year.

Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos during his campaign, began slinging the names of the murdered foster and adoptive children against Granholm.

Michigan OCO Ricky Holland Investigative Report

Basically, "Every Child Matters Education Fund" is throwing dead babies to promote a political agenda.

This national child abuse propaganda machine has again pumped up its political agenda without recognizing its public obligation to present the facts.

Similarities of this report are eerily reminiscent to other, less funded groups who are dedicated to bringing awareness to the higher occurrences of deaths of children in foster care than in the child's original home.

This report makes no distinction whether the deaths of these children were in foster care, post-adoption, or in placement of residential institutions.

The report fails to mention the number of children who have died from overmedication of psychotropic medications.

The report does shed light on the lack of transparency when dealing with investigations but the report, itself is far from transparency, itself, as it does not clarify "child abuse and neglect deaths".

The only indication to their application of child deaths is in the report's use of a graph of child deaths in the top "Rich Democracies". In this sense, child abuse and neglect would refer to poverty, making the terms fungible.

If this is the case, the report should note that the United States has the highest child mortality and child poverty rates compared to all industrialized nations; hence, poorer children are more likelier to be abused.

The report, sadly, neglected to acknowledge Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse in child welfare, and its ancillary programs of Title IV-B and Title IV-E, further demonstrating the lack of accountability of this advocacy group.

I speculate this report was a collaborative effort of imperialistic morality parade drummers who are rallying for the existence of their operations utilizing the "throwing dead babies effect."

Recently, legislation was introduced to reauthorize Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA). As I believe this is the case, this report, along with the organization, is a textbook example of how a non-profit structured for educational purposes crosses the line to perform lobbying activities.

I am absolutely against the re-authorization of CAPTA.

I support the expansion of Medicaid to include all child welfare programming. Removal of a child would no longer be based upon poverty indicators, sugar glazed as the term neglect. The mechanisms for regulation are already in place and would only have to be encouraged.

Since this report did not reference or cite its sources, I will do it for them:

Just like the bifurcation of the deaths of children in foster care and those who are not,

NEW Report: Second edition of “We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America"...foster care

Every Child Matters is pleased to announce the release of the second edition ofWe Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America, a compelling report that explores the growing crisis of child maltreatment fatalities in America. The report, however bleak, offers hope and insight on how to reduce these tragic, yet preventable fatalities.

The report recognizes the growing number of American children who die each year as a result of child abuse and neglect -- nearly 2,000 -- and several studies suggest that this is a low estimate of the actual number of deaths. Among rich democracies, this rate is 3 times higher than that of Canada and 11 times higher than that of Italy...more

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beverly Tran To Speak To Wayne State University Board Of Governors

Official Notice of Public Meetings
The Wayne State University Board of Governors and three of its standing committees will meet on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 3:00 p.m. All meetings will held in Rooms BC at McGregor Memorial Conference, 495 W. Ferry Mall, Detroit, MI 48202.

Wayne State Board of Governor's Grant To Request To Speak By Beverly Tran

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baby LK Report: September 26, 2010

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry.

Pennsylvania Beats Michigan In The Medicaid Fraud Cakewalk

State Medicaid Fraud Schemes
Doing the Cakewalk
I thought Michigan was bold and brazen with their revenue-maximization schemes saying,

"Well, we let the fraud happen because you said the rules were suspended!"

But Pennsylvania takes the cake.

Ok, let me sum this up:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid determine that the state overpaid ACPA, a managed care organization.

The state said, "Okie dokie, no problemo, we will pay it back!"

The state took the money back from ACPA and paid the feds back.

Then, the state paid ACPA back the money it took from them to pay back the feds, then filed the claim again for reimbursement.

HHS Appellate Decision on Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare 2009 ACPA

Michigan's Logic Is Flawed By $89 Million

With the advancements of technology and the public denial of Medicaid fraud in child welfare by elected and appointed officials, I have decided to throw their dirty laundry on the front lawn.

There are many others who are aware of the pervasive fraud in child welfare, but none as knowledgeable as myself.

The following is an example of the lengths the Attorney General will go to scrape the bottom of the dumpster to find any excuse to argue out the fact that it is about to subject the State of Michigan to unprecedented levels of federal financial sanctions, just because it will not do its duty to stop Medicaid fraud.

Michigan's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is an elusive apparition, only existing on a webpage in the cyberworld.

I have submitted FOIAs to gain access to the model of the Michigan's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit but have been constantly ignored, even with Senatorial intervention.

There are going to be more disallowances as Michigan refuses to speak upon this subject matter in public.

Michigan has an extremely distorted logic when it comes to political participation of its citizens. Here, we have the perfect opportunity in these final stages of election season to tempt the candidates to speak upon Medicaid fraud in child welfare. It will never happen. I tried.

Michigan's logic is to not tell the public about this because its a $6 Billion dollar secret.

HHS Appellate Decision on Michigan Department of Community Health 2009

More to come...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Contribution To Viet Nam's Child Protection System

Viet Nam has a golden opportunity to present to the world a modern child protection system.

Replete with the expertise of key international leaders, the effort to design a system which functions with a focus on the profitable future of society would not be complete without my contribution:

  1. Accreditation: Establish a transparent process for accreditation of all state-wide child welfare/social service agencies.  Even though the example I present is based on adoptions, there needs to be a universal accreditation process;
  2. National Complaint Registry: Construct a national complaint registry for any individual involved in the child protection system to have a voice.  Whether that voice is to lodge a complaint for child protection, or questionable actions and inactions of a social worker, or the child welfare agency, the people will be empowered to be the regulators.  Allow public access to this registry in the area of complaints made on child welfare/social services agencies for the purposes of publishing findings leading to contractual debarment, sanctions, prosecution and recovery of public funds;
  3. Community involvement: The best practice for public awareness and education is to allow the public to be involved.  Each segment of the system should include community interaction, allowing community leaders to directly participate in the policy process.  Community involvement also includes the voice of children.  Let them always be heard. 

Ha Nhi ethnic minority children play on a see-saw in Y Ty Commune, Bat Xat District in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
Ha Nhi ethnic minority children play on a see-saw in Y Ty Commune, Bat Xat District in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI — Viet Nam needs to build a child protection system that paves the way to long-term, sustainable solutions to prevent the abuse of children, says Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The minister also identified two tasks crucial to ensuring a safer environment for children – especially as the public becomes more worried about an increase in their abuse – while speaking at a national workshop to discuss the prevention and control of the abuse of children in Ha Noi yesterday,
These were to improve the quality of staff working with children throughout the country and the establishment of social services, public and private, that systematically, continuously and professionally protect children.
Public Security Ministry's statistics show that on average, more than 100 incidents of child murder; 800 of sexual abuse and about 50 kidnappings are detected and punished each year.
Education and Training Ministry figures recorded about 1,600 incidents of violence in and out schools involving about 3,200 students last year.
Child Care and Protection Department director Nguyen Hai Huu told the workshop that relatives, neighbours, acquaintances and even parents were reported for having abused children. A survey of 13 Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces in the past year found that children under 6 accounted for 13.per cent of the victims; children 6 to 13, 37.2 per cent; and children 13 to 16, 49 per cent.
Participants at the workshop agreed lack of awareness and a safe friendly environment for children together with a shortage of social services and a child protection system were the reasons the abuse continued.
Public Security Ministry representative Nguyen Chi Viet told the workshop that a more comprehensive, detailed law to protect children was needed.
It should include regulations governing the responsibility of each agency; define the gravity of the offences; provide protection for witnesses or those who report abuse and the establishment of investigation procedures and special courts for children.
The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, had worked with the ministry to establish investigation rooms suited to children, he said.
UNICEF Viet Nam representative Graig Burgess told the workshop that it was a critical and appropriate time for Viet Nam to develop a complete child-protection system.
The system should clearly define the legal role of relevant agencies in child care and protection as well as provide a clear definition of abuse and violence against children.
It should also include a reporting system with well-trained people.
The UN representative said child protection was an integral part of Viet Nam's social welfare policies, services for the disadvantaged or those to improve public's physical and mental health.
UNICEF would help Viet Nam implement suitable measures and take advantage of international support, including perfecting its law system for children and train staff to ensure the safety and development opportunities for its children.
Representatives of provinces, cities and international organisations, including Plan International, the Children's Fund and World Vision, attended the one-day workshop. — VNS