Friday, September 28, 2012

Ohio Admits Child Welfare Not Working

Ohio is the next state to stand up and admits it child welfare system does not work.  In this instance the state is providing subsidy to families to take in relatives instead of dumping the kids in high-priced, low-quality state care.

This is actually, dare I say, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

State may allow the families to receive foster-care money

Ohio might join other states in giving some foster-care money to relatives who take in family members’ children

For Regene Denton to become the grandparent of her dreams — retired, relaxed, happy to host and spoil the grandkids occasionally — she would have had to allow seven of them to go into foster care. 

“I run into a lot of people who say, ‘You’re crazy,’  ’’ said Denton, who now has legal custody of four girls and three boys ages 1 to 13 years. 

She and her husband, Paul, are tired, pressed for money and certain they did the right thing.
“I guess some people do turn away,” Mrs. Denton said. “We couldn’t.”

As child-welfare agencies in Ohio and throughout the nation work to increase such kinship placements as the preferred alternative to foster care, advocates say the families need more financial support to manage households that double, triple or even quadruple overnight.

Thirty states now have kinship-guardian assistance programs that allow the families to receive foster-care money. Ohio is considering joining them.

“We know that kids do better in a family setting,” said Chip Spinning, executive director of Franklin County Children Services. “They have better outcomes, do better in school. But some of our families don’t have the financial resources to take care of them.”

The federal Fostering Connections Act approved in 2008 authorized states to start kinship-subsidy programs. Kinship caregivers generally have to meet state foster-parent licensing requirements to obtain the subsidies. But, supporters note, the federal program also allows states to waive some of the nonsafety and health requirements case by case.

“You can’t waive criminal-background checks or histories of child abuse or neglect,” said Crystal Ward Allen, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. “What you could waive for the families are a lot of our rigid foster-care rules about things like bedroom size, closet space, window specifications.”

Spokesman Benjamin Johnson said the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has not made a formal recommendation. About 63 percent of the money for kinship subsidies would come from the federal government, with the rest a mix of state and local funds.

He and Allen said a study group is considering a maximum monthly benefit of $300 per child.
Spinning said there’s no doubt that the program would be cheaper than foster care. The average monthly cost to the Franklin County agency to keep one child in paid care is about $3,500 a month, he said. Over the course of a yearlong placement, the total is close to $44,000.

“It’s wonderful that Ohio is considering this,” said Jennifer Miller of ChildFocus, a national child-welfare policy and research firm. “You’re saving in terms of court oversight, monthly visits, multiple foster-care moves, many things.”

Families such as the Dentons do receive some financial assistance. The state’s Kinship Permanency Incentive Program provides an initial benefit of $450 per child and an ongoing benefit of up to five payments of $250. But it ends after three years.

Families also are often eligible for child-only welfare money, which is about $268 a month for one child. The incremental increase for multiple children is relatively small, Allen said. For a third child, it’s about $73 a month.

That’s why families who take in sibling groups would benefit most under a kinship-assistance program that draws from foster funds. The Dentons took custody of five of their grandchildren, who belong to one of their sons, about five years ago. Two children of another son were placed with them recently.

Mrs. Denton said she and her husband, a retired custodian, receive about $1,600 in food stamps and cash to care for the children. The East Side couple also have two teenage grandsons living with them — a daughter’s children — who were not officially placed by Children Services.

“We have a little bitty house, but we make it work,” said Mrs. Denton, 57. “The kids are happy. I don’t let them see me sweat.”

Mr. Denton, 62, has built makeshift clothing racks, and the family uses lots of plastic storage bins. Bedrooms are full. Mrs. Denton constantly worries about Christmas.

But she believes that the children will fare better under her wing than in a foster system where stability is often elusive.

The Dentons say they’re grateful for the help they’ve received so far from the state and Children Services. If no more comes, they won’t waver. “Some of these kids want to be doctors and lawyers,”

Mrs. Denton said, laughing. “We’re pretty busy.”

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Maine Claims Medicaid Fraud Does Not Exist

Since Maine seems to be all freed up with investigations of medicaid fraud, perhaps Michael Miller's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit can finally start looking into Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

Statewide Medicaid fraud probe ends with no charges

ROCKLAND, Maine — A wide-ranging investigation into possible Medicaid fraud involving health care providers that extended tangentially to a midcoast Maine Drug Enforcement agent has ended without anyone being charged.
Michael Miller, director of the Healthcare Crimes Unit at the Maine Attorney General’s Office, said Thursday that the investigation ended in May 2012. Miller said no charges were filed and that no civil actions have been taken by the state agency against anyone.
The investigation had been focused on prescription practices of pharmacies.
Miller would not discuss any other aspects of the investigation.
The investigation came to light when defense attorneys sought to use one report within the wide-ranging statewide probe to challenge the credibility of former MDEA agent Kirk Guerrette.
Guerrette, who is now a lieutenant with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, has maintained since the issue was raised publicly that he had not done anything wrong. On Thursday, he issued a written statement, after being told by the BDN that the investigation was over.
“I am glad the truth has finally been revealed and that my family and I can finally put this behind us as my family has been so negatively affected by all the controversy surrounding the AG investigation,” Guerrette said. “It would have been courteous and considerate to hear from the AG’s office personally regarding its conclusion to this investigation.”
Guerrette’s name first surfaced publicly during a March 2011 hearing in Knox County Superior Court, when investigators revealed that 4,200 pages and 42 compact discs of information already had been compiled from the investigation, which had been ongoing since at least 2010.
Miller argued at the March 2011 hearing that the records should not be given out to defense attorneys who wanted them in an effort to find evidence that might discredit Guerrette, who was to be a witness in 44 criminal drug cases.
Miller said last year that a single report that referred to Guerrette was part of a complicated investigation that was far from complete. She said it involved numerous parties.
“In direct competition with defendant’s rights is the compelling interest of HCU in maintaining the confidentiality of its intelligence and investigative information,” Miller wrote in court documents. “Disclosure of the HCU information would prematurely reveal the scope, nature and direction of HCU’s case, allow suspects to construct defenses, and create a possibility of evidence destruction, witness harassment or intimidation.”
The investigation was complex and involved many people, Miller wrote. Even if the people who saw it were sworn to secrecy, it could still get leaked and foil the unit’s work, she wrote last year.
The Healthcare Crime Unit investigates MaineCare fraud and crimes committed by health care providers. The unit would investigate a law enforcement officer only if he were involved in a larger “criminal scheme or conspiracy” that involved a MaineCare provider, Miller said back in March 2011.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm later ordered that some of the material be turned over to defense attorneys but said it could not be released publicly.
Guerrette had worked as an agent for MDEA, assigned from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, until December 2010. That December, MDEA Director Roy McKinney sent Guerrette back early to the sheriff’s office for unspecified reasons. He was cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal sheriff’s office investigation, according to Sheriff Donna Dennison, who promoted him to lieutenant.
In his statement on Thursday, Guerrette said, “It would have been courteous and considerate to hear from the AG’s office personally regarding its conclusion to this investigation … but again … as they told me all along … I was just a witness in this investigation. If this is what witnesses have to endure … I do not wish this on anyone. So now that my duties as a ‘witness’ have ended, I look forward to restoring my career, my reputation and family which was so negatively impacted by all of this.”
Defense attorney Jeremy Pratt, who represented some of the defendants on the list of 44 cases, said he thought someone should have been charged as a result of the state investigation. He declined to say who should have been charged.
Defense attorney Joseph Steinberger, who represented one of the drug defendants on the list, said he feels there is a double standard being used by government on drug laws.
“There’s a double standard. If you have enough money, you can get a doctor to write you a prescription, but if you buy the same drug on the black market, you become a felon,” Steinberger said.
He said police officers have a lot of power.
Guerrette said in March that all but three of the 44 criminal cases that were on the list in which he was a witness had been resolved. Pratt said Thursday that he knows most of the cases were settled.
One of the pending cases is that of Christian Neils, 35, of Hope, who is charged with aggravated trafficking in marijuana at his home in Hope in September 2010.
Neils’ attorney Leonard Sharon had sought to throw out a search warrant, arguing that it may not have been granted if the person approving the search warrant had known of Guerrette’s use of prescription drugs.
Justice Hjelm disagreed, however, and in June rejected a request by Sharon to have a full hearing to try to throw out the search warrant. Hjelm stated in his ruling that the only evidence provided was affidavits filed by Sharon that refer to claims by others about Guerrette and his alleged excessive use of the sleep aid Ambien. The judge ruled that some of the information in Sharon’s filings were about Guerrette’s alleged Ambien use at a time that had no bearing on the September 2010 search.

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Michigan To Be Sued For Child Racketeering

No matter how many times the state administrators of child welfare get called out in a court of law or in the media, they still get a paycheck.  These administrators should be placed on the central registry for covering up all the children in foster care who are raped, tortured, drugged to death, murdered, who have attempted and those who have successfully committed suicide.

Fire them all and dismantle Michigan Children's Institute.  There are no constitutional rights in the child welfare system, it's an organized racket.  Even SCOTUS is about to endoctrinate that foster children have no civil rights;.

Does Michigan registry violate constitutional rights?

(WXYZ) - It’s a list you probably never heard of, but once your name is on it, you can lose your job and reputation. It’s not easy to have your name removed from the list, and a Michigan attorney says the process that adds tens of thousands of new names to the list every year may be unconstitutional.

Not only has this Michigan attorney set forth a valid claim, she is backed up federal case law and my analytical brief.

Continuing along with the building of our constitutional challenge to Michigan's Central Registry, one can be amazed that there is a federal report supporting this Michigan attorney's claims.
National Child Abuse Registry Feasibility Report 2009

What will repulse you the most is the Director of the Michigan Central Registry, Collin Parks is that after the bloody battle one will engage when attempting to decide if he is lying through his teeth or as dumb as a bag of rocks, you will have to prepare to stomach the audacity of the state coming up with their affirmative defenses that the registry is constitutional.  

Please remember, I am An Original Source and I am going call this man on the carpet.

It’s called the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry, established and maintained by the State Department of Human Resources. Right now there are more than 350,000 names on the registry. 

Among them, however, are people who insist they have done nothing wrong to warrant their inclusion, and they say they have a great track record of caring for children.

Anyone can be on the Registry.  It is overseen by a group of arrogant imbeciles who were using the it as a, well let's just say a proactive immunity device to shield the state, inclusive of its private contracted agencies and counties, from lawsuits.

Take Debbie and Kevin Turner of Jackson. Years ago they adopted their two-and-a-half year old niece Miranda when it became clear the child’s parents could not care for the little girl. As Miranda grew, so did the evidence of mental illness and defect which included bizarre violent behavior and attacks on animals and adults in the house and at treatment facilities the child was taken to.  

“She’s my niece,” a tearful Debbie told 7 Action News. “ I still care for her.”

But, in the same breath, Debbie admits it hasn’t been easy. “She started hurting dogs. She liked fire. She was cutting Barbie dolls heads off.” Then Debbie added, as Miranda became a teenager, things got worse.  “We called the police at times because Miranda was violent. She always threatened she was going to kill me with a knife. She said I’m going to kill you and burn the house down.”

“That’s when I finally put my foot down and said I wasn’t going to be threatened anymore,” said Kevin Turner. “The fear factor was enough. The stress, the anxiety. Everything.”

Two years ago the Turners made the difficult decision to give Miranda up to the state for treatment and care. That decision got them placed on the central registry.

Let's examine plausible reasons why the decision to put these caregivers on the central registry.  First, you are placed on the registry in less than 24 hours after there is intervention of Child Protective Services.  This is how the billing of Medicaid begins, or should I say the Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

CPS will bring ex-parte action in the court without every letting you know you have a case.  The judge,   or a clerk of the court, or anyone with the rubber stamp of the judge, will automatically, 100% of the time, approve the request and grant authority for CPS to do whatever the worker wishes to do.  This is the first placement order of the judge.  This ex-parte order is so crucial because it determines the funding streams, rather, who is going to pay for the child.  

Here is an actual training presentation from the Michigan Child Welfare Training Institute:
Michigan Title IV E Funding Presentation 5-2008

There is no attorney involved.  The state attorney general, if it is Wayne County, or the counties prosecutor will step in after CPS has creatively generated, opps, I mean filed its investigative findings withthe court.  Whatever entity is legally representing the state, trust and believe they have only looked at the 'creatively generated' court report for the first time when they show up for court that day.  

In Battle Creek, Helen Miller and her husband have been fighting to get their names removed from the registry. “They took every foster kid I had. I had four at the time.” That painful memory is part of a scenario that still puzzles Helen- how a mistake, and a family situation unknown to her and her husband has dominated their lives.

“After 26 years of doing foster care, you’d think you’d want to keep some people around that have changed kids' lives,” Dan says. Helen and Dan Miller run a 90 acre horse farm and training facility outside Battle Creek where they have spent much of the past 26 years helping more than 100 children grow into productive adults. But just one mistake, allowing two teenaged foster children to stay the night with her daughter, got them placed on the central registry.

”She was seeing her ex-husband again,” Helen said of her daughter. There were drugs in the house that she says the ex-husband was dealing on the side while working a blue collar job doing repairs. “We didn’t know about it,” she said. The kids were there when police conducted a drug raid. A DHS investigation followed, and two days later, four children were briefly removed from the Millers home. A judge heard the facts, gave the children back to the couple, but their names remain on the registry, which keeps Helen from doing the job she loves so much.

“I can’t foster, I can’t get a job anywhere, and background check, I can’t get a job,” she says.

Debbie Turner also lost the job she had for 17 years after the state put her on the registry. She worked at a head-start program as a secretary. Once on the registry, you can’t have contact with kids, though Turner says she never had contract with children at her job. “What we did wrong was take a child, and love her and try to make her as our own, with our other children, and it blew up in our face,” she says.

“Across the country there is abundant data that says that these registries are unreliable,” says attorney Elizabeth Warner. “So, it’s of no use to anybody to protect children.” Warner represents Debbie and Helen in an effort to get them off the registry, which she says is very hard to do. According to the state, more than 350,000 people are on the registry, which is intended to protect children from people determined to be abusive or neglectful. Warner says the registry violates people’s constitutional rights because they are not given their day in court to fight the abuse and neglect allegations before a child protective service worker puts them on the registry.

Lest not forget this classic audit from the Michigan Auditor General on the corruption of the system and incompetence of administration of the central registry.
Michigan Audit of Department of Human Services 2004

Warner says “actually, in our constitutional system, they can’t cut off your electricity or welfare benefits without giving you a fair hearing first. But in Michigan, they can put you on the black list of child abusers, and they don’t have to give year a hearing, and that’s written in the law.”

Not until you are put on the registry can you request a hearing to get off the list.

“I’m guilty before I’m proven innocent and I didn’t do anything,” Debbie says.

But, Colin Parks who heads Child Protective Services, which is part of the Department of Human Services, defends how the registry works.

I have not been keeping up with the musical chairs of administration over at DHS but I do remember a piece fecal matter by the name of Steve Yager.  

Steve Yager was a final decision maker on who would get off the central registry.  Here is a quote from one of his decisions of why he would not remove a person from the registry:

"You are denied your request to be removed from the central registry because you were placed on the central registry."

When there is a hearing to remove a name from the central registry, it is recorded.  Here is an actual quote from an administrative law judge in such hearing"

"There are no constitutionalities in this proceeding."

He says everyone is thoroughly investigated before their name is added to it. “It is evidence based,” Parks says. “It’s not a subjective decision. The worker doesn’t arbitrarily make a decision to put somebody on the registry.”

Sometimes the decisions are not just arbitrary, they are also capricious.  It's Michigan's philosophy under the Cotton Doctrine.  Upon exiting the child welfare system through a consent decision of the Michigan Children's Institute Superintendent Bill Johnson, the Cotton Doctrine is used to defend the placement decisions of the state.  One must prove the Superintendent did not whimsically make a decision, albeit the decision was wrong.

Upon entry of the child welfare system, (the central registry) one must prove the decision, albeit wrong, was done whimsically.  The Cotton Doctrine is what Collin Parks is spouting.

As God is my witness, depose me.  Call me to the stand under oath and I will give you copiously preserved state records that will emphatically prove that Collin Parks is utterly incompetent to be in his position and that the state is covering up Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

Asked if the state should first hold a hearing before adding a name to the list, Parks said no, because there isn’t time or resources to do it with more than 80,000 new child abuse and neglect cases under investigation every year. “Out of all of those cases, the expectation that somebody would be able to review those decisions would be a very time consuming task,” he said. “I’m concerned that based on that volume if it would be possible.”

At this time I am asking everyone who reads this to formally request a background on your name to find out if you are on the central registry.  Even though you may never had children or never been around children, do anyway just to see the system implode to demonstrate that the central registry is the cover up for Michigan's child welfare fraud schemes right as the federal case is being filed.  Besides, how would you know if you were never notified?

Attorney Warner plans to sue the state over the central registry in federal court early next month. She wants Michigan to do what other states with registries have done: hold a hearing before a person is added to the list.

There is no such thing as due process in child welfare.  

Get them.  Call me when you need me.  I got more.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Michigan Bill Admitting Its Foster Care System Does Not Work

It seems Michigan is beginning to realize it cannot keep chugging along its usual path in child welfare.

Under federal law, the process of termination of parental rights begins early on in the 48 month period.  The terms 'abuse and 'neglect' are so ambiguous the state and its contracted child placing agencies will advance the clock with its unattainable concurrent plans.

What this means is if a parent is incarcerated or will be during the 24 month period of placement proceedings, the state would make the assumption of the adoption placement as the only option.  This opens up federal adoption assistance payments and adoption subsidies, relieving the state of its portion of payment obligation.

Child support is a good example.

If a parent cannot pay child support, there is typically incarceration somewhere in the penalty equation. There are instances where the state will charge a parent for child support while the child is being billed for Title IV-E placement.  Mind you, if the parent pays the state, the state does not reimburse the feds.

Then during the placement proceedings the judge may trigger the Friend of the Court to proceed in prosecution of other child support cases.  Now the parent is in prison for not being able to pay for not having a job, who now has a felony child support conviction and cannot find a job because of it.

The state is stuck with a kid it is not fit to support because Michigan Children's Institute is an artificial edifice specifically reanimated for the sole purposes of maximizing federal revenue through a multitude of fraud schemes.  The child is not adoptable because of bitterness of what the state did to take them away.  Trauma of foster care manifests mental illness for which the state does not properly treat.  There is little to no hope of graduating from high school because the state does not educate the kid.  Including unusual sexual experiences by other foster kids at a young age, the kid is prepared to age out the system to a life of drugs and prostitution, all because the state would not give a poor parent a chance.

It's cheaper to keep the family together.

Senate Bill 1303: Revise parental rights termination detail
Introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R) on September 20, 2012, to give the state Department of Human Services more discretion in choosing whether to provide services to help reunify a child under court jurisdiction for neglect or abuse with his or her parent in situations involving a parent who is or will be imprisoned for two or more years.

Now, what about some reinstatement legislation and getting rid of that useless waste of state funded strawman called Michigan Children's Institute.  Here are some Michigan reinstatement legislative actions along with my 2 cents.

Here is reinstatement of parental rights law from the State of Maine.Reinstatement of Parental Rights Presentation -Maine DHHS Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Rep. Keith Ellison presents to Rep. John Conyers with John Nichols, Tim Carpenter

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thanks CPS For Graciously Providing Content For This Video - Baby LK Report for September 23, 2012

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry. Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

John Conyers Jr. PoliticIt Exclusive Interview

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Individuals Charged in Detroit for Alleged Roles in $24.7 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

If I only knew then what I know now I would have filed a FCA.

It just so happens I actually assisted in setting up one of these Home Health Care companies.  I left because it was just too ghetto (a.k.a. fraud).  Little did I know it was the onset of a major Medicare fraud scheme.

These people bilked far more than $24 million out of Medicare and Medicaid.

A bit of background information.  This scheme originated with medical transport.  They would bill Medicaid and Medicare for fake transports.  The name of the company was Accu-Care, HHC, LLC.  I suppose I can list it as part of my expertise in Medicaid fraud.

Just remember, if they do it in Medicare, they do it ten times worse in child welfare with Medicaid.  One of these days someone is going to take me seriously.

Five Individuals Charged in Detroit for Alleged Roles in $24.7 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Four Additional Defendants Were Previously Charged for Their Roles in the Scheme

WASHINGTON – Five individuals were charged in court documents unsealed today in the Eastern District of Michigan for their participation in a Medicare fraud scheme involving purported home health and psychotherapy services, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

According to court documents, the scheme allegedly involved a total of more than $24.7 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare for purported home health care and psychotherapy services that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided.

Court documents allege that the defendants are operators, employees and marketers associated with home health care and psychotherapy clinics operating in and around Detroit. Defendants charged in court documents unsealed today include: Mohammed Sadiq, 65, Troy, Mich.; Jamella Al-Jumail, 23, of Brownstown, Mich.; Firas Alky, 40, of Shelby Township, Mich.; Clarence Cooper, 53, of Detroit; and Beverly Cooper, 58, of Detroit.

Four defendants charged in the superseding indictment were previously charged and arrested in May 2012 for their roles in the scheme. Defendants previously charged include: Sachin Sharma, 36, of Shelby Township; Dana Sharma, 29, of Shelby Township; Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, aka Tony, 52, of Brownstown; Felicar Williams, 49, of Dearborn, Mich.

The superseding indictment charges all defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud; Sachin Sharma with five counts of health care fraud; Sachin Sharma, Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, Williams, Sadiq, Alky and Clarence Cooper with one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks; and Jamella Al-Jumail with one count of destruction of records in a federal investigation. The superseding indictment also seeks forfeiture from all defendants.

According to the superseding indictment, from January 2007 through April 2012, the defendants operated a large network of purported home health care and psychotherapy companies in the Detroit area through which they conspired to defraud Medicare.

According to court documents, Sachin Sharma, Dana Sharma, Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, Williams, Jamella Al-Jumail, Sadiq, Alky and other alleged co-conspirators incorporated home health care, psychotherapy and other medical service companies to carry out the scheme, including Reliance Home Care, LLC; First Choice Home Health Care Services Inc.; Associates in Home Care Inc.; Haven Adult Day Care Center LLC; Swift Home Care LLC; ABC Home Care Inc.; Accessible Home Care Inc.; and Be Well Home Care LLC. The defendants, along with co-conspirators, allegedly submitted Medicare enrollment applications to permit these companies to bill Medicare. Sachin Sharma, Abdul Malik-Al-Jumail, Sadiq, Alky and others allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes to recruiters, including Williams and Clarence Cooper, to obtain Medicare beneficiaries’ information, which could be used to fraudulently bill Medicare for purported services provided by the companies they operated and controlled. The defendants then allegedly caused these companies to bill Medicare for home health and psychotherapy services, even though these services were not medically necessary and were often not provided.

According to the superseding indictment, the defendants caused Reliance, First Choice, Associates, Haven, Swift, ABC, Accessible and other home health, psychotherapy and medical services companies to submit approximately $24.7 million in claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary and/or not provided. In addition, Jamella Al-Jumail is charged with destroying records relating to Accessible’s Medicare billings upon learning of the May 2012 arrest of Abdul Malik Al-Jumail, her co-conspirator and father.

Clarence and Beverly Cooper, Sadiq and Jamella Al-Jumail were arrested yesterday.
The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Assistant Chief Gejaa T. Gobena and Trial Attorney William G. Kanellis. The investigations were conducted jointly by the FBI and HHS-OIG, as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Criminal Division's Fraud Section.

Since its inception in March 2007, strike force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $4 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, go to:
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The Fleecing of Foster Children

Report by Children's Advocacy Institute on how states take foster kids money and leave them with nothing when they age out.

"The fraudulent use of a child’s Social Security benefits by a representative payee is of great concern. Usually a representative payee lives with the child and has firsthand knowledge of the long and short term needs of the child. However, with governments acting as representative payees for foster children, Social Security benefits are frequently dumped into an account and billed for services by someone who often has never even met the child let alone has intimate knowledge of the best interest needs of the child."

The next time someone tells you how wonderful the states take care of foster kids, make sure to send them this link.
The Fleecing of Foster Children Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (CBC/ALC) Anti-Bullying Braintrust

No one spoke on the abuses in foster care because foster kids have no civil rights.

Even though I have raised the issues of abuses and neglect in foster care to the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, it seems the political volatility of the States child welfare systems clashes with the financial agendas of religious and political leaders.

As cryptic as this statement may be, we must wait to see if SCOTUS will entertain the question of whether children have civil rights.

Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (CBC/ALC) Anti-Bullying Braintrust

Washington, DC
September 20, 2012

Speech of U.S. Department of Health & Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Thank you. I’m glad I could join you today.

We’re all here because we believe every child deserves a healthy start and a safe childhood. Every young person deserves the opportunity and the support to grow up strong and pursue his or her dreams.
This is our greatest hope as parents. But it’s also the best investment we can make in the future of our country.

That’s why over the last 3 years, this administration has made an unwavering commitment to our children.

We’ve invested in education giving incentives to states to innovate and improve school performance. And we’ve invested in quality child care and early education.

We’ve taken historic steps to protect kids from aggressive tobacco advertising. We’ve supported local public health programs that help young people get exercise and eat healthy. And we’ve worked with states to enroll those children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP but remain uninsured. As a result, even during tough economic times, more children have insurance today than ever before.

But if we want to make good on this progress, there is another important step we have to take. We need to make sure every child can grow up without intimidation, without violence, without fear in their lives.
When many of us were growing up, the attitude was that bullying was a rite of passage. Some people thought it made you tougher. Other people said: Just get through it and, you’ll be ok.

These ideas have stuck around. But what we know now is just how shortsighted they are. We know that bullying is not only dangerous in the moment, but the harm it does can last a lifetime.

Students involved in bullying are more likely to struggle in school, use drugs, and have physical and mental health issues that can linger well into adulthood. Young people who do the bullying also pay a price – they are more likely to be violent as adults and get involved in criminal activity.

Even bystanders, the young people who are witnesses to bullying, are more likely to become depressed, anxious, and feel unsafe at school. We also have research that shows that when Black and Hispanic youth are bullied, they’re more likely to suffer academically than their white peers.

So the truth is that just making it through bullying, doesn’t mean your child will be fine. What is even worse is that some do not even make it at all. We can only try to understand why some victims of bullying as young as 7 have felt so alone that they took their own lives. It is hard to imagine a bigger tragedy than someone at such precious age pushed so far beyond the reach of any help or hope.
And we need to do everything we can to prevent it.

The fact is that bullying is a serious public health issue. And it requires a serious public health response.
Bullying can happen in the locker room and the chat room -- on a crowded bus or an empty hallway -- in school and on facebook. It takes place anywhere and everywhere. And so, if we truly want to prevent and end bullying, we will have to mobilize entire communities against it.

Under President Obama we’ve taken historic steps to do exactly that. But we know we can’t do it alone. And to continue the momentum we’ve seen over the last few years, we need your continued support in three areas.

The first is to continue changing attitudes.

Programs like our Prevention Practices in Schools grant program ARE giving children positive social skills at a young age to prevent bullying and other risky behavior down the road.    
But adults also have a responsibly. We need to replace the old habits where  too many adults just turn their backs to bullying. Others may tell their kids to ‘knock it off,’ but leave it at that. They walk away and the bullying continues.

So, last month, together with the Ad Council, we launched a Public Service Campaign aimed at parents. The TV, print, and web ads encourage parents to talk to their kids about bullying, even if they are not directly involved, to change the climate of silent acceptance.

We have to work together to take apart the myths that say bullying is inevitable. just as important is the work we do next, to build up a culture where bullying can and must be prevented as early as possible.   
The second area we’re focusing on is putting more resources into people’s hands.

It can be hard to know where to start with a problem as far-reaching and complicated as bullying. That’s especially true if you’re a parent, teacher or principal looking for concrete steps you can take to protect your own kids in your own community. That’s why we’ve created a one-stop shop for bullying prevention tools at Its resource database includes more than 100 tool-kits, fact sheets, articles and program directories.

For anyone who comes to you asking ‘where do I begin?’ this should be your starting point. There is a revamped section for kids. And for young people who might be thinking about hurting themselves, the website shows them where they can get immediate help.

Our goal is to give people the support they need to become bullying prevention leaders in their own communities.

Over the years, experts from our Department have gone out to communities where they have trained school staff, coaches, parents and youth about the best practices of bullying prevention.

But we were limited in how many people we could reach directly. We knew that bullying was taking place in nearly every community in America, and we didn’t have the resources to go everywhere.
We do however have the tools to empower community leaders with the expertise to train and lead their own colleagues and neighbors. That’s the idea behind the new Training Module we made available for the first time last month on

Over and over again we’ve heard from local leaders who say ‘I want to establish a bullying prevention plan for my community, but I don’t know where to begin.’ Now, they have a great place to begin. They can download this research-based training right from the website and adapt it to their community’s unique needs.

A third area we’re focusing on is gaining a better understanding of bullying.
For many years, our picture of bullying was limited to anecdotal evidence, and a scattering of state and local surveys. But we have had very few rigorous studies about the specific factors, including race and ethnicity, that may put youth at risk for bullying or the specific steps that can protect them.
So we’ve begun to change that.

Our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have incorporated bullying to its Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the agency’s biennial snapshot of schools across the country. With new questions in the survey, we have a national picture of how many students experience bullying in school and which communities are more likely to face these challenges.

But this isn’t just a one-time picture. As the survey is repeated every two years, we will be able to measure our progress.  And I’m hopeful that over time, that’s exactly what we’ll see.

I know many of you have been working on these issues for many years.  Bullying is not new.  These are behaviors that have been around a long time. They are attitudes that have been handed down from one generation to the next.              

The only way to change that for all of us to commit to changing a culture that too often says, “It’s not my responsibility.” We need to start by handing down new values.

They are values that say we are all responsible for building and keeping a safe community. When you witness bullying you have an obligation to say something and get help. No one deserves to be hurt or intimidated. And no one can afford to be a bystander.

As a mother, I have seen the awful power of bullying on young people. And I know that any parent would move heaven and earth to defend her child from the pain and fear a bully might cause. Together, we can build a nation, where every single child, no matter who she is or where he lives, gets that same protection and support.

Thank you.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CBC Annual Legislative Conference – The Challenges of Criminal Justice Reform, A Year in Review

Chairman John Conyers Judiciary Braintrust: Advancing the Civil Rights Agenda

(DETROIT) – Tomorrow, Friday September 21st, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) will be hosting a Judiciary Braintrust on Advancing the Civil Rights Agenda. The first braintrust panel will be discussing disparities in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on how reform efforts have broadened to encompass international concerns such as human trafficking. This panel will feature experts from the judiciary, law enforcement, child welfare, and the advocacy community to provide an overview of continuing challenges – juvenile justice, drug and sentencing policy – and the progress made under the Obama administration.
WHAT:                 Judiciary Braintrust Panel on The Challenges of Criminal Justice Reform, A Year in Review

WHERE:               Washington Convention Center
                                Room 145-A
WHEN:                 Friday, September 21, 2012
                                11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHO:                   The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.)

                        The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)

                                Moderator: Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

                                Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at the NAACP

Jody Kent Lavy, Director & National Coordinator of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

                                Jiles H. Shipp, National President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

                                Julie Stewart, President of FAMM

                                Inimai Chettiar, Director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

                                Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project

                                John Page, President of the National Bar Association

                                Ron Scott, Spokesman of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality

                                Gary Luster, Former Mayor of Saginaw, Michigan

                                Albert Long, Activity Service Monitor/Employment Specialist at the Talbert House/Spring Grove

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

CBC Annual Legislative Conference – Protecting the Right to Vote

Chairman John Conyers Judiciary Braintrust: Advancing the Civil Rights Agenda

(DETROIT) – Tomorrow, Friday September 21st, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) will be hosting a Judiciary Braintrust on Advancing the Civil Rights Agenda. The third braintrust panel will be discussing how efforts  are underway across the country which  make it more difficult to cast a ballot. While couched in terms of voter fraud, these laws appear to  have their greatest impact by limiting participation of minorities, seniors and the young. Some of the new laws, notably those limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud. This braintrust will explore nationwide voter suppression efforts and continue the dialogue on how to defend access to the ballot box.
WHAT:                 Judiciary Braintrust Panel on Protecting the Right to Vote

WHERE:               Washington Convention Center
                                Room 145-A
WHEN:                 Friday, September 21, 2012
                                3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

WHO:                   The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.)

                                Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP

Roland Martin, CNN Analyst

Barbara R. Arnwine, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

                                Deborah J. Vagins, Senior Legislative Counsel for the ACLU Washington Legislative Office

                                Nicole M. Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel in the Washington Office of the Brennan Center for Justice

                                Tova Andrea Wang, Senior Democratic Fellow at Demos

                                Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change

                                Greg Moore, Executive Director of Operation Fair Vote Ohio

                                Adam Lioz, Counsel for the Democracy Program at Demos

                                Erin Hustings, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©