Privatization Can Be Fiscally Responsible
This was published 10/31/07 06:09 PM
The Governor should embrace with joy the championing of privatization of foster care and adoption services by Senator Hardiman. This is what we all have been awaiting.
Privatizing foster care and adoption services releases the constraints of enforcement within the executive branch. The Attorney General is now able to flick the switch of the oversight machine and provide accountability for the state and its families. This is what is to happen:
The responsibility of contract monitoring and compliance is transferred from DHS back into the hands of the Attorney General. For example, families whose children have been removed where privatized agencies do not believe in family reunification, can now file complaints with the Attorney General regarding protection of consumer rights. The Bureau of Children and Family Services Fraud Division may now protect, not just vulnerable adults, but vulnerable children and families.
When the Attorney General conducts investigations and finds material violations of law and policy by the privatized child placing agencies, he is now allowed to follow through with full prosecution of the agencies and their workers.
In turn, families are provided proactive services, there are no longer phantom programs funded by DHS, tens of millions of dollars in improper payments of improper, unnecessary services and placements of children in foster care are ameliorated.
The number of children entering foster care are reduced because privatized child placing agencies must promote and advocate for placement of children within the family which is more cost effective than having a child prescribed psychiatric medication to "calm" from the trauma of being ripped from his/her home and placed in a strangers home, further reducing medicaid waste and fraud.
Privatized child placing agencies, under the theory of punishment by deterrence, will produce accurate and transparent audit reports, simply from the fear of prosecution.
Practices of targeting minority and impoverished children, due to the fact that child abuse and neglect is an entitlement program, will cease in the face of civil rights penalties.
Michigan will become a model state for accountability and transparency by reducing dependency of federal funding streams in Social Security. The money saved by privatized child placing agencies can be invested in education, thus, replacing the state's number one industry (Human Services) with higher education.
Michigan is no longer liable for litigation. The Executive Office is no longer a demagogue to privatized child placing agencies who also lobby (many without proper IRS status), but becomes the fiscal savior of our families.
Everyone wins...except the privatized child placing agencies that violate federal and state laws and policies, under color of state law.
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