Hearings on alleged misuse of foster care moneyThursday, lawmakers heard from the state agency that oversees foster care. A Dane County foster care agency is alleged to have used millions of dollars in taxpayer money for cars, boats and vacations.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Thursday, lawmakers heard from the state agency that oversees foster care. A Dane County foster care agency is alleged to have used millions of dollars in taxpayer money for cars, boats and vacations.
At a public hearing, lawmakers sought answers to the apparent misuse of $6 million by the Dane County foster care agency Community Care Resources (CCR). Senate Health Committee Chair Leah Vukmir called the allegations “shocking” but noted the situation was eventually detected through a state audit.
“I look at this as a good news/bad news scenario,” Vukmir said. “The good news is the legislature gave the Department [of Children and Families] tools to discover what was going on. The bad news is, it makes you wonder how many more cases are there that need to be found.”
In the last budget, the state did fund six auditors for the agency which oversees foster care: the Department of Children and Families. But the department staff only audits high-risk providers. Secretary Eloise Anderson says the incident should not reflect badly on foster care in general.
“The kids who are licensed by CCR are being cared for and being cared for well,” she said. “I also want to make a statement to foster care parents across the state: I don't know what we would do without them.”
The Middleton couple who run the foster care are appealing revocation of their license to operate, and are disputing allegations first made public by the Wisconsin State Journal.