Has Ridge Creek School, along with its affiliate facilities, taken a toll on the brass at Georgia's Department of Human Services(DHS) and the Office of Residential Child Care(ORCC)? Or is this just a result of "budget cuts," and "furloughs." Coincidence?
Director of the ORCC Mr. Dave Statton "exited" on Friday, along with Chief/General Counsel to Commissioner Clyde Reese,Ms. Brenda Woodard (reportedly from Dahlonega,Georgia). Ms. Woodard, to our knowledge, was not a participant in the conference, but Mr. Statton chaired.
Curiously, these exits occurred the day after a conference call between the DHS/ORCC, parents and advocates seeking help, answers and transparency for the safety of children at Ridge Creek School and its affiliated entities.
The at times congenial, contentious, and confrontational conference was filled with unsavory history and egregious current incidents at Ridge Creek,Inc./School and its affiliate entities(over the last two years)that painted a less than stellar picture. More importantly, that which we already new, in this case, the DHS/ORCC a regulatory agency for the State of Georgia, has not only failed the children in its care, the ORCC/DHS has failed in transparency not only to families in its constituency, but to out-of-state families seeking help for their children. There can be no more excuses and absolutely no justification for any of this. If the DHS/ORCC is in the 'dark' then it is time to find a crack that leads the agency to light and truth.
Did the parent and advocate voices fall on deaf ears? If the "exits" of Dave Statton and Brenda Woodard, the day after the conference, give any indication ... maybe not. However, indication of what? Surely these individuals didn't "exit" because of "budget cuts"; perhaps ethics, so long overdue, but why now? They were "lifers." Timing is curious. Cleaning house? If indeed the DHS/ORCC is cleaning house, there are a few more brass that come highly recommended to sweep out the door. If not, and this is all coincidental, it's time the DHS/ORCC should!
Moreover, this sums it up aptly:
RCS - A piece of historical fiction?..
RCS can advertise and market all they want for services the conglomerate cannot provide. This has gone on since the schools inception in the later part of the 1990's. It is actually a fascinating 'story,' one that was woven time and again. From the Director of Counseling Tom Sisk with the fabricated Phd. that wrote ISP's for troubled children in a unlicensed facility to Leslie Goldberg, the ever iconic educational consultant whom sent the youths to Tom Sisk at Hidden Lake Academy and Ridge Creek, Inc.(then the Wilderness program RCI). It's all in the ORCC/ORS/DHS documents, government documents, and emails. What can the parties(DHS/ORS/ORCC/DHS plead, they didn't know? It is your job! History shows that over 10 years, the same violations are cited at affiliated entities on the same compound, yet there are no consequences. ORS/ORCC letters addressed to the school, time and again, threaten sanctions, adverse action, fines, and yet nothing. One survey report cited 31 violations, with 13 repeat violations, in an "F" category. At the time of this writing, ORCC cannot find record to confirm any adverse action was taken by ORS/ORCC relating this report. Nor could this writer.
The early and later documents appear to tell an amazing "story," allegations and reports that are wrought with fraud, deceit,sex,violence, insanity, corruption,negligence on all parties, abuse, brilliant accounting, and the list could go on. Clarke Poole's released emails would take at least a few weeks to shoot - and that would be on the first take. It would need to be a mini-series as a two hour movie just wouldn't cut it - connecting the dots would take umpteen agents, with a least twelve tablet screens.
People respond, "I honestly have never seen anything like this." There is blatant disregard for the children and youths at every level. One would think that the DHS/ORCC allegiance would be to the children and their protection. Think again. Every agency has stone-walled each and every inquiry either with purpose, because they are inept, or have no clue as to what has been transpiring. I am starting to wonder whether the GAO agents in Washington were right, stating that "the agencies in Georgia all dropped the ball." I don't think they ever had "the ball."
Phil Elberg's video regarding his dealings with KIDS hit it out of the park, but this one, if indeed true, is at the very least, a home-run in that park.
And that's my take - "For the children left behind."