Well, well, well ... Instead of scouring the stench from the walls of the far from transparent Department of Human Services (DHS) and its sister agencies (including, but not limited to the ORCC/RCC, DFCS, DBHDD, CPS, and DJJ) that offer the appearance of being drenched in nepotism, chicanery, and ineptitude (after too numerous to list botched oversights including the infamous, now defunct, Downing Clark Center (now Downing Clark Hope Center and Academy, Inc.) and the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School facilities, Clyde Reese, Commissioner of the DHS rewarded those current and former directors in June with promotions ... a round of applause is hardly in order. Reward those who were complicit in containment and keeping the former Department of Human Resources(DHR) currently the Department of Human Services(DHS), and its sister agencies a "Protected Empire."(Ga. Sen. Nancy Schaefer)
One would think since Georgia ranked in first place as the most corrupt state in the US (*see below) a thousand Dyson's would hardly make a dent. *http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/03/16/8427/georgia-worst-score-country
“It is not the goal to put people out of business,” said Keith Bostick, (former)*director of the state Office of Residential Child Care. “We want to do as much as we can to try to keep kids safe. But it is a balancing act.”
REALLY, WELL BALANCE THIS:
Applying a partial text quote from a recent interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, "I think the people who say this set a new standard for human stupidity" - aptly sums things up. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that children's well-being and safety have determined those facilities need to not only be put out of business, but held accountable for their actions. The DHS Mission statement does not include teaching these "Hell-hole" facilities how to treat children with dignity, respect, and humanity.
DHS Mission statement:
"Strengthen Georgia by providing individuals and families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults."
NO WHERE DOES THE DHS MISSION STATE IT WAS CREATED TO PROTECT THE BUSINESSES THAT HARM CHILDREN.
NO WHERE DOES THE DHS MISSION STATE IT WAS CREATED TO PROTECT THE BUSINESSES THAT HARM CHILDREN.
"Promote accountability, transparency and quality in all services we deliver and programs we administer."
Parents and advocates state that as far back as 2002, accessing information from the DHR/DHS and its sister agencies was like pulling teeth - they were frequently being sent through a maze, involving hours of telephone calls to different departments in order to answer one simple question that never got answered. In the mid to later 2000's, not one director EVER informed a parent or advocate of the existence of the OFFICE OF THE CHILD ADVOCATE.
To make matters worse, DHS/ORCC/DFCS supervisors and their legal counsel do not follow their state's redaction statutes on documents requested through Georgia's Sunshine Act, Open Records Act, or FOIA. "If we left in the dates, you might figure out who it is."(2011) [See Reference Guide below]
This redaction insanity, culminated in thousands of dollars spent by child advocates (citizens) for blank pages, subjectively redacted per specifications/directives from immediate supervisors over redactors.
Apparently Georgia's DHS doesn't get that "those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." A little trip down memory lane appears in order.
One would think when Georgia elatedly sent former Chicago bureaucrat DHR Commissioner BJ Walker(hired in2004) back to Chicago, the Governor's Office would wake up. Afterall, Ms. Walker replaced DHR Commissioner Jim Martin who was reportedly forced to resign by Governor Sonny Perdue:
"Martin, a lawyer, resigned from his position as DHR commissioner in 2003 following the deaths of two toddlers whose families were being supervised by the state's Division of Family and Children Services, which is part of DHR." http://savannahnow.com/stories/052505/3056434.shtml
Governor Deal's office did manage to move the Office of the Child Advocate, er, not create it.
What was the DHS motto in 2011? According to the Office of Residential Child Care (ORCC) legal advisor, Ms. Pamela Carr Cosby and other supervisors, "Supervisors are allowed to subjectively change reports." Is that the same as "falsify?" "Falsifying records is a felony..." **[see article below - "DFCS OFFICE RAIDED IN COLUMBUS"]
Mr. Dave Statton, former Director of the ORCC, cleared out his desk last May of 2011 (officially a RIF) the morning after a conference call with parents/advocates, only to be replaced by Ms. LaMarva Ivory, who also participated in the conference call. Ms. Ivory is now - drum roll - DHS Deputy Inspector General.
It just doesn't get any better than this:
Under former DHR Commissioner BJ Walker, Ms. Carol Winstead was the former Director of the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) before the ORS became the Office of Residential Child Care (ORCC) under the DHS. In dealings with Ms. Winstead, it appeared she continually shirked her duties (DHR/DHS MISSION) by blatantly obfuscating the truth in dealing with complaints of families of those attending the now defunct Hidden Lake Academy ( "I've never heard of any complaints or concerns regarding Hidden Lake Academy or Ridge Creek Wilderness")(2004 -2006). Documents between Ms. Winstead, the Law Office of Quirk and Quirk, along with emails between families, and Ms. Winstead prove this was not the case. Prior to Ms. Winstead's tenure as Director, emails between Ms. Jo Cato (former Director of DHR's Child Care Licensing Division) and parent complaints exhibited more of the same. One parent stated the requested documents never arrived.
Ms. Winstead's position was then given to an interim director, then to another individual, Mr. Keith Bostick, who appeared clueless, (better than another apparent liar), and whom plead the fifth re: Creekside Wilderness program/facility, the unlicensed sister part of the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School facility.
Georgia's Department of Juvenile Justice had a contract with the above facility for juveniles under the phantom illegal, unlicensed Creekside Wilderness program/facility under Ridge Creek, Inc. Court records revealed Creekside as an unlicensed "half-way" house. According to DJJ Director Williams, every program facility must be licensed by the ORCC to have a contract with the DJJ. Additionally, Mr. Bostick stated that he knew of no contract between the DJJ and the facility. Odd, when under his watch, the Director of the ORS/ORCC, along with DJJ Contracts Director Williams, they must authorize the license for a contract and contracts clearly indicate Mr. Bostick was either misinformed, totally out-to-breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or he, too, obfuscated the truth. In a telephone call with Ms. Williams in the Fall of 2009, she stated that Mr. Bostick and herself were going to try to schedule a visit to the facility...? Uh, which one? Mr. Bostick remains at DFCS.
In addition, during the conference call noted above, former ORCC Director Statton and other directors/legal counsel never heard of Creekside.
Note: At this time, the ORCC statutes allowed several programs on the same compound, but they were to be licensed.
Even better, according to the DJJ, their stimulus money was used to pay the per diems for the juvenile offenders to attend the unlicensed, mythical Creekside Wilderness program facility (Ridge Creek School facility) via the DJJ.
Juvenile offenders (including violent offenders) were now commingled with private pay children/special needs, all the while being told by the Ridge Creek School facility that there were no juvenile offenders. Medicaid anyone? Let's not forget the out-of-state commingled juvenile offenders either.
Mr. Bostick's ORS/ORCC was responsible for rewarding, sanctioning and licensing another facility program on the same compound, Mountain Brook Academy in the midst of a Class Action Lawsuit and hundreds of complaints. The town of Dahlonega, meantime, shut down a proposal under the corporate veil of Ridge Creek, Inc. to have a lock-down facility for juveniles on separate grounds called Mountain Brook Academy. Apparently, no one reads or does research either at the DHS and its sister agencies. Mr. Bostick remains at DFCS.
BJ Walker : http://oig.georgia.gov/sites/oig.georgia.gov/files/imported/OIG/Files/08-080_DHR_roi.pdf
The list goes on: For more - enjoy the article:
The Feds raided the wrong 'house'. DA in Georgia asks for the GBI's help only after learning of the Federal investigation. The latter speaks volumes.
**In another article:
"Systemic" is an understatement. The alleged fraud is from the top down. If the DHS/ORCC's own attorney states that the supervisors are allowed to subjectively change DFCS/ORCC investigator reports and the Feds say it is illegal to falsify reports - aside from a case of semantics, there is a serious CONFLICT here. Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Cobb were apparently, simply applying "business as usual."
For one to ascertain anything different is beyond naive.
In the same article:
"Gov. Nathan Deal said through his spokesman, Brian Robinson, that child safety was of "paramount importance" to the administration.
An illusion? Advocates for child safety have yet to see "the beef," so to speak. DHS's apparent clandestine, internal, nepotistic problems have continued through Governor Deal's term.
At least Governor Sonny Perdue exhibited moxie launching an investigation into the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek Wilderness debacle. In the end, the aforementioned facility was required to be licensed after some momentary insanity on the part of the DHR/ORS, (that was hit by a barrage of complaints from child advocates and families forcing the licensing of Hidden Lake Academy) during Mr. Bostick's directorship).
Licensed? Why bother if the ORS/ORCC was to never follow their own directives, other than subjectively change reports.
FEDERAL OIG FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES - AGENT McCOY - YOU HAVE NO IDEA -
' GOT A "ROUND-THE-CLOCK" WEEK? "SYSTEMIC" INDEED'!
And, that's my take
"For the Children Left behind" ... and those to come.
Downing Clark Center((DCC) was shut down, their license taken, their license was reinstated and now licensed under Downing Clark Hope Center. Unlike DCC, where the facility license was taken for repeated violations Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School and its manifestations were protected in spite of egregious violations and operations.
Georgia's Sunshine Laws:
Georgia Open Records Act :