Monday, January 26, 2009

More on Local Child-care Scams

I called County Executive Bill McReynolds today hoping to talk to him about the child-care scams recently exposed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. See two most recent posts. McReynolds returned my call and set up a meeting between me and Debra Jossart, Director of Human Services Department and three supervisors responsible for approving payments to child-care providers and rooting out fraud.

Bottom line, I have no idea whether county employees are doing an exceptional job, a mediocre job, or a lousy job of preventing fraud.

But the larger problem is the program itself. In order to encourage work, the state, with federal funds, will pay for child care expenses. Under some circumstances this could be a great idea. However, when the state pays a child-care provider $85,000 so that someone can earn $20,000 at a minimum wage job, I have to question the value of such a program. Because of the large difference between a minumum wage salary and the state payout for child-care services, an opportunity exists to defraud the system. Even without outright fraud, I fail to see how the larger society gains by paying huge sums of money so that someone can work a minimum wage job.

And I must admit, I don't know what to do with or for poor, single women and their multiple children. But I do think we should remove the incentives that exist for women to have multiple children and then use them to milk the government for profit.

And lastly, I have asked Bill McReynolds, via voice mail, what, if anything, county employees or county government could do to reduce the fraud. If I hear anything, I will let you know.


Anonymous said...

I bet Mac will have one excuse after the other. Ask him, " what happened to the special investigative unit(SIU)" that handled welfare fraud cases? Why does HSD not refer welfare fraud cases to the Sheriff Department? Why did he decide that the unit was not important enough to use county funds to pay for it!

The HSD Director has cut so many caseworkers,that it is impossible for staff to keep up with the work load. She does not have a cue about running an "effective operation". Racine use to have the best HSD in the State. Not any more.!

Anonymous said...

Where's Bill Adams (former HSD Director) and Jean Jacobsen (former County Exec) when you need them?

Anonymous said...

Remember midnight basketball and the 6.9 million dollars defeit. 3 million in juvenile corrections over runs that Jacobsen and Adams left the county.

Anonymous said...

You gotta be kidding ! Jean Jacobsen was the best person you ever worked for. Check your facts before you make stupid statement.