Monday, October 29, 2007

Human Services Budget: Governor digs her heels in

The Department of Human Services is one of the most fiscally irresponsible agencies in state government. Audit after audit reports huge mismanagement issues, uncollected funds, unqualified beneficiaries, mismanaged funds, etc. But that is not the worst of it.

Children are dying in the state foster care system. Cases of abuse and neglect by foster parents are more frequent than by biological parents. The governor is on her third DHS Department head, and hopes are that this nightmare will stop.

Meanwhile, Senator Hardiman, with support from many of his colleagues has moved to put juvenile justice and foster care programs into the private sector. Currently, about half of them are privately run already. They do as well, and usually better than the state, for a lot less money.

Not surprisingly, DHS will hear nothing of it. Why? Because they think they do a better job? Not really. The number one reason for trying to keep these services in the department is to save all those state-paid union employees. It's pathetic. If you don't believe DHS is doing a poor job, just read this audit report:

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