in Houston, Texas
Lewisville, Texas foster care provider failed to track more than $300,000 in state funding for foster care, contract not renewed
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011, 01:23PM CST
By Mark Lisheron

The state has decided not to renew the contract of a Lewisville foster care provider for failing to keep track of $313,208 in state funding.

The decision by the Department of Family and Protective Services follows a state audit of Connecting Lifes, a nonprofit group serving 64 children. The State Auditor concluded Connecting Lifes’ bookkeeping made it impossible to determine if state funds were properly spent.

The Connecting Lifes contract is set to expire Wednesday at which time the agency can apply for a new contract through Family and Protective Services. Administrators for the nonprofit sent a letter to the state acknowledging their internal problems and promising to fix them.

The nonprofit did not account for its expenditures and incorrectly added $17,598 to the amount it claimed to have received from the state in 2010. In four of the 30 audits of payments to foster parents, parents were overpaid and in two of those cases a parent was underpaid, the auditor said.

Connecting Lifes was one of 235 foster care providers who had 435 contracts to serve 25,111 children at a cost of $355.8 million in 2010. That revenue total represents 32 percent of the total bill for foster care in Texas, the other 68 percent supported by federal tax money.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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