Residential child care centers lose track of taxpayer funds in $363 million program, according to Texas state auditor’s report


Thank goodness child care providers in Texas don’t have as much trouble keeping track of their kids as they do the taxpayer money supporting them.

In each of the reviews of five residential treatment centers and placement agencies for children, the state Auditor found managers were at a loss to account for money coming into or going out from the centers.

You can read the entire report of the Auditor’s review here. Texas Watchdog has reported that similar reviews in past years by the Auditor have yielded similar results. A year ago a Lewisville foster care provider lost its license for losing track of $313,208 in state funding.

Simply Love All People Inc., a San Antonio child placement agency with an annual budget of $312,972 and a staff of four, could not provide auditors with documentation for more than half of a $35,054 sample of payments from the Department of Family and Protective Services in 2011, the report says.

Simply Love lost track of all of $15,880 in payroll costs and $12,689 or more than 60 percent of $20,441 in foster parent payments in the auditor’s sample for that year.

Antelope Valley Child, Youth, and Family Services in Lancaster, with a staff of four and a budget more than twice that of Simply Love, could not provide documents to support nearly 60 percent of $14,415 administrative and direct expenses. Another $18,081 or 45 percent of  $40,274 in payroll was unaccounted for.

Unity Children’s Home in Spring, Carter’s Kids Inc. in Richmond and Agape Manor, with residences in Garland and Houston, also failed to document at least some of their expenses, according to the report.

These five non-profits were among 232 providing services to the 26,722 children at a cost of $362,965,314 in 2011, the report says. Nearly 70 percent of that cost is paid for through federal taxpayer dollars and the rest comes from state taxpayers.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by flickr user 401(K)2012, used via a Creative Commons license.