“When the only thing you have ever worked with are words, how can you not lie?”
Politicians running for office such as Governor Brown and Los Angles DA Steven Cooley have found a legitimate “culture of corruption,” with the prosecution of the corrupt and pathetic leadership of the city of Bell. Handpicked city council members were paid close to 100 thousand dollars a year to work part time, and voted or acquiesced, to city managers and the police chief who paid themselves millions of dollars in salary and pension benefits over less than half a decade.
So what does this have to do with foster care?
As I noted previously, CEO’s of Foster Care Agencies have used the same model of corruption for years, putting friends and cronies on their board of directors who in exchange for- Lord knows what- vote huge and inappropriate salaries to administrators, CEO’s and whatever connected family and friends are allowed in on the spoils.
The latest Foster Agency to be snared in this culture of corruption is Teens Happy Homes which is run by CEO Beautina Robinson and administrator Dr. Nikki Milani.
Dr. Milani and family is expected to leave within the next 2 weeks as county audits continue a thorough investigation examining the inner workings of an agency that grew in just 2 or 3 years from caring for over 20 cases of abused and neglected children to over 200 children.
For those not familiar with the foster agency system in Los Angeles, this represents a great deal of money. Similar money to the corrupt takings from those involved with the city of Bell and, thus the comparison.
We are speaking about millions of dollars of tax dollars, and if you work it right, a lot of it can be yours!
A foster care agency with 200 cases of abused and neglected children may gross more than 5 million $5,000,000 annually with just a fraction of these monies actually making its way to foster parents for the care of abused and neglected children.
Five (5) or ten million dollars a year is a lot of money for a bent agency to divide up between friends and family members. The trick, for the more astute, is to ensure foster children remain properly cared for, just enough to allow the agency to stay under the county auditor’s radar while friends and family grow fat off the land. (Well actually, fat off of the abused children.)
Details about why Dr. Milani and friend have to leave are a bit hazy, but seem to have something to do with how she bought into Teens Happy Homes FFA contract, paying Beautina Robinson 10’s of thousands of dollars (contrary to county and state regulation if not law) to buy into the agency. This purchase of a large or even a controlling interest allowed Dr. Milani to install herself and cronies on the board of directors of Teens Happy Homes.
This controlling interest is very important since Agency Board Members vote and control salaries and hiring. Therefore Dr. Milani was able to control her own salary and personnel evaluations as well as the large salary of a family member who along with Dr. Milani is being forced to leave their positions at Teens Happy Homes.
One source quotes CEO Beautina Robinson as characterizing the payment by Dr. Milani as a “charitable donation,” rather than an outright payment for agency control. Of course, - everything is on the up and up!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, it is now official. According to Ms. Robinson, we must be stupid.
County auditors continue to comb through agency books daily and the investigation by no means ends with the departure of Dr. Milani and family.
Dr. Milani was last heard from as administrator for disgraced CEO Craig Woods of the now defunct agency United Care. United Care later shut down after the death of Viola Vanclief who died from being bashed on the head with a hammer and whose foster parent Kiana Barker is currently being charged with her murder.
Dr. Milani was an administrator for United Care for many years and it would appear she was in a strong position to understand the allegedly corrupt and unethical business practices she may have witnessed there. It is alleged for example, that United Care has yet to return over $200,000 dollars from the quarter million the county says is still owed them because of some type of fraud or misappropriation a few years back. Unfortunately this is not unusual in the foster agency system in Los Angeles.
Milani was said to have come to Teens Happy Homes with the goal of doing things differently, but apparently this was not the case. Evidently, setting your own (and family members) salary can be quite seductive. One can only imagine the glowing descriptions present on her mandatory employee evaluations. Clearly worth the paper they were printed on.
At the beginning, Dr. Milani almost doubled the census case numbers (abused children) for Teens Happy Homes, and brought over (stole) many foster families from United Care. Several of these foster parents found it to be a profitable move in many ways, and many liked Milani personally and were only too happy to leave United Care.
The county frowns on this practice but has been unable to prevent it. Treating abused and neglected children as commercial assets is offensive and objectionable, but this is what has happened in this flawed system that is resistant to reform.
And it is resistant to reform because of the money. Isn’t it always about the money? That the county found out about this growing scheme is commendable. Keep up the good work.
Eventually however, DCFS is going to have to look in the mirror. Who will be commended then?