Report: Foster care program used public funds for personal use

State department revokes agency's license
Report: Foster care program used public funds for personal use
Mary and Dan Simon of the Middleton foster care company called Community Care Resources

A Wisconsin Department of Children and Families audit alleged that a foster care program inappropriately used public funds for private use.

The DCF has revoked Community Care Resources Inc.’s license after a fiscal review found the child-placing agency to be in violation of state licensing regulations.

The review found that CCR and the closely associated nonprofit organization Community Care Programs accumulated unallowable costs and excess profit that totaled more than $6 million between 2009 and 2011. These costs were paid for by foster care funds and did not meet federal and state guidelines.

The review said several of CCR’s expenditures appeared to be personal in nature and noted that they “should never have been charged to foster care programs.” The review cited personal expenses totaling more than $120,000 and included the purchase of a $43,166 Lexus, among other luxury vehicles.

Other questioned expenses noted in the audit include purchases of cable television, internet service, building remodeling and landscaping.

Charging personal expenses to programs is prohibited by federal guidelines, according to the review.

CCR President Daniel Simon contested the results of the review in a statement.

“Neither Community Care Recourses, Inc. or its representatives have stolen anything at any time. Any and all allegations of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families are being vehemently contested and appealed by Community Care Resources, Inc. Community Care’s licensure remains in full force and effect as a licensed child placement agency,” the statement said.

The DCR informed CCR-licensed foster families in a letter that they will continue to receive monthly care reimbursement, but should CCR’s license revocation become final, families would be required to become licensed through another program.

CCR has 90-100 licensed homes that are housing approximately 200 children across the state.