The Closing of the America Care Mind: The Business of Child Abuse

Author: Joshua Allen
Published: September 06, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Los Angeles County will not be renewing their contract with America Care foster family agency.
America Care was responsible for the care and treatment of over 200 abused and neglected children and has been in business for over a decade.
So why should we care?
Because while we do not completely know the reasoning of the county behind this, it appears to be a sign that business as usual in LA foster care is in for some type of change.
Previously, when the county wanted to get the attention of foster family agencies they would cite them for rule violations which were often overlooked. Title 22 regulations are so onerous, even the county knows it is impossible to completely abide by all of them at all times and instead (appropriately) the county will concentrate on child care issues and indulge in minor fines and warnings when harmless rule violations are broken.
However, these broken rules are very useful when officials want to get you for other things, such as the perceptions of financial malfeasance or other ethical violations which are too difficult or expensive to prove or pursue.
It’s sort of like how that got Al Capone for tax evasion if you get the drift.
The county doesn’t want to be on the losing end of lawsuits such as what occurred with El Camino foster family agency and the administrator George Guiterez. El Camino was a riduclous financial garbage dump and the county bungled the agencies termination so badly, that they ended up having to pay out millions of dollars.
To avoid this pathetic outcome, the county will use what things they can to serve its needs and desires. And therefore the partial fiction of rule and or child care violations are used to meet its ends.
However, this strategy often allows much of the money and or foster care real estate to remain in the hands of the evil doers despite limiting their ability to continue raking off excess profits from abused and neglected children.
And sometimes it doesn’t even do that.
It was reported to us that Disgraced CEO of United Care foster agency Craig Woods recently tried to open up a new agency in Ventura and almost succeeded. Joe Stienberg of Refugio Para Ninos has apparently opened up another agency in a different county after paying himself several hundred grand a year, co-mingling funds, participating in several ethically challenged financial schemes, and at one point even telling employees they could keep %10 of any donations they could raise for the agency as a sort of finders fee. Regugio Para Ninos spent almost a million dollars to raise perhaps a third of that but this guy is still around.
So the old paradigm of properly obsessing on child care issues while having free reign (up to a point) on financial improprieties is apparently up for grabs.
We say apparently because we just don’t know. The county and DCFS in particular are as secretive as a bad government conspiracy movie even though all funding comes from the tax payer.
DCFS completely lacks for example, the transparency we have come to expect in our police department and hides behind confidentiality rules that have nothing to do with protecting children. Because the one thing they protect the best is themselves.
But back to America Care foster agency.
Apparently America Care will try to merge with another hapless agency. Foster parents will be in for a big surprise however if they fall for that "Seemless transition," stuff which they'll try and foist on the foster parent customers in order to keep their business. The foster parents should know there will be more than a few people tramping through their homes in the near future.
Yet why merge? What do these ethically challenged executives bring to the table for abused and neglected children besides their salaries? Why should they continue to earn off the backs from abused children simply because they know the telephone numbers of the foster parents and have an office building?
Anyways the entire 2009 tax form can be found here.
And it is always important to remember that the above salaries are always just the beginning of the story when it comes to wealth creation.
America Care was/is one of the bigger agencies in Southern California. And what set America Care apart from other agencies were several factors:
The CEO, who many referred to as "Ramsy," and who was one of the founders was listed as the CEO at the agency but many employees had never actually seen or met him.
The 'Ramsy' also had several outside business interests (including a bankruptcy a couple of years ago which may have precipitated this) and whose wife generally runs the place has a infrequently used office, and individuals are discouraged from asking too much about him - questions like... where is the guy? (One ex employee noted the room would become silent whenever he asked this).
Foster parents and employees keep talking about another six figure guy they have never met and don’t know what he does. I mean it's one thing to rarely see the boss, but it is quite another when long time employees don't t even know a guy exists in your non-profit agency. We are talking about a non-profit charity that cares and treats abused and neglected children...seems kind of strange huh?
So the old paradigm of properly obsessing on child care issues while having free reign (up to a point) on financial improprieties is apparently up for grabs.
We say apparently because we just don’t know. The county and DCFS in particular are as secretive as a bad government conspiracy movie even though all funding comes from the tax payer.
DCFS completely lacks for example, the transparency we have come to expect in our police department and hides behind confidentiality rules that have nothing to do with protecting children. Because the one thing they protect the best is themselves.
But back to America Care foster agency.
Apparently America Care will try to merge with another hapless agency. Foster parents will be in for a big surprise however if they fall for that "Seemless transition," stuff which they'll try and foist on the foster parent customers in order to keep their business. The foster parents should know there will be more than a few people tramping through their homes in the near future.
Yet why merge? What do these ethically challenged executives bring to the table for abused and neglected children besides their salaries? Why should they continue to earn off the backs from abused children simply because they know the telephone numbers of the foster parents and have an office building?
Anyways the entire 2009 tax form can be found here.
And it is always important to remember that the above salaries are always just the beginning of the story when it comes to wealth creation.
America Care was/is one of the bigger agencies in Southern California. And what set America Care apart from other agencies were several factors:
The CEO, who many referred to as "Ramsy," and who was one of the founders was listed as the CEO at the agency but many employees had never actually seen or met him.
The 'Ramsy' also had several outside business interests (including a bankruptcy a couple of years ago which may have precipitated this) and whose wife generally runs the place has a infrequently used office, and individuals are discouraged from asking too much about him - questions like... where is the guy? (One ex employee noted the room would become silent whenever he asked this).
Foster parents and employees keep talking about another six figure guy they have never met and don’t know what he does. I mean it's one thing to rarely see the boss, but it is quite another when long time employees don't t even know a guy exists in your non-profit agency. We are talking about a non-profit charity that cares and treats abused and neglected children...seems kind of strange huh?