L.A. County D.A. considers criminal charges against foster agency


 

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey is considering whether criminal charges should be filed against officials at Teens Happy Homes, a foster care contractor with a long history of financial improprieties and substantiated instances of child abuse, according to spokeswoman Jane Robison. The contractor has received up to $3.6 million annually from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to recruit, supervise and pay foster parents to take in abused children. Between 2008 and 2011, 1,154 children lived in its homes. Separately, county auditors recently uncovered at least $100,000 in suspect payments: Nearly $30,000 went toward Robinson's personal expenses, including her car and credit card bills. An additional $70,000 covered the salaries of Robinson associates who did little or no work for the agency.

Meanwhile, 240 allegations of abuse or neglect were filed on behalf of youths at Teens homes over a recent three-year period, a Times analysis of child abuse hot line data found.