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Archive for June 6th, 2013

Michigan Matters (In Maddening Detail, formerly underneath “A Word to the Wise for Mothers…”)

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I don’t have time to reformat this. However, the first link I believe is valuable — it shows travel expenses for DHS employees. A survey of where they are being flown is a clue to MULTI-state national conferences of public servants. Post is in rough shape, but full of revelations (details) relevant to us all.

The pattern of nationalization and regionalization (again, as financially supported by taxpayers — whether from Michigan, or Federal, or Both), is definitely maddening. At what point does this trail get so complex, that it’s clear no one is going to navigate it?

Nevertheless, there are still clues. First of all, when a Governor declares it’s National Fatherhood month, that is talking about getting grants, and redistributing. …. Another issue (not dealt with here, but to be aware of), is that fatherhood funding (and that could either be for marketing curriculum, or outreach to provide free legal advice in custody matters; both show up) is often directed to or through Children’s Trust Funds (in various states).

As often happens when I go look for an example for such a statement, I end up finding something even more extensive and disturbing. It’s like a bottomless chasm. This time was no exception, but I had the sense to know it belongs in a separate post…. Arrrgh!!!

To understand some of this is to wish never to go back to “numb and dumb” again. And I know people who have been put homeless by these programs, which wouldn’t have been, without them. That’s six feet higher than some people who have been killed because of the insane insistence that gender matters more than character when it comes to kids. It doesn’t! …. However, that alone is more about marketing than anything else, I believe.

Below here is a previous post, just moved to a new location.
At the bottom many dramatic logos showing Christian Counseling associations (in the field), plus some grants look-ups, are shown. So be it. We are talking, a lot of “Faith-Based (sexual offender, etc.) Re-entry programming.” and more.

These organizations know very well that there are federal (and through federal, state, county, etc.) funding streams arranged around certain themes.   These are the irrigation system (outflow) from the centralized collection system we now know as the United States of America (Federal Government).  So they set themselves up to get the grants.

If you finish reading about some of the personnel involved in the Michigan example below, and also hooked up with the Supervised Visitation/Batterers Intervention Program industry (which has  Coalition based in Michigan as well, logo below), in looking at its board — I saw several high-ups in the Michigan DHS department (hardly surprising).  Duane M. Wilson, Ismael Ahmed/Stanley M. Stewart (top DHS leadership), Debi Cain, and others show up in this 2009 report on “out of state travel” expenses.  Please browse with care — you can see what memberships and conferences some state personnel are being flown to.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-Legislative-Sec217-3-PA248-2008-Travel_263086_7.pdf  People in each state ought to get hold of their respective reports, to see what their leadership (gov’t HHS dept) has been up to in:  fatherhood promotion, child support enforcement, marriage promotion, DV promotion, and a WHOLE lot more.  For example, you can see some of the big ones:
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Written by Let's Get Honest

June 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

In the Beginning, in Hindsight (more on early AFCC newsletters, SVN/CRC, and could we have prevented this?)

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Just grabbed this section off a recent post “Why Supervised Visitation Sucks” after posting it. I’m a woman and I get to redecorate at will.

I’m trying to consider whether anyone could’ve then (and could, now) headed off at the pass the multi-state shape-shifting nonprofits involving public officials (such as AFCC, SVN and CRC, mentioned herein).

There’s no question they are networked, and fast moving; like a maurading invasive species. Such is the nature of how danged easy it is to incorporate anywhere, anything (A few bucks and a statement on a piece of paper), and how we, the public, still don’t know how to track down how our own public officials are being funded.

It seems to me quite intentional that the purpose was to bypass representative legislation through forming multi-state and international nonprofits up front, attracting funding, and holding conferencs where the sun don’t shine (actually meaning, out of state for the target jurisdictions; they have been known to prefer sunny climates for conference locations. Like, Hawaii, or Bermuda, or in Southern California…).

I wanted to reference the AFCC talking about starting up this field (or at least the SVN), and decided to add an inset on the infamous Viola Stroud… I wonder in retrospect, how things might have gone if more of the public knew how vital it is to follow the money, and watch the conference circuits of groups like AFCC and CRC, not to mention SVN, and then connect this to the federal funding. Instead of go with the social scientist crowd, and (while making a fine living off grants to evaluate these programs) quipping, well, it’s OK…. so long as they are well-trained and recognize a batterer or abuser when they see one? Let us see how we can fix that….

AFCC Startup Literature, and Viola Stroud/CRC (inset)

AFCC Newsletter Fall 1992 (Vol. 11 No. 4) leads off with announcement of the formation (previous May) of the Supervised Visitation Network in New York, and presenter Tim Ballew (see also below) explains how it was funded and run. This is in Indianapolis.. So now, I have three states (so far) in which SVN was incorporated: New York, Tennessee and Florida… Above all keep in mind it is a NONPROFIT CORPORATION (to the extent that SVN has been operating legally, which as it turns out, is hardly all the time) whose board members tend to run NONPROFITS that take FEDERAL GRANT SUBSIDIES for this field, which was heavily promoted for application to divorce, not just kids in placement (dependency, that is). Why stop a “great” idea when it’s started??

Perhaps records don’t go back to 1992, however only a 2005 incorporated NEW YORK CHAPTER of the SVN actually shows up as a nonprofit. Search HERE, check status type ALL and search option “Contains” to view. A search of “Charities.NYS.gov” on “Supervised Visitation” pulls up only the “Little Angels” one (infamous for having involved a woman later convicted of robbing the estates of elders; with this corporation involved, aka Viola Stroud. Who was involved in the famous (to some of us) Genia Shockome case as a supervised visitation provider….).

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Why Supervised Visitation (per se) Sucks. Federal Millions, that is (DOJ Grant 2004-WX-AT-K046) [Publ. June 6, 2013, Format Adjusted May 31, 2021].

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Why Supervised Visitation (per se) Sucks. Federal Millions, that is (DOJ Grant 2004-WX-AT-K046) [Publ. June 6, 2013, Format Adjusted May 31, 2021]. (short-link ends “-1Ln.” Post published June 6, 2013, about 8,300 wds)

[[This post is temporarily, “sticky” as this field — Supervised Visitation — is a BFD]].  DOJ Grant 2004-WX-AT-K046: (and a few others).

There are people who make a living in evaluating federally-funded grants programs, such as Safe Exchange and Supervised Visitation.

I have made a survey of the field. A quick check of one of the major international nonprofit associations of providers, Supervised Visitation Network, Inc.. Based on my sampling, plus field experiences, and supported by two DOJ/OIG audits of a certain grant promoting supervised visitation to both providers (regarding the fathers) and to Mothers, to indoctrinate them into accepting the situation, I have come to the essential evaluation (which no DOJ grant was used in producing):

Supervised Visitation, per se, Sucks

My Field Exhibits includes two DOJ audits of Grant 2004-WX-AT-K046 (and related), and how grantees responded to being caught defrauding customers, i.e., US taxpayers: They regrouped and did it again elsewhere.

You can sometimes spot these on the fly: Looks like another one:

Legal Resource Center for Violence Against Women (“LRCVAW” here, also that’s its url):

Working with Attorneys . .To provide Justice and Safety . . . for Domestic Violence Survivors . . in Interstate Custody Cases. “This project was supported by grant number 2004-WT-AX-K079 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice. Points of view expressed in this document are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice..

This is another T&TA site: sign up for trainings (aka webinars) and “resources” include the list of State Coalitions, some ABA commissions, and one of the groups I’m profiling below which got nailed for mis-use of federal grants (the same kind!) by the US DOJ/OIG, which is to say, the auditor’s office. LRCVAW apparently incorporated in Maryland on 6/27/2003,** changed the address once, and says it is a nonprofit. (I just looked grantee up under USASpending.gov and found a grant helping supervised visitation centers with interstate custody cases. Over $2 million in grants so far. 6 awards;, not bad for a small organization.

(**Broken link (search again @ (look up “Maryland Business Entities Search”) but the LRCVAW.org link above still active and still not posting its EIN# or any financials. Or see http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ to search by name for  EIN# //LGH 31May2021).

USDOJ Audit Reports are grouped into “By Component” and “External.” Notice the the OVW is “External” See next link to view the OVW audits, of which I randomly (really! in general, I was interested in Pennsylvania’s DV groups) chose to audit a certain one, and found material for this post….

Office on Violence Against Women External ReportsThe Audit Division reports on the expenditure of federal funds by certain recipients of grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 1998
October 12, 2012
~ Audit of the Office on Violence Against Women Safe Havens Grant Awarded to the Michigan Department of Human Services, Lansing, Michigan, Audit Report GR-50-13-002

September 27, 2012
~ Audit of the Office on Violence Against Women and Office of Justice Programs Grants Awarded to the Idaho Supreme Court, Boise, Idaho, Audit Report GR-60-12-021

~>~>~>~>September 5, 2012
~ Audit of the Office on Violence Against Women Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreements Administered by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Enola, Pennsylvania, Audit Report GR-70-12-009

Page “3” footnote of this one, referencing $4 million (4 Technical Assistance Grantss) to PCAR fround $336K of questionable costs.

The other (April 2010) audit was not to PCAR, but to the nonprofit NDAA, covering $16 million (16 grants) of which $4million of questionable costs came up. Some of these questionable costs covered the grant mentioned in this title, to “APRI” (American Prosecutors Research Institute), which I happen to know some battered women love to quote as it talks about PAS. However, they don’t look at the financial angle enough to understand they just quoted an organization engaged in questionable financial practices!). That Grant 30-10-0001 is linked to & mentioned again below.

My evaluation approach differs radically from approaches by, say, Dr. Daniel G. Saunders, Professor of Social Work a UMichigan, that Barry Goldstein keeps quoting and holding out as “new light” on how to protect children. While he and his colleagues publish – and do not perish– about these matters, we mothers (and fathers) (and taxpayers) ARE perishing surrounding the topic. I think I might blog that separately, but just FYI, he is on the same TYPE of grants streams as these other technical training and service providers.

You wouldn’t believe how networked these groups are! Take a look, it’s evident.

The thing is, most of us do NOT take a look, and go unconsciously about our business without considering the money forked over for redistribution as actually ours: once it’s out of sight, out of mind. This gets, in the long run, to be like any other project left ignored for years — it tends to expand in scope and trouble to clean up or clear out!

Some projects involve an excess of inanimate objects (like junk in a garage, leaves on a lawn, dishes in a sink, or dust in the house, for a few examples). However this project involves millions (actually, over time, billions) of dollars and live human beings receiving paychecks, sometimes pensions, filing tax returns.   In short, it is a process in which filing for corporation creates a status that attracts grants, which then go do SOMETHING, allegedly some function.  Even when that “social service” or “justice” function isn’t actually formed done,* the money still keeps pouring out until something is done about it — and streams, rivers of water is a good analogy (in many respects) for the flow of funding.

(* 2021 copyedit for clarity, at least as I think I meant 8 years ago…//LGH)

FYI (just in case you think this is a “disgruntled parent” speaking: No,…), we (my ex-batterer/stalker/deadbeat Dad etc. ex-husband and I) were on the bottom of the two-tier custody track. Had anyone offered me supervised visitation (I even at one point asked), I’d have taken the bait. Contact with my daughters was eliminated ON an “unsupervised visitation” exchange. Like most Moms, at the time I had no clue that federal funds for access visitation to improve [sic] noncustodial outcomes* existed.

But because the courts didn’t label us as a wealthy couple [no real estate involved], we entirely missed the referral to supervised visitation for his battering and stalking or my “alienation” (which wasn’t occurring: all visitations ordered, while they lived with me, were made available. When he got custody, that standard was eliminated immediately, overnight, and never raised its ‘ugly’ head again.

To get to this point of total eradication of the sense of “court order” meaning anything at all, we were sent repeatedly (periodically) through through the revolving door of “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” mandatory mediation, in California. We even “mediated” a felony crime called child-stealing. Mandatory Mediation is indeed Miraculous (California Courts Review, Spring 2006: See p. 16, written by a Judge**) — I see it can even undo restraining orders and undermine criminal law. No wonder the therapeutic jurisprudence community loves it! The DV industry gets its DOJ grants, and the family law professionals get their HHS access/visitation grants, and the kids get a lifetime of wondering which end is up, minus a lot of child support, and stable households.

[**with dual NCJFCJ-AFCC membership.  LGH comment 2021, although I probably knew it in 2013 also].

However, readers should know this is from observation, not personal experience with having been subject to supervised visitation in my own custody case. In our case, they simply switched the kids overnight, end of story (or at least of mother/daughter contact, basically, til they aged out), no factual or legal basis ever given, though I definitely formally requested it of the court.

No, I am against this field: because it sucks as a practice; because the trainers are known to be associated with AFCC, and in conflicts-of-interest positions administering their own grants that help fund it; and because, like AFCC itself, the nonprofits associated have to skip state when caught unincorporated, which they simply do … Perhaps this is why conferences of a Florida-domicile nonprofit have to be held in Ontario, Canada?

“Supervised Visitation” cannot be justified logically, financially, or in any common-sense theater, which is I guess why it has to be promoted under public health & welfare and written up by social service and domestic violence career professionals.

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