In the Beginning, in Hindsight (more on early AFCC newsletters, SVN/CRC, and could we have prevented this?)
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….).
|LITTLE ANGELS SUPERVISED VISITATION, LTD. 20-85-80 134077366 NFP MAHOPAC NY”
SEARCH RESULTS SELECTION
Organization Name: LITTLE ANGELS SUPERVISED VISITATION, LTD.
Registration Type: NFP
Registration Category: Dual [this means they can also fund-raise as a nonprofit]
Month number fiscal year ends : 12
Federal ID No. (EIN): 134077366
NY State Reg. No.: 20-85-80
47 LONGDALE ROAD
MAHOPAC , NY 10541
Web Site: NO DATA AVAILABLE
(below, it shows it did register annually as a charity 12/31/1999 through 2004).
Year 2003= $98.5K program service revenues, including “Government fees and contracts.” Books are in the care of Christine Stroud, Board Members include William Stroud and Viola Stroud. Liabilities include Loans payable to Viola Stroud, and William Stroud, and Mahopec Bank (of which about $8K was paid). Expenses: $90K, “Trained staff provided 5,040 hours of supervised visits, approx 2,052 visits…” (no other detail). Ms. Viola paid herself $20K (plus a $3K expenses account) and daughter? sister? mother? at the same address was paid $17K. Apparently it’s no problem that a Program Director also held the books.
Article from the (NJ) Star-Ledger, October 2003 (the last year I see any tax return for Little Angels). You should read it all:
The “dirt” on her later (like, 2004) being caught sleeping during supervised visitations (of mother Genia Shockome), and later prosecuted criminally for defrauding the estates of elders, is found on “Misguided Black Robes post of 2007. However it appears to be a news article from 2004.
AFCC newsletter from 1993 has several mentions of Supervised Visitation; it was a planned presentation topic for a Regional Conference (Tim Ballew, from Visiting Nurses Association??). This was a conference in Toledo Ohio, and they began taking donations to an “AFCC Anniversary Fund.” Heavy presence of Connecticut Court Staff noted (I counted seven on one list).
1994 Newsletter Continued promo for SVN and rejoicing that Connecticut has mandated parent education programs for divorcing parents; future conferences planned on this. .. It can be seen that the group is aware there are DV issues in custody, but as the same group was pushing mandatory mediation so hard, obviously something has to give — so just teach the mediators to screen for it, and all will be well… (recommended reading in general).
Really, these letters are a history lesson in how to draft legislation without running it by the populace in advance. Meet separately, write off expenses, collaborate, and just do it. Sell stuff, meanwhile.
Recently, the AFCC has been getting some mainstream press (not positive) over in the Washington Times, and regarding a situation in Connecticut.
However anyone who reads conference agenda, and the old newsletters, can see who else is favorable and working with them, including some other major (often also national) nonprofit trade associations, plus private funding.
Advocacy individuals who understand these basics, I encourage us to dig a little deeper on understanding the model here — the purpose of the nonprofits is to make tracking the funding a lot harder, and bypassing anti-trust laws a lot easier. It’s so commonplace now, hardly anyone questions the existence of MANY nonprofit trade associations staffed by public civil servants.
I encourage us to realize that this is intentional, and possibly to make it easier and faster to set up the slush funds and start new market niches, and of course trainings for them.
Supervised Visitation was not the only one, but it was a major one.
Well, let’s keep this real short for a change. Again, no lengthy intro here, this WAS a lengthy intro to something else, which alas is my style.