Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Milton H Erickson (Clinical Hypnosis), The Gottmans, The HHS of Course, and Psychoeducational Interventions for Situational (not “Characteriological”) Violence..and California’s “Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission” — REALLY?? Yes….

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Harbingers of the Future, Stewards of Change, etc. 

Blogger’s Note:  written shortly after first post of this year (January), published late February.  It’s about 11,500 words long.  Make that closer to 13,500 with an ending section  — I deliver some more goods at the very bottom of the post and hope readers enjoy the journey, and learn something from it as I know I did!  When I say “something,” the reference is to an $18M (assets) foster-care (etc.) providing organization in California connected with a dubious duo of consulting firm/nonprofit in New York relating to post title.  


 

The content and philosophical underpinnings of the psychological, psychoanalytical, psychiatric, sociological, social science and related professions is one thing but take a look at the “containers” (the business and legal entities which receive public funds to run, and of course wrbite up/publish the psychological, behavioral-modification-intervention R &D [research and demonstration] on the population), and it’s truly something to behold.  In fact, I’m still a little stunned by the brazen behavior of some I just checked out the other day. It seems to me if more people would just check out the organizations, what they find would speak for itself as to prioritizing fiscal waste and, well, corrupt behavior as routine.. in the field of tax-exempt organizations on the governmental dole.

It was all I could do not to insert this information below into my recent post on Jailing, Terrorizing, Criminalizing Mothers in Minnesota, particularly after reconsidering the switching of custody of five children from an aunt (after kicking the mother out of the picture unceremoniously, overnight) to a father as directed by a judge, as justified by a professional psychologist.  


Looking at the Flow of Funds/ the Conduits & Containers:

But — I let’s not forget to look at the containers, the commerce — that is, the business (sometimes, for a time) entities through which funds flow (so to speak) so they may do the research and, of course, write up the results.  I have learned to make this part of my routine “check-up” as a matter of sheer curiosity, as patterns of unusual behavior can be identified among those running the organizations.  Among the sound-bytes which come to mind describing what I’m seeing over time, “take the money and run” is the most common.  There are the”OIG” (Offices of Inspector General) within agencies, and write up reports on samples of the whole field of organizations (grantees) under various programs but they are hardly keeping tabs on the multitude — and, they are essentially toothless.  They can only recommend.

Sometimes, it’s the chameleon act (multiple nonprofits with similar, but not identical names, are formed, and when one gets caught not-filing on time, money is shifted to another — meanwhile the websites speak as though it’s been one organization throughout).

Unbelievable what turns up once you start looking..

Once you start looking at those grants, grantees, and what “them” 501(c)3s and their boards of directors do (1) with the nonprofit formed to receive them and (2) next, with their lives when the federal funding runs out — you never know what might turn up.

Yesterday, I found one that denied on its tax return getting the funding that a federal agency claims it got.  Tax returns have lines to acknowledge government vs. non-government grants (one is a grant, the other is a “contribution”).  Until you attempt to locate a tax return AND READ IT, I’ll continue to say, you don’t know “squat” about any nonprofit organization.   Read enough of them from a variety of sources, and “credible” versus “not credible” starts to show itself.


I keep thinking I’ve “seen it all.” Wrong again.  Summary:

Show and tell is below; this is a short, incredulous summary of what I just saw, 1/24/2016:

In this case, by searching a specific executive director name on  the “Relationship Research Institute” of Washington State which 501(c)3 filer I’d just learned has been lying (or, HHS was lying) about grants received, not reporting them as “government grants” on their own returns, and not exactly handling the money honestly (running it into a deficit, after which it simply stopped filing tax returns as of about 2012), I learned about a Year-old Action agenda seeking a $300K contract to do a comprehensive study on the behavioral health data systems — statewide.

(This link will be repeated below, as I show how got from Point A in Washington State to Point B, Mental Health Services in California…!)

An Action Item from a Commission Meeting: October 23, 2014 Agenda (Item 3A) seeking a $300K contract to create a “Feasibility Study Report” (FSR) or “Advance Planning Document” (APD) to evaluate the (entire) DHCS (“Dept of Health Care Services) Behavioral Health Data Systems.

Consider Recommendation for a Contract to Develop a Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or Advanced Planning Document (APD) to Evaluate the Department of Health Care Services Behavioral Health Data Systems

Not at ALL embarrassed by this statistical, VPJ (Very Poor Judgment), the same individual heads right over to the state of California — well apparently she may have already been working there as….Director of Research and Evaluation” for California’s “Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission,” (MHSOAC.ca.gov**) and asks for a $300K contract for a group “Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC” which I (being me) looked up, with jurisdiction (legal domicile) in New York State.  It registered in California in only 2013.

Here’s the rest of that Agenda (Item 3A) — I’ll show it again, below.  This shows where I got the “Stewards of Change” language from, above…. It’ll make more sense after the “Relationship Research Institute’s reporting behavior, vs. its HHS-reported grants, is reviewed.

Does this not next language sound wonderfully official, technical, and comprehensive and responsible?  Wait til you see the HHS-grant-supported “Final Progress Report” of “Couples Together Against Violence” (developed by the Gottmans) and see its history… After which the following language may seem less than credible:

Summary: Dr. Renay Bradley, Director of Research and Evaluation, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, will present an overview of a proposed contract designed to assess the current Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) behavioral health data systems and explore the feasibility of adopting a new system that will provide data to meet all statutory requirements. Current mental health data collection and reporting systems do not provide timely data that allows the MHSOAC to evaluate all aspects of the Mental Health Services Act and broader public community based mental health systems. This contract will identify the Commission’s current data and reporting needs, compare them to what is available via current data systems, and draw conclusions regarding data elements that are missing and not available. Recommendations regarding the most feasible way to ensure that all Commission data requirements will be met will also be made. A Feasibility Study Report or an Advanced Planning Document will be developed, which allows the DHCS to identify and obtain approval to get the identified data collection and reporting needs metIn addition, an action plan for short and long term goals that align with the FSR or APD findings will be completed.

Again, systems change prefaced with official evaluation, and pay us for it, too..

Enclosures: None Handout: A PowerPoint will be provided at the Commission meeting.

Recommended Action: Authorize the Executive Director to execute a contract for no more than $300,000 to develop a State Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or Federal Advanced Planning Document (APD) to assess the current DHCS’s behavioral health data systems.

Motion: The MHSOAC authorizes the Executive Director to execute a contract with the Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC, for no more than $300,000 to develop a State Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or a Federal Advanced Planning Document (APD) to assess the current DHCS behavioral health data systems

 

As you can see, Californians did this to themselves (I’m one, so it includes me.  In 2004, I had just lost a restraining order, and just been drop-kicked into family court, and was not paying close attention for sure….)

Mental Health Services - Oversight And Accountability Commision

In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) The law calls for the establishment of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). Section 10 of the MHSA (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5845) established the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) and defined the creation and composition of the Commission.

The MHSOAC oversees the Adults and Older Adults Systems of Care Act; Human Resources; Innovative Programs; Prevention & Early Intervention Programs; and the Children’s Mental Health Services Act. The Commission replaced the advisory committee which had been established pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5814.

MHSOAC Oversees the MHSA

The role of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) is to oversee the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).   The MHSOAC is also responsible for developing strategies to overcome stigma.  At any time, the MHSOAC may advise the Governor or the Legislature on mental health policy.

In the past, the MHSOAC has been responsible for review and approval of county plans for the Prevention & Early Intervention (PEI) and Innovation Program components of the MHSAAfter the passage of Assembly Bill 100 (AB100) in March 2011, the role of the Commission shifted from review and approval of county plans to providing training and technical assistance for county mental health planning as needed. Additionally, the Commission evaluates MHSA-funded programs throughout the State.  When AB 1467 passed in June 2012, the MHSOAC’s role of training and technical assistance and evaluation expanded; approval of county Innovation plans by the MHSOAC was also reinstated.  The MHSOAC receives all county 3-year plans, annual updates, and annual Revenue and Expenditure Reports.

So although there is already an “Authority” (literally, an element, a unit of government) named after this same thing — see below — it seems the Commission has a veto, planning, training, overseeing and — let’s call it what it is — a RULING power over ALL the county mental health plans in the ENTIRE (large) coastal state of California.

There are only 14 “Commissioners” (see “Commissioner Bios“) — only three of them women. One, Jim Beall, is a Senator, another one I notice (John Boyd, Psy.D.) got his Psy.D. from “California School of Professional Psychology” which has since been absorbed into Alliant International University….

Of the three women on this board (Khatera Aslami-Tamplen,  LeeAnne Mallel and Tina Wooton) two represent “clients and consumers’ and a third (Mallel)represents the parent of a disabled child. This third woman works as “psychological technician” in the office of a clinical psychologist Dr. Jonine Biesman, whose “degree [was] in Clinical Psychology from United States International University in San Diego, now Alliant International University.”  [Essentially the same source as CSPP.  CSPP was absorbed into Alliant International University].  I see that Dr. (Psy.D.) Nazar-Biesman works { see “Staff” drop-down menu} in a “Fulton Psychological Group” among 4 Ph.Ds, 5 Psy.Ds (including herself) and one M.D.  Two of the Ph.Ds are also labeled “BCBA” — so I looked that up.

Sure enough, another certification board.  “Behavior-Consultant.com” says it stands for “Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst(tm). I have a separate post on SOME of this “let’s get certified” behavior (regarding the Minnesota psychologist in Grazzini-Rucki case, Paul Reitman, who carried the initials “FAFCE” after HIS Ph.D….).  Watch out for the trademarking, you know what territory we’re entering:

…a credential that began as a state certification in Florida in the 1990s and went national, and subsequently international, in 2000.  It is an attempt to provide some minimum standard for what constitutes being qualified to practice behavior analysis.  There are currently, as of my chats with the Executive Director and President of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board™ (BACB™) this weekend, approximately 4500 people certified by the board.  There are people who hold the BCBA™ credential working in over a dozen countries around the world and there are approved university courses springing up in places like Korea and Taiwan

Some “boards” are parts of government, but then there are those who are instead, obviously, nonprofits.  Continued from that (undated) page:

To qualify to sit for the BCBA™ examination a person must have a Masters degree in a human service field like Behavior Analysis, psychology, special education, etc.  They must also have specific coursework, essentially 6 courses, at the graduate level in Behavior Analysis.  In addition they must have supervised experience under someone who holds the BCBA™ or who is approved by the board in the application of behavior analysis over a brief period, as little as 9 months time.  Finally, they must have their application approved by review of the board and take and pass the standardized examination…

BABC.com, the website, refers to two more credentialing, certifying organizations:

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by b

ehavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The BACB adheres to international standards for boards that grant professional credentials. The BACB’s certification procedures and content undergo regular psychometric review and validation pursuant to a job analysis survey of the profession and standards established by content experts in the discipline.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s BCBA and BCaBA credentialing programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies in Washington, DC. NCCA is the accreditation body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

 

WELL, that sounds like another post entirely.  Perhaps just make a mental bookmark regarding Mainstreamed Mental Health Services (at the statewide, and county-wide level) — this includes psychologists who go get board-certified in Behavior Analysis, with the eventual goal of practicing the art (called a “science”) of behavioral modification.


 

I did look at the tax returns of this Florida-based (as it turns out) corporation with its Colorado address, and notice that they’re barely a tax-exempt (most money is received from running the certifications), and they are contributing to the B.F. Skinner foundation –remember?, B.F. Skinner, 1904-1990… (website is “NNDB.com”) that famous psychologist who learned from Pavlov, John B. Watson, and Edward L. Thorndike, developed the theories of “operant behavior” (punishments/rewards….) and wrote up experiments on cats, rats, and the human species.  Atheist, Author of “Beyond Freedom and Dignity,” and with his legacy perpetuated, as many psychologists and other famous people’s lives are, through a foundation named after himself.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
BF SKINNER FOUNDATION CO JULIE VARGAS PHD MA 2014 990EZ 16 $388,930.00 42-1325722
BF SKINNER FOUNDATION CO JULIE VARGAS PHD MA 2013 990EZ 11 $363,317.00 42-1325722
BF SKINNER FOUNDATION CO JULIE VARGAS PHD MA 2012 990EZ 11 $296,948.00 42-132572

(Julie Vargas, PhD being one of his two daughters.  I see by street address it’s located in “Harvard Square”  “Each year, over 8 million men, women and children visit Harvard Square..” (About HS) (HSBusiness Association formed 1910, incorporated 1936, etc.)

Julie S. Vargas delivering an address 6/20/2014, “The Scientist as Father” at “the May Institute” (the banner indicates involvement with Autism, Brain Injury, Behavioral Health Services, Schools Consultation, and services to Military Families), her background — notice, influence in training teachers. Interesting her first degrees were in music (mine too), but rather than going into performance, or music education, she appears to have gone into general education and teacher preparation, after first teaching in elementary schools.  Her other sister (Skinner bio says) is an artist..  Interesting.

About Julie S. Vargas, Ph.D. Dr. Vargas received her bachelor’s in music from Radcliffe College, a master’s in music education from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in educational research from the University of Pittsburgh.

She taught elementary students before becoming a faculty member at West Virginia University, where she taught practicing and prospective teachers for more than 35 years. Dr. Vargas has published numerous books about education. Her most recent book is Behavior Analysis for Teachers. In addition to being is a former president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, she was one of the founding editors of The Behavior Analyst, and is currently President of the B. F. Skinner Foundation, in Cambridge, Mass.   – 

Wiki: Julie Vargas was (incidentally) born (1938) in Minneapolis, MN and insists that her father’s science was NOT psychology, but “behaviorology,” “Behaviorology may be defined as the natural science of the behavior of organisms…” She’s a an officer of the “International Society for Behaviorology.”

Interview with Julie S. Vargas, Norway, 2010?@ Erik Arntzen Akershus Univ College (short, interesting) (search ““Norsk Tidsskrift for Atferdsanalyse, årgang 37 (2010), nr 3, 119–125” I can’t get the pdf to upload…)

A short, 2010 interview with her in Norway, interesting in her outlook.  She seemed exceptionally close to her father, and never mentions her mother (by name, or using the word “mother”) at all.  References approval for Norway, and discussions of “Behaviorology” as the term was coined in the 1980s by people intent on showing that Skinner’s science was NOT a psychological approach.  Nevertheless, her father was a psychologist (headed the department at Indiana University, then family moved back to Boston).  She became an educator and married a sociologist, etc.

Compared to the USA, Norway struck me as clean and friendly. Ernie and I were in Norway for the Storefjell conference. We were impressed with the courtesy extended us, not only in transportation to and from the airport, but in small matters like making sure we had English- speaking company at meals. The land was beautiful; the view unspoiled by the rows of gas stations, motels, and fast-food eyesores you find so often in the United States.

Ernie and I were aware of the better social services offered in Norway than in the USA, so our impressions were colored by our approval of Norway’s system. Still what we observed fit with our prejudices: In a stark difference from the USA, we saw no homeless beggars and almost no overweight Norwegians. Another difference we noted was the greater consistency of ethnicity: tall, athletic (and good looking!) Norwegians and few non-Nordic people. The general tenor in the cities seemed more relaxed than in the US. At one stall in Bergen, operated by the owner, I had a leisurely conversation without any pressure to buy anything.

True, Norway is not like the USA.  So? ….

 




This list of the Commissioners (notice from what fields they are drawn) doesn’t include the person I’m referring to, whose name doesn’t show on the website, she must be, or have been staff.   However the tab “Evaluations” reflects the activities of a program element (Research and Evaluations) she apparently was directing in 2014:

The MHSOAC has a statutory mandate to evaluate how MHSA funding has been used, what outcomes have resulted from those investments, and how to improve the services and programs to maximize positive outcomes for all populations, including reducing disparities in access to services, quality of care and outcomes.  The Evaluations webpage is designed to provide a central location for MHSOAC Evaluations and related documents including: Contract Deliverables, Request for Proposals (RFPs), and documents adopted by the MHSOAC related to evaluation.  This webpage was developed consistent with the Evaluation Committee’s recommendations regarding their 2012 Charter item that states “Ensure evaluation efforts are available and useable to support the Commission’s role in oversight and accountability.”

So, there’s already a JPA (Joint Power Authority), California Mental Health Services Authority which is designed to be representative at least — one person per county (58 throughout the state), and apart from this fairly representative (1 person/county, plus an alternate) there is the CMHS Oversight and AccountabilityCommission I’m discussing above.

CalMHSA’s Board establishes vision and mission, and a strategic plan in support of that vision and mission. It creates, monitors, and is held accountable for policy setting, and serves as Ambassadors for the JPA, with all stakeholders, interested parties, strategic partners, consumers. CalMHSA’s Board is comprised of one representative from each member county. In addition to the director, an alternate is designated by the director, who may vote in the absence of the director. The Board provides policy direction for the Executive Committee, and the Executive Director, and other appointed committees. The Board holds at least two regular meetings each year to review all CalMHSA operations. The Board establishes a time and place to hold such regular meetings. All meetings of the Board are conducted in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act (Government Code §54950 et seq.)

CalMHSA’s Board reserves unto itself the authority to do the following (except where specifically otherwise noted the majority of the Board members present at a meeting may take action): (Click to read more California Mental Health Services Authority)

An Evolving Impetus
CalMHSA‘s impetus is evolving as we provide counties an independent administrative and fiscal intergovernmental structure for jointly developing, funding, and implementing mental health services and educational programs at the state, regional, and local levels.

As an on-going efficient delivery mechanism for statewide and other California mental health projects, a central component of CalMHSA‘s vision is to continually promote systems and services arising from a commitment to community mental health, and to the values of the California Mental Health Services Act.


Nonprofit Inc. vs. a “Consulting” LLC.

It makes a difference…. They often go together, but are not the same.

Basic, simple research quickly shows a “Stewards of Change, Inc.” incorporated in 2004, but states on the tax return was only founded in 2013 (a half-truth.  Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC, which the MHSOAC person wanted to get a $300K contract from the State of California for, was characterized (on a tax return) as an “affiliated company” of a nonprofit which incorporated in 2004, changed its name in 2012, and then after the “affiliated company” (an LLC) registered in NY in 2011, the nonprofit went about asking for an EIN# and registering itself as a charity with the State of New York.

**MHSOAC.gov exists to implement the Mental Health Services Act of 2004. Has one been passed in your state, and if so, when?

Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC is (obviously) a for-profit, but the associated, now-named “Stewards of Change Institute, Inc.” in New York is a non-profit.And somehow, the latter already claims on their first two tax returns to have received $152K of government grants and managed to run about 30% below zero, while (two years in a row) stating the exempt purpose of the organization is, and I quote:

RESEARCH, ASSIST, ADVOCATE AND EDUCATATE THE GENERAL PUBLIC GOVERNMENT JURISTICTIONS JUDICIARY,PRIVATE BUSINESSES FOUNDATIONS,AND NOT FOR PROFITS THE ABILITY TO SHARE AND UTILIZE INFORMATION ACROSS THE CONTIMIUM OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM


CONFUSED vs. ATTEMPTING TO CONFUSE OTHERS…  WHICH IS WHICH?


 

I seriously question whether three (3) mis-spellings, missing punctuation and at least one missing word to make a grammatically complete phrase or idea is “accidental.” How is anyone going to educatate the public without being able to spell, write (and occasionally proofread)?  Or, was that just another “test” to see if anyone was paying attention?

Which reminds me of the Milton H. Erickson factor of intentional disrupting the attention for the purpose of a subject-induced entrance into a hypnotic trance for better suggestibility.

(Unless readers have a better idea why this type of behavior should fly by unchecked on Stewards of Change to the tune of PhD’s requesting thousands of dollars for its assistance (cross-continentally, that is))


 

Confusion disables dissent — or directs it in predetermined (for those promoting the original confusion) profitable or favorable directions.  I will explain more in a subsequent post, but here are three links:

One more reference — when Scientology is adopting “confusion to induce hypnosis/suggestible state” techniques from renowned psychotherapist Milton H. Erikson.**  I’ve mentioned this on the blog before.  The reference is from a blogger who reports extensively on Scientology (Lermanet.com):

  • Coercive persuasion is antithetical to the First Amendment. It contains aspects which could be interpreted as constituting the illegal acts of fraud, false imprisonment, coercion, undue influence, involuntary servitude, intentional infliction of emotional distress, outrageous conduct, and other tortuous acts


**My mistake — I checked.  Milton H. Erickson is named as a psychologist and psychiatrist, not ‘psychotherapist.’  However, he is linked with the history of hypnosis as therapy…. Notice in the description of how focused on him as a person his therapy was (characteristic of the field, in my opinion.  There are always, it seems gurus, heroes, founding fathers of the “psych-” fields, either worshipped or attacked by the followers, making those who attack “heretics.”)

Milton H. Erickson

Milton H EriksonJust as it’s possible to talk about hypnosis before and after James Braid, so it’s possible to talk about hypnosis before and after Erickson. His influence is enormous – the vast majority of hypnotists or hypnotherapists practising today will use some form of Ericksonian approach. In a very real sense, he remade hypnosis in his own image.

Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1928, with an MA in psychology and an MD, and went on to hold senior psychiatric posts in hospitals across the US. His medical career culminated in an appointment as Clinical Director of the Arizona State Hospital in 1948, from which he retired a year later to concentrate on teaching, writing and private practice. He was also an associate editor for the journal Diseases Of The Nervous System, a consultant to the US Olympic Rifle Team, and a consultant to the US government during WWII, studying the psychology of the enemy and the effects of propaganda.

Erickson’s relationship with hypnosis was a very personal one. He first encountered it as a way of overcoming his physical limitations. Later, as Director of Psychiatric Research and Training at the Wayne County Hospital in Michigan, he conducted many experiments on hypnotic phenomena, such as hypnotically induced deafness and colour blindness. Above all, his interest was in the therapeutic value of hypnosis, and to this end, he adopted a unique approach. So unique, in fact, that it could be said that true Ericksonian therapy died with Erickson.

Website for The Milton H. Erickson Foundation (has a facelift since I first posted on it) shows a good likelihood that a family couples therapist might be skilled or trained in “clinical hypnosis” and that this prolific individual was central in supporting it over his lifetime:

…Despite almost constant, intense physical pain and the progressive loss of mobility which lead to confinement to a wheelchair in his later years, Dr. Erickson was prodigiously active.

In 1957, he and a number of colleagues founded the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and Dr. Erickson served as the Inaugural President. He also established the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis and served as editor for 10 years. During the 1950s and ’60s, Dr. Erickson published copiously, traveled and lectured extensively, both domestically and abroad, continued to conduct research, and was in high demand as a practicing psychiatrist. In the 1970s, restricted to his home by his physical condition, Dr. Erickson still conducted teaching seminars for professionals on an almost daily basis and continued seeing some patients. When he died on March 25th, 1980, at the age of 78, his seminars were booked through the end of that year and requests exceeded another year’s scheduling. Dr. Erickson left a written legacy of more than 140 scholarly articles and five books on hypnosis which he co-authored. …

Dr. Erickson revolutionized the practice of hypnotherapy by coalescing numerous original concepts and patterns of communication into the field. …The novel psychotherapeutic strategies which Dr. Erickson employed in his treatment of individuals, couples, and families derived from his hypnotic orientation. Atlhough he was known as the world’s leading hypnotherapist, Dr. Erickson used formal hypnosis in only one-fifth of his cases in clinical practice.

Dr. Erickson affected a fundamental shift in modern psychotherapy. Many elements of the Ericksonian perspective which were once considered extreme are now incorporated into the mainstream of contemporary practice.

(see “Store” — “Pioneers of Psychotherapy” DVD series being sold, $59/each. I’ve set it to the page include John and Julie Gottman (Pioneers listed alpha by last name), names I recognized from researching healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood HHS grantees…).  Would love to say more, but not on this post focused on Minnesota.  “tba….” “You have NO idea” how closely this is entwined with the HHS-funded marriage-fatherhood programming….) (See main site for upcoming conference titles, including one “the Evolution of Psychotherapy.”  Yes, surely it evolved and wasn’t really promoted, funded, or strategically organized to self-promote.



The history and development of these professions is documented, and can be studied — it’s fascinating, and illuminating.  You’d be amazed how much overall government policy today (especially in the social services) tracks right back to devoted fans (or foes) of Sigmund Freud, William James, and/or G. Stanley Hall.


 

This couple, up in Washington state, seem heavily involved in the healthy marriage movement — they have an Institute, methods, certify therapists in their methods, etc. I’m su

rprised to find multiple search results for “http://gottman.com” as home of their Gottman Institute, however the website seems to be either under construction, or simply emptied out currently.  There’s a Wikipedia on John Mordecai Gottman (not on his wife Julie Schwartz?) with an entire section on their involvement in HHS-sponsored trainings, and developing a model which would predict marriage or divorce, through oral history interviews…

Gottman is a professor emeritus of psychology at theUniversity of Washington. With his wife, Julie Schwartz, Gottman heads a non-profit research institute (The Relationship Research Institute) and a for-profit therapist training entity (The Gottman Institute).[2]

Gottman was recognized in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential therapists of the past quarter century.  …

Next paragraphs, I’m referencing (typical in the field) the emphasis on oral history (self-reporting) interviews in establishing the scientific (?) relationship data, and of course, a proprietary method of therapy based on it.

He developed the Gottman Method Couple’s Therapy based on his research findings. The therapy aims to increase respect, affection, and closeness, break through and resolve conflict, generate greater understandings, and to keep conflict discussions calm.[6] The Gottman Method seeks to help couples build happy and stable marriages.

Studies[edit]

Gottman’s predictions are based on perceived marital bond. In his 2000 study, Gottman conducted oral interviews with 95 newlywed couples. Couples were asked about their relationship, mutual history, and philosophy towards marriage. The interview measured the couple’s perceptions of their history and marriage by focusing on the positive or negative qualities of the relationship expressed in the telling of the story. Rather than scoring the content of their answers, interviewers used the Oral History Interview coding system, developed by Buehlman and Gottman in 1996, to measure spouses’ perceptions about the marriage and about each other. Therefore, the couples’ perception was used to predict marital stability or divorce. The more positive their perceptions and attitudes were about their marriage and each other, the more stable the marriage.[7]

His models partly rely on Paul Ekman‘s method of analyzing human emotion and microexpressions. …

This next quote I hope serves as public notice that in having the federal government social services (welfare) policy pushing [significantly FUNDING] marriage and couples therapy pushes forward the professions of psychotherapists (overlapping with couples therapy) at least a significant subset of which endorse clinical hypnosis as part of therapy– which can (and does deliberately) entail getting the patient or client into a suggestible state as a part of dismantling and overcoming the cognitive (reason, will), in order to establish a different orientation, perception, or world view towards the past, present, and presumably, future.  The goal is still behavioral modification... the ends justifying the means…  and federal agency HHS has been funding this.  Like I keep saying:

Building Strong Families Program[edit]

BSF 15-Month Impact Report

Independent research on the impact of Gottman’s marriage strengtheningprograms for the general public has further questioned Gottman couple education programs.

The largest independent evaluation of a marriage education curriculum developed by Gottman, known as “Loving Couples, Loving Children,”[15]was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research[16] at nine sites in five states through the federally funded, multi-year Building Strong Families Program study contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesAdministration for Children and Families. The study group included low-income, unwed couples.

An impact report released by the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation[17] showed that the intervention had no positive impact and, in one case, “had negative effects on couples’ relationships.”[18]

Supporting Healthy Marriage Project[edit]

An ongoing study by Manpower Development Research Corporation (MDRC),[19] known as the Supporting Healthy Marriage Project (SHM), is evaluating Gottman’s “Loving Couples, Loving Children” program among low-income, married couples. The multi-year, random assignment study is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesAdministration for Children and Families. In an early impact study on the effectiveness of “skills-based relationship education programs designed to help low-income married couples strengthen their relationships and, in turn, to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children,” MDRC reported [20] “Overall, the program has shown some small positive effects, without clear indications (yet no clear negative proof) for improving the odds to stay together after 12 months.”

The program is still ongoing.

Matthews, Wickrama and Conger[edit]

A study published by Matthews, Wickrama and Conger in 1996 based on couples’ perceptions showed that spousal hostility, net of warmth, predicted with 80% accuracy which couples would divorce or not divorce within a year.[21]

 

As I said, Public/Private Partnerships, to run social science R&D on the public at our expense and then have them evaluated:   Manpower (“MDRC”) I have reported on — they’re a major nonprofit originally jumpstarted by the Ford Foundation (and federal agencies) in about 1974.  They are a multi-million-dollar-tax-exempt 501(c)3!!   Mathematica Policy Research is in Princeton, NJ.   Re: “Matthews Wickrama and Conger” — I wonder why Wiki would include a paragraph with almost nothing on the authors — but the active link in the footnote (21) shows that they are Iowa State University, and published in the Journal of Marriage and Family — itself a publication of the National Council on Family Relations, itself an HHS grantee, with HQ in Minnesota (as an Illinois Corporation, I think…) and itself fascinating. It’s been around a very long time, and at least one of its founders had ties to the eugenics movement (search “Popenoe” father and son…).

Personal

John Gottman was born in the Dominican Republic to Orthodox Jewish parents. His father was a rabbi in pre-WWII Vienna. John was educated in a Lubavitch yeshiva elementary school in Brooklyn, and currently identifies with Conservative Judaism.[27]

Two decades ago, he married Julie Gottman, a psychotherapist. The couple currently live in Washington state. They have a biological child together, Moriah Gottman.

Two previous marriages ended in divorce.[28]

Awards and honors[edit]

Gottman has been the recipient of four National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Awards, theAmerican Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Distinguished Research Scientist Award, the American Family Therapy Academy[29] Award for Most Distinguished Contributor to Family Systems Research, theAmerican Psychological Association Division of Family Psychology, Presidential Citation for Outstanding Lifetime Research Contribution and the National Council of Family Relations,[30] 1994 Burgess Award for Outstanding Career in Theory and Research.[31]

Media appearances[edit]

Gottman has been seen on, among other television programs, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the CBS Morning News and Oprah. He has been profiled in the New York Times, the Ladies Home JournalRedbook,GlamourWoman’s DayPeopleSelf, the Reader’s DigestPsychology Today, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.[31]


Quotes provided to support what otherwise might sound like a lone blogger just “spouting off.”  FYI, when I do “spout off” in print here, I have read extensively and considered deeply, before doing so, such that what comes out, has usually been processed pretty well!   The thing about HHS sponsoring individual therapists and pushing “marriage” federally (other than it’s not discussed openly enough on-line!) — whether or not it works and produces results, the money has been spent on setting up the infrastructure to promote this.  And the involved professionals have been rewarded well for participation.

So, what about the BUSINESS angles?  Before showing, here are three mainstream media articles on the Gottmans and their studies, from 2007, 2011 and even 2014:

2007 – Harvard Business Review:

 

This is from December 2007 Harvard Business Review, “Making Relationships Work” by Diane Coutu (search results on the “Relationship Institute”):

Few people can tell us more about how to maintain good personal relationships than John M. Gottman, the executive director of the Relationship Research Institute. At the institute’s Family Research Laboratory—known as the Love LabGottman has been studying marriage and divorce for the past 35 years. He has screened thousands of couples, interviewed them, and tracked their interactions over time. He and his colleagues use video cameras, heart monitors, and other biofeedback equipment to measure what goes on when couples experience moments of conflict and closeness. By mathematically analyzing the data, Gottman has generated hard scientific evidence on what makes good relationships.

HBR senior editor Diane Coutu went to the Seattle headquarters of the Relationship Research Institute to discuss that evidence with Gottman and to ask about the implications of his research for the work environment. As a scientist, he refuses to extrapolate beyond his research on couples to relationships in the workplace.

He is a psychologist seeking to emphasize the scientific in his work.

The media have sensationalized his work, he says. However, he was willing to talk freely about what makes for good relationships in our personal lives. Successful couples, he notes, look for ways to accentuate the positive. They try to say “yes” as often as possible.

2011 – Wall Street Journal

This one quotes Renae Cleary Bradley, whose name comes up below as one of two board members on “Relationship Research Institute’s” tax returns — and whose subsequent (questionable) activities in California, in addition to the questionable reporting on the 501(c)3’s tax return,  inspired this post.

So Cute, So Hard on the Marriage (window frame: “Here comes Baby, There Goes the Marriage”), 4/28/2011 by Andrea Peterson.  …

…Now, a growing number of mental-health professionals are advising couples to undergo pre-baby counseling to hash out marital minefields such as divvying up baby-related responsibilities, money issues and expectations for sex and social lives. A growing number of hospitals, midwives and doulas (birth coaches who provide physical and emotional support) are teaching relationship skills alongside childbirth education classes.

About two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship drop within three years of the birth of a child, according to data from the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening families. Conflict increases and, with little time for adult conversation and sex, emotional distance can develop.

Men and women experience the deterioration differently: Mothers’ satisfaction in their marriages plummets immediately; for men, the slide is delayed a few months. Hormonal changes, the physical demands of childbirth and nursing, and an abrupt shift from the working world to being at home with an infant may explain that, says Renay Bradley, the director of research and programming at the Relationship Research Institute

The article then references a different training center in Chicago for a paragraph or two, but comes back to “RRI” and its 12-hour Bringing Baby Home program:

Another program, a 12-hour Bringing Baby Home workshop for expectant and new parents, developed by the Relationship Research Institute, teaches “four steps of constructive problem solving.” They include the “softened start-up,” a way of bringing up a problem without criticizing. For example, using “I” statements, and saying things like “I would appreciate it if…”

Five more paragraphs — describing couples in two Massachusetts towns (Boston, Chesterfield) and then back to plugging RRI and the program == and we see they’re training facilitators of it, too:

The Bringing Baby Home program suggests that couples spend at least 20 minutes a day talking with each other. It directs participants to ask their partners open-ended questions that go beyond talk of household and kid logistics.

The Relationship Research Institute has trained about 800 people to lead Bringing Baby Home programs since the course’s launch in 2005. The program is now offered to couples in at least 17 hospitals across the country.

(This is a 2011 article — so that’s about 160 couples/year, or not quite 15/month…)  It then references a 2005 study of 38 couples, “In a 2005 study in the Journal of Family Communication, the marital quality for women taking the Bringing Baby Home workshop ….The study followed 38 married couples.”

2014 – The Atlantic

Masters of Love
EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH  JUN 12, 2014

First a paragraph about love and marriages, then, enter the social scientists in the 70s. after which, article gets right down to their featured professional:

….Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. {{“no-fault divorce” came first to California in 1970…}} Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.


John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together. ….

From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages. ….

Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat. He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a critical discovery in this study—one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish.

(Interesting, two specific examples cited were both about how the wife responds to the husband with respect — here’s the second one:   “An angry wife may assume, for example, that when her husband left the toilet seat up, he was deliberately trying to annoy her. But he may have just absent-mindedly forgotten to put the seat down.”  Then, one about the husband mis-understanding the wife…)

Meanwhile, the Tax Returns associated with John Gottman and Relationship Research Institute

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Relationship Research Institute WA 2010 990 23 $124,781.00 91-1961940
Relationship Research Institute WA 2010 990R 1 $124,781.00 91-1961940
Relationship Research Institute WA 2009 990 23 $121,192.00 91-1961940
Relationship Research Institute WA 2008 990EZ 10 $216,362.00 91-1961940

I checked the Washington State — they’ve been inactive since 2013. I checked IRS Select Exempt Check — no longer eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, but did file a 990-N postcard for Year 2012, which means receipts under $50,000 (Notice, nothing showing above for Year 2011). A look at the latest tax return above shows that the organization:

  • Had only 2 members on their Board of Directors — John Gottman (10h/week earning $19.8K) and one other, Secretary Renee Cleary Bradley, earning $59.5K (16h/week).
  • Their contributions, however, while down, were still $421K (none of it government grants) and program service revenues about half that.
  • It reported 17 employees, and split Expenses between Salaries and “Other.”
  • Their tax return very specifically disclaims receiving ANY government support in 2010 — while HHS below clearly says it distributed $408,227. (Fiscal year = calendar year for this group, so that can’t explain it).
  • The tax return labels past 5 years of support also, on Schedule A, Part II. In other words, it puts out a statement for contributions (combo of public AND private, if public and private both were received) for 2006-07-08-09 and 2010, plus total to date.  The numbers don’t match HHS declarations.  In 2006, they recorded receiving gifts/contributions of $246,303 — HHS says they paid nearly twice that.  Their “total to date” declared in 2010 is $2,636,109 == and HHS’s total to date for the same period, as you can see, is $2,323,657.
  • The $209K “revenues” are simply labeled “Pschology Research and Education”  However, this doesn’t seem to match the statement of Program-related Expenses to Revenues on page 2 of their return, shows four categories of activity — first one, profited Just under $30K + the second, profiting over $62K, the third, losing (only) about $20K, and the fourth, losing less than $5K:   Very roughly, this is saying,in thousands, “+30 + 62 – 20 – 5.” It is still saying, operating at a (slight) profit.   Yet, they declare two forms of liabilities on “Balance Sheet” thereby creating a significant negative at the end of the day.
  • Activities are labeled:  “Creating Healthy Relationships Project / Couples Decision-Making Project / Bringing Baby Home (“BBH”) and lastly, “To enhance the lives of families through research.”
  • Tax-exempt purpose per IRS form:  “Make the results of our research available to the public and other researchers in the scientific community. Use our research to inform policy and the institutions in society that reach out to families.

If so, then why write “N/A” under “website”??

If HHS is to be believed — this is primarily a government-funded operation.  If “Relationship Research Institute” is to be believe, it’s not.  Both cannot be simultaneously true without some sort of condition, or account.

2011– Still Being Quoted in HuffPost (Renay Cleary Bradley):

Renay Cleary Bradley being a unique enough name to search, I did — and found Huffington Post quoting her, as head of this (now inactive, or defunct) organization as late as 2011 (note:  no 2011 tax return found):  “The Top Five Signs You May Be Headed For Divorce

MEANWHILE (2006-2010), the Federal (HHS) Grants Received — Allegedly

The organization had been running routinely into over $100K deficit — probably intentional. BUT — before sliding into oblivion, here (searched by EIN#) were the HHS public dollars invested — that is, those invested as direct grants from HHS only (would not include other types of funding, such as from the state, or contracts) into the RRI:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
RELATIONSHIP RESEARCH INSTITUTE  SEATTLE WA 98101-1475 KING 626650225 $ 2,323,657

  This was a single, four-year grant to the organization, from 2006-2010.  The tax return shows that RRI’s 2010 CONTRIBUTIONS income was only $430K — and does NOT acknowledge any government grants.  The street address also differs — so what, really, took place in this instance?

Award Number Award Title Action Issue Date CFDA Number CFDA Program Name Award Action Type Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
90OJ2022 COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE 09/23/2006 93595 Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies NEW DAN YOSHHIMOTO $ 499,404
90OJ2022 COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE 08/09/2007 93595 Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DAN YOSHHIMOTO $ 499,157
90OJ2022 COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE 09/22/2008 93595 Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DAN YOSHHIMOTO $ 498,463
90OJ2022 COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE 09/14/2009 93595 Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies NON-COMPETING CONTINUATION DANIEL FRIEND $ 417,806
90OJ2022 COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE 09/23/2010 93595 Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations and National Studies ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENT ( + OR – ) (DISCRETIONARY OR BLOCK AWARDS) DANIEL FRIEND $ 408,827

… YoshHimoto was mis-spelled by HHS why?  ….

And, Take a Look at the Final Grant-Related Writeup:

Renay P. Cleary Bradley, like Gottman and Yoshimoto, has a PhD.  I found a writeup (Final Progress Report) of the above grant 90OJ2022 (date 4/6/2012) showing they were testing interventions for “low-income, violent couples.” Unbelievable — they are discussing “Characteriological versus situational” violence.  Take a look; again, PhDs get to test their hypotheses on low-income couples in large part because in 1996, Welfare Reform encouraged this through appropriating towards Healthy Marriage/Responsible Fatherhood activities.  BUT — this grant wasn’t allocated under that “CFDA” (93086), but as you see above, “93595”…. So, was this $2.3M donated to a group which doesn’t fill out tax returns honestly, it would seem, worth the public investment?

COUPLES TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE (CTAV) INTERVENTION PROGRAM (a.k.a. CREATING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS PROGRAM—CHRP)

FINAL PROGRESS REPORT

RELATIONSHIP RESEARCH INSTITUTE GRANT: 90OJ2022 PERIOD: 9/30/2006 – 03/31/2012

Investigators for this project included:

• • •

John M. Gottman, Ph.D. (Principle Investigator, 2006-2012) Dan Yoshimoto, Ph.D. (Co-Investigator, 2006-2009) Renay P. Cleary Bradley, Ph.D. (Co-Investigator, 2009-2012).

Any questions regarding this project or final report should be directed to Renay Bradley at renay.cleary@gmail.com or 206-852-7066.

A. PROJECT SUMMARY

Although marriage, fatherhood/parenting, and intimate partner violence (IPV) are closely related areas of family functioning, interventions to address these issues are typically designed to operate independently of each other. This grant conducted a longitudinal evaluation of a conjoint intervention program for low-income situationally violent parent couples in response to the “Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Research Initiative”.

The evaluation tested the ability of the Couples Together Against Violence (CTAV) program (a.k.a., Creating Healthy Relationships Program; CHRP) to 1) encourage healthy relationships that could strengthen or otherwise lead to marriages; 2) promote responsible fatherhood through information and skills that support healthy relationships, and 3) reduce a low-level but prevalent form of IPV— situational violence.

Situational Violence. Unlike characterological violence, which involves a clear perpetrator and victim and is marked by controlling and dominating behavior, situational violence is reciprocal in nature. Situational violence is characterized by mutual, low-level physical and psychological violence perpetrated by both partners that occurs somewhat infrequently (e.g., every other month or so). It may take the form of pushing and shoving, for example, that is physical in nature but is not severe enough to cause injury. In addition, the intent with such behavior is not to control, dominate, or assume ownership over one’s relationship or partner, as is the case with characterological violence. Situational violence has not been found to escalate into more severe forms of physical assault over time. It is believed that situational violence may occur between couples who lack conflict management skills and thus resort to becoming psychologically and physically aggressive as a means of conflict resolution (Johnson, 1995; 2006; Straus & Smith, 1990). Thus, violent couples may exhibit such behaviors during problem-solving interactions.

Research Questions. Using a sample of low-income situationally violent parent couples, this project sought to address five main research questions:

Details from this document show that a pre-existing “intervention” (by Gottman et al.) was tailored for low-income, minority, unmarried couples.  Some would simply call this ancillary marketing after the main product had already been set up.  Take a look (same link, I just didn’t go detail the fine-print, light-green-background format from above…)

The Intervention Program. The Couples Together Against Violence (CTAV) program is a psycho-educational intervention based on more than three decades of research with over 3,000 couples, including happily married couples, distressed couples, violent couples, and couples becoming parents for the first time (Gottman, 1994; Gottman & Silver 2000; Jacobsen & Gottman, 1998). Based on this work, Dr. Gottman developed a two-day couples workshop. This workshop and other Gottman interventions, such as Bringing Baby Home for expectant parents, focus on teaching healthy relationship and conflict management skills.

Theoretically, changes in these relationship behaviors should not only improve relationship satisfaction, but also reduce couples’ risk of intimate partner violence. However, this possibility has not been fully explored, as the two-day workshop was designed for nonviolent couples; nor had previous Gottman interventions been tailored to meet the needs of diverse, low-income couples.

So, take an “intervention” based on healthy, not-low-income, not diverse ethnically (presumably “diverse” has some reference to race or even religion, meaning the original curriculum was targeted to WHICH socioeconomic and ethnic sector????)

Based on this need, …

the “need” of diverse, low-income couples to experience Gottman-style psychoeducational interventions, or Gottman and others’ need to promote them?

the Loving Couples Loving Children (LCLC) intervention (used in ACF’s Building Strong Families project and Supporting Healthy Marriage evaluation) was developed based on research and experience with Gottman’s psycho-educational interventions, but, with assistance from Mathematica Policy Research, was adapted to be more accessible to a population of low-income, ethnically diverse unmarried parents. Realizing that low-income ethnic minority couples have particular concerns and styles of interacting and learning, extensive changes were made to the original intervention approach so that it would be more suitable for and appealing to the target populations.

This may seem rather too obvious for PhDs, but what “low-income” couples often might need is INCOME.   So, rather than reduce diversions from resources that might be used (absent enough income) to house and feed their mutual children into relationship coaching, perhaps those diversions might be reduced, and left in the hands of not only these couples, but also taxpayers in general???

The CTAV intervention was based largely on LCLC, building on previous psycho-educational interventions for couples. It was developed specifically to strengthen marriage and relationships by addressing low-level situational violence that is commonly the result of poor conflict management skills. It was also geared to specifically address issues related to responsible fatherhood, such as what it means to be a father, and the importance of father involvement

 This occurs earlier in the report, but at “the end of the day” out of what looks like 128 couples original started, and divided into 4 Time periods for assessment, by Time 4 — 77 couples had dropped out.  Perhaps this indicates, maybe, a lack of interest in the process??

Method. Couples were randomly assigned to the intervention or a control group (treatment group n = 632; control group n = 53) and followed for an 18 month period3. Couples were assessed through self-report, observational, and physiological data collection methods at four time points: baseline (Time 1), ~6 months after baseline (Time 2), ~12 months after baseline (Time 3), and ~18 months after baseline (Time 4). Couples assigned to the treatment group were offered the CTAV intervention program directly after baseline and prior to Time 2. Couples completed surveys on IPV, conflict management and healthy relationship skills, relationship status, relationship satisfaction, co-parenting, and attitudes toward violence. During assessments, couples also participated in a 15-minute “conflict discussion” during which observable behaviors (e.g., anger, contempt, criticism, domineering, stonewalling, belligerence, etc.) were coded. Physiological reactivity (e.g., heart rate, skin conductance) was also measured throughout the discussion.



This may seem almost laughable, from one perspective, but let me confirm — it involves public (HHS) dollars not being reported, as I’ve shown just ONE example, properly by the grantee organization, while their leadership continues to cite the organization as if it and its studies were truly scientifically respectable.  I’m no psychologist (obviously), but it doesn’t require a PhD to look at one source of information:  “HHS — we awarded this group $2.3M” and the group’s report to the IRS, at least the year I looked at “we got NOTHING from government that year” and figure out one, or both, sources are lying.  In addition, there are the R&D interventions run on low-income couple where the couples are (obviously) not even completing the participation (77 out of 128 dropped out by the 4th quarter), but it gets written up, and replicated, cited, and discussed as genuine, anyhow….

I just found that Dr. Renay Bradley is also (at least as of about two years after the above “Final Progress Report”) “Director of Research and Evaluation” for California’s “Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission,” (MHOAC.ca.gov).  If a person can’t account for federal grants, or the federal grant-making agency can’t follow up on them, are they really appropriate to oversee state-wide operations like this?  Here’s an Action Item from a Commission Meeting: October 23, 2014 Agenda (Item 3A) seeking a $300K contract to create a “Feasibility Study Report” (FSR) or “Advance Planning Document” (APD) to evaluate the (entire) DHCS (“Dept of Health Care Services) Behavioral Health Data Systems.  Apparently, now that Grant 90OJ2022 has run out (as has the Relationship Research Institute) this public employee (??) from California wants another $300K contract to plan how to re-align the state’s behavioral health data reporting?

Consider Recommendation for a Contract to Develop a Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or Advanced Planning Document (APD) to Evaluate the Department of Health Care Services Behavioral Health Data Systems

Summary: Dr. Renay Bradley, Director of Research and Evaluation, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, will present an overview of a proposed contract designed to assess the current Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) behavioral health data systems and explore the feasibility of adopting a new system that will provide data to meet all statutory requirements. Current mental health data collection and reporting systems do not provide timely data that allows the MHSOAC to evaluate all aspects of the Mental Health Services Act and broader public community based mental health systems. This contract will identify the Commission’s current data and reporting needs, compare them to what is available via current data systems, and draw conclusions regarding data elements that are missing and not available. Recommendations regarding the most feasible way to ensure that all Commission data requirements will be met will also be made. A Feasibility Study Report or an Advanced Planning Document will be developed, which allows the DHCS to identify and obtain approval to get the identified data collection and reporting needs met. In addition, an action plan for short and long term goals that align with the FSR or APD findings will be completed.

Again, systems change prefaced with official evaluation, and pay us for it, too..

Enclosures: None Handout: A PowerPoint will be provided at the Commission meeting.

Recommended Action: Authorize the Executive Director to execute a contract for no more than $300,000 to develop a State Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or Federal Advanced Planning Document (APD) to assess the current DHCS’s behavioral health data systems.

Motion: The MHSOAC authorizes the Executive Director to execute a contract with the Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC, for no more than $300,000 to develop a State Feasibility Study Report (FSR) or a Federal Advanced Planning Document (APD) to assess the current DHCS behavioral health data systems.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
201322810144 08/13/2013 ACTIVE STEWARDS OF CHANGE CONSULTING, LLC VERNON BROWN

(that’s a New York LLC, not a California One):

Entity Name: STEWARDS OF CHANGE CONSULTING, LLC
Entity Number: 201322810144
Date Filed: 08/13/2013
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Entity Address: 100 CENTERSHORE RD
Entity City, State, Zip: CENTERPORT NY 11721
Agent for Service of Process: VERNON BROWN
Agent Address: 2000 CRYSTAL SPRINGS RD 2822
Agent City, State, Zip: SAN BRUNO CA 94066-4601

Interesting.  In NY, this Consulting LLC was only registered 12/28/2011, and that address not shown.  However, an earlier (registered 2004) “Stewards of Change, Inc.” — a nonprofit — changed its name to “institute” in Dec. 2012, and shows the above street address in New York (under “Daniel Stein.”)  Therefore, these two organizations are related.  One is for-profit LLC, the other, a not-for-profit corp:

Entity Name
STEWARDS OF CHANGE CONSULTING, LLC
STEWARDS OF CHANGE INSTITUTE, INC.

STEWARDS OF CHANGE INSTITUTE, INC.
100 CENTERSHORE ROAD
CENTERPORT, NEW YORK, 1172 

(New York Div. of Corporations, Search)

Despite the organization (the nonprofit) having been formed in 2004, it says, I can only see two tax returns so far:  for years ending 2013 and 2014 (searched by EIN#):

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
STEWARDS OF CHANGE INSTITUTE INC NY 2014 990 23 $123,035.00 20-1647503
STEWARDS OF CHANGE INSTITUTE INC NY 2013 990 18 $102,849.00 20-1647503

(Oh my goodness – the tax return is “BEYOND” red flag material.  It claims to have only been formed in 2013, and already (despite “0” expenses) operating in the negative, hasn’t bothered to fill out “Program Services” page almost at all, and shows 3 directors only (paid nothing), but run up “other expenses” resulting in a negative $43K, despite spending nothing on salaries.

RESEARCH, ASSIST, ADVOCATE AND EDUCATATE THE GENERAL PUBLIC GOVERNMENT JURISTICTIONS JUDICIARY,PRIVATE BUSINESSES FOUNDATIONS,AND NOT FOR PROFITS THE ABILITY TO SHARE AND UTILIZE INFORMATION ACROSS THE CONTIMIUM OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM

(The same spelling errors — one of several in the return, i.e., “Bord” for “Board” — are repeated from their initial, 2013 return….)

3 Directors:  Daniel Stein, Michael Smoth and Vernon M. Brown.  $152K government grants reported ….   Other income came in part from “

  • a. SPONSORSHIPS b SYMPOSIUMS/CONFERANCES.
  • (Expenses:   $215K on “Outside Consultants,” + $128K on “Symposiums”)

Under Schedule L “Grants and transactions involving Interested Persons,” they have listed “Stewards of Change, LLC – $93,448, Consulting/Admin. Services

[[Hmm…  reg. agent address search shows that Street/Apt# associated with domain name (from Feb. 2006 til Feb. 2016) registered to Heather Weigand, related to “exonoree.com,” as in “exonerated after wrongful convictions” See “exonerated.org” for more info. and how this relates to behavioral sciences.]]

THE LIFE AFTER EXONERATION PROGRAM IS A PROGRAM OF THE TIDES CENTER, A PUBLIC CHARITY EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL INCOME TAX UNDER IRS CODE SECTIONS 501(C)(3) AND 509(A)(1).”

CharitiesNYS.org” lets you search by EIN#.  I did.  Original 3 incorporators included a Michael “Smith” which has been translated onto the last two tax returns as “Smoth.”

Daniel Stein, 207 Fleets Cove Road, Huntington, NY 11743 Maria Puglisi, 321 Clinton Street #3, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Michael Smith, 32 Riverview Terrace, Smithtown, NY 11787

 But, by the time they have registered with the NY State Charities as the Stewards of Change Institute (just about one month before Renay P. Cleary Bradley is attempting to get a $300K contract from the State of California to develop the FDR, or ADP to realign our data systems, for the “affiliated company” meaning, the LLC registered in 2011 in New York), this paperwork shows the following officers — and addresses, several from California, one from Puerto Rico and one from Virginia, with Vernon Brown as “President.”

EIN#201645703 %22Stewards for Change Institute%22 NYS 2014 Charity Registration showing 5 Board Members (none in NY) w Vernon Brown, Pres.

In case that doesn’t display, it reads:  Carmen Nazario ( (PO Box 738 Bayamon PR), Bill Davenhall (380 New York Street, Redlands, CA  92373), Sid Gardner (4940 Irvine Blvd #202, Irvine, CA), Paul Wormeli (21125 Cardinal Pond Terrace, Ashburn VA 20147), and Vernon Brown, President Board of Directors (PO box 370877, Montara, CA).

It took me a while to remember where I knew “Carmen Nazario” from — The Stewards of Change website reminds me that she’s former Assistant Secretary for (HHS) Administration for Children and Families.  I probably saw her on the HHS websites, or in roundtables/conferences on some of the things I blog.


BINGO.   ASPIRANET Foster Care, Afterschool programming for SF and San Mateo School Districts and Residential Treatment Centers, 

The name “Vernon Brown” (even with middle-initial “M.”)  is common enough to make search results not very productive.  Even after deducing that the “M.” (not shown above) stands probably for “Mcfarland” (as in Vernon McFarland Brown) — I didn’t get much except family trees and public records search sites.  I took off the name, searched the PO Box and we see now that STEWARDS of CHANGE CONSULTING, LLC (which was paid $93K for Consulting from the nonprofit Stewards of Change Institute) — also matches the PO box of Vernon McFarland-Brown as “principal officer” (his name ison the heading of the tax return) of “ASPIRANET” (Gross receipts $47M for the year 2009 — EIN# 94244295 in South San Francisco).

“TAKE COLLECTIVE ACTION TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES AS THEY LOVE AND CARE FOR CHILDREN””

UNBELIEVABLE “Specs” for this exempt purpose 501©3 formed 1975 in California:

1,224 employees.  CONTRIBUTIONS:  $45.8 MILLION.  Total Revenues, $45.9, but only because investment income losses of $38.Kwere declared, balancing out $486K of “Other Revenues”

Of the $45.8M, $43+ is Government grants, understandably given the business they are in.

What was it spent on?   $7.1M Grants to others (=payments to individual foster families), $27.2M Salaries, Compensation, $11.5M “Other Expenses” (and, in 2009 ….)


Page 2, Program service Accomplishments, summarized: (Part III, Lines 4a,b,c,d,e…) — Fiscal Year 2009:

(Code ) (Expenses $ 26,449,737 including grants of $ (Revenue $

THE ASPIRA PROGRAM PROVIDES PLACEMENT AND SUPERVISION OF COURT WARD CHILDREN IN FOSTER HOMES, INCLUDING TRAINING FOR FOSTER PARENTS ASPIRA SERVES OVER 2,500 CHILDREN EACH YEAR IN OVER 487 FOSTER FAMILIES THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA ASPIRA ALSO PROVIDES WRAPAROUND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO CHILDREN IN OUT-OF-HOME CARE AND THEIR FAMILIES ASPIRA ALSO FACILITATES ADOPTION PLACEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN NEED OF PERMANENT ADOPTIVE FAMILIES, AND HAS PROVIDED HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN WITH PERMANENT FAMILIES EACH YEAR ASPIRANET PROVIDED 308,393 DAYS OF CARE IN THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2010

(Code ) (Expenses $ 6,208,834 including grants of $ (Revenue $

THE AFTERSCHOOL CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PROVIDES AFTER-SCHOOL SERVICES FOR BOTH THE SAN FRANCISCO AND OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS AT VARIOUS SCHOOLS AND AT A COMMUNITY CENTER AT 3925 NORIEGA ST IN SAN FRANCISCO** THE MISSION OF ASCYDL IS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND OPPORTUNITIES TO ENSURE THE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY

[[**Why not just name the community center?  Looks to be Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center, programs sponsored by (it says):

The Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC) serves as a community center for families in the Sunset District. They host afterschool programs at neighborhood schools, support groups, and counseling services. They offer classes and enrichment programs to both adults and kids. SNBC is sponsored by the SFUSD, and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, as well as private foundations.]]

(Code ) (Expenses $ 5,348,727 including grants of $ (Revenue $

THE EXCELL PROGRAM OPERATES TWO RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES (EXCELL CENTER IN TURLOCK, CA AND EXCELL READINESS IN SAN MATEO, CA) WHICH HELP YOUTH AGES 10-17 WITH BEHAVIOR AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS TO BECOME RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS THE CENTERS HAVE A LICENSED CAPACITY OF 60 RESIDENTS AND SERVED APPROXIMATELY 120 YOUTH FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2010 EXCELL ALSO OPERATES TWO STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CERTIFIED NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR STUDENTS WITH SEVERE EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCES AND/OR LEARNING DISABILITIES THE SCHOOLS ARE VALLEY OAKS SCHOOL FOR DYSLEXIA AND STANISLAUS ACADEMY THE TWO SCHOOLS SERVED 120 CHILDREN FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2010

Other program services (Describe in Schedule 0 )
(Expenses $ 3,749,268 including grants of$

==========

Schedule-R Related Companies, “Organizations Taxable as a Corporation or Trust) — listed three:
  • ALTRUIT INC  (“501©3”) (“IT”)
    15515 SAN FERNANDO MISSION BLVD 2 MISSION HILLS, CA91345
    20-0098554
  • ALTRUIT 20 INC  (Software Development, 100% controlled entity)
    15515 SAN FERNANDO MISSION BLVD 2 MISSION HILLS, CA91345
    27-2825179
  • ASPIRA WELLNESS & EDUCATION CR  (Mental Health Services)                                               400 OYSTER POINT BLVD 501
    S SAN FRANCISCO, CA94080 20-1867188
 Vernon McFarland-Brown was the only paid officer (out of 5), at $251K; the other “highest paid employees” were just a few, and earning in the low $100Ks, as I recall. A few years later (2014 return, shown below) I see the pay is $10K lower, but the “benefits” column is higher by at least the difference.
I believe this deserves more discussion, but as I am talking into “space” (the blogosphere and 371 followers, and whoever else views the site without signing up), that discussion isn’t quite interactive enough.  I would, however, like to point out that it was my habit of looking up PO Boxes, combined with simply wanting to know WHAT kind of person would be involved with “Stewards for Change” that was the ONLY known link between Apiranet and the New York Organization.   If you click on “Aspiranet “2014” return, below, you can see that “Principal Officer” box on Page 1, top, heading, is left blank (which is obviously to be filled in).  Grants are up (over $50M), as are, only slightly, payments to foster families.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Aspiranet CA 2014 990 39 $18,429,526.00 94-2442955
Aspiranet CA 2013 990 31 $19,058,232.00 94-2442955
Aspiranet CA 2012 990 38 $17,689,345.00 94-2442955
With the disclaimer, or acknowledgment, that it IS possible for people to write in someone else’s name (including a real, or well-known person’s name) onto an obscure nonprofit without the person knowing), but if Mr. Brown (or, McFarland-Brown), I have to ask why was the nonprofit taking government funds in NYC (Stewards of Change Institute) which claims to have paid (Schedule-L) $93K to Stewards of Change Consulting, LLC (registered to Vernon Brown in California, as of 2013) when Mr. McFarland-Brown was already receiving over $250K from a different, foster-care- and mental-health-involved group in California (at the same time) — and a woman with the Relationship Research Institute (i.e., the Gottmans) from her position on the California State Mental Health Oversight Commission or whatever its title is (see above) is soliciting a contract with this NY group — RRI itself having taken over $2M from HHS (2006-2010) and then, ceased filing, complying, reporting, or whatever — WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT ASPIRANET IS ALSO REPORTING ITS NUMBERS ACCURATELY?

THAT’S WHY I PROTEST THE NONPROFIT SECTOR HOOKING INTO THE FEDERAL AGENCIES, ESPECIALLY INTO HHS!!. To compare the two Vernon-Brown-involved California organizations (one being the LLC in New York) again.  The data is searched from http://kepler.sos.ca.gov.  The appearance will be different, as I added alternating colors, but am not perfectly duplicating (nor is it worth the time) the colors as display on the government web page.

(If it matters why, between draft and publication, I upgraded computer operating system.  The new one does lots more, faster, but also doesn’t seem to do some very handy tasks the older one did, which involves being able to show original colors on tables from other websites.  The color differences (from now on) will also show when using tables from the site “990finder.foundationcenter.org from now on, unless some technical fix shows up meanwhile).


Entity Name: STEWARDS OF CHANGE CONSULTING, LLC
Entity Number: 201322810144
Date Filed: 08/13/2013
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Entity Address: 100 CENTERSHORE RD
Entity City, State, Zip: CENTERPORT NY 11721
Agent for Service of Process: VERNON BROWN
Agent Address: 2000 CRYSTAL SPRINGS RD 2822
Agent City, State, Zip: SAN BRUNO CA 94066-4601

(Website:  “Stewards of Change / Meet the Team“} (do take a look, there’s ex-HHS (high-ranking) involvement, plus Paul Wormeli of “IJIS Institute” is a little evasive labeling.  Take a look at this link, “IJIS” stands for “Integrated Justice Information Systems.  The website is from “CLAJ” (COmmittee on Law and Justice” of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (of the National Academies of Science and Medicine….):

PAUL K. WORMELI is executive director emeritus of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, a non-profit corporation formed to help state and local governments develop ways to share information among the disciplines engaged in law enforcement and the administration of justice. He has had a long career in the field of law enforcement and justice technology. He has been active in the development of software products, has managed system implementation for dozens of agencies throughout the world, and has managed national programs in support of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Mr. Wormeli was the first national project director of Project SEARCH, and was subsequently appointed by the President as Deputy Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in the U.S. Department of Justice. He helped design the first mobile computing equipment sold in this county to law enforcement agencies. Mr. Wormeli managed the staff work and wrote much of the report for the Information Systems section in the report of the National Commission on Standards and Goals for Criminal Justice which dealt with criminal justice information system standards. He has been an advisor to the White House on security and privacy, participated in the drafting of Federal law on this topic, and responsible for the development of numerous state plans to implement the Federal and state laws on information system security and privacy. During his tenure in the Justice Department, he served on the President’s Committee on Drug Enforcement. Mr. Wormeli was also the first chairman of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Industry Working Group (IWG), a consortium of over 100 companies which was formed at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice to help facilitate the implementation of Integrated Justice Information Systems throughout the nation. Mr. Wormeli undertook courses in the honors program for industry as a part of the doctoral program in engineering economic systems at Stanford University. He holds a B.S. degree in electronics engineering from the University of New Mexico, and a M.S. degree in engineering administration from George Washington University

ANYHOW…. looks like someone at “Stewards for Change” wasn’t too into letting people know what is IJIS (and who Paul Wormeli is)

“Stewards of Change™ is grounded in the principle that leaders from all sectors share in the responsibility for improving human services delivery and the lives of the children and families supported by these systems. Our founding partners are dedicated to finding new ways to take social innovation to scale in the 21st Century.”

And, the one I just discovered through that PO Box search in Montara, California:

Entity Name: ASPIRANET
Entity Number: C0755509
Date Filed: 10/02/1975
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 400 OYSTER POINT BLVD STE 501
Entity City, State, Zip: SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94080
Agent for Service of Process: VERNON BROWN
Agent Address: 400 OYSTER POINT BLVD STE 501
Agent City, State, Zip: SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94080
As a California Charity, Aspiranet is “Current.”  Its Revenues sure have grown considerably, especially given since 2008, many other people lost their behinds in the recession.  Here’s an unusual “Charitable Detail” year in which the amounts reported (assets and revenues, gross that is) are reported as an exactly even number:
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-03
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-03
Total Assets: $16,000,000.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $39,000,000.00
RRF Received: 18-MAY-04
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Year 2012 (YE June 30 2013) is the latest “RRF” I could find — this year revenues were over $51M.  Here’s a screen shot of two lines of fine-print “Customer organization/agencies.”  I am only showing the left-hand side of the page, or else it would look even smaller print:
ASPIRANET (Calif fostercare 501©3) $51M Revs - FROM agencies named (p1 of 2) FY 2013 (return stamped almost 1 yr late)     (As you can see it’s barely legible.  May be possible to read on the California Charitable Registry Site….)
 From the “Founding Documents” which (despite being 59 pages long, are still not complete, as they do not reflect name change to “Aspiranet”) I see this was originally “Moss Beach Homes for Boys.”  There are other things I notice but will not comment on here.
ASPIRANET on itself:
ASPIRANET.org on its CEO and other leadership (no photo, though):
 Serving as CEO since 1999, Vernon has spent 30 years in service to Aspiranet. He began as a principal and group home manager with Aspiranet’s predecessor, Moss Beach Homes. He then served as program director in the district office of Aspira Foster Family Agency, followed by posts as assistant director of Aspira Foster Family Agency, and as executive director of Aspira Foster and Family Services. As CEO, Vernon is the senior employee of the agency, responsible for leading all dimensions and operations of Aspiranet, including programs planning, policies, and community relations. He represents the organization in governmental, private, and public sectors and maintains relations with the media, professional organizations and others. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Distinction in Psychology and History, a fifth year credential in secondary education from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Public Administration, Administrative Organization and Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

(Some of its) “History of Innovation:”2000       Nurturing Healthy Parent-Child Relationships 

Aspiranet’s Welcome Home Baby (WHB) program was the first targeted case management paraprofessional home visiting program in California designed to reduce child abuse and neglect for first time mothers and boost children’s intellectual, physical and emotional development.  To this day, the program enhances bonding and attachment between children and parents, and decreases isolation by connecting families to community resources.

1998       “Forever Family” Solutions

Since 1998, Aspiranet has helped over 2,000 foster care children secure their own adoptive, “forever families.”  Whenever possible, our goal has been to strengthen and stabilize the family and reunite foster children with their family of origin.  However, when a child cannot be reunited with birth parents, we have facilitated the adoption process.

1993       Trauma-Informed Care

Aspiranet rolled out an innovative emergency shelter program across California, allowing children to be placed directly into foster homes rather than – as was the custom – suffering the trauma of 3 moves in 3 months through a receiving center, a shelter home, and then a foster home.

2009 Press release (“Businesswire”) how Aspira celebrates National Adoption Awareness Month (and shows ACF stats on how many children enter foster care every year in the US, and how many are in foster care.  The figures are high.

 

FINALLY, there’s a website I’ve probably mentioned before on this blog (Context — see post on Christian Adoption and the Military-Industrial Complex, or others on Bethany Christian Services, or even, as I’m recalling, on one of the “sticky” posts on this blog, an inserted update (comment) about “Nightlight Christian Services.”    POUND PUP LEGACY (“the darker side of adoptions”).    The only reference I see to Mr. McFarland-Brown was in a list of Adoption Agency salaries:   http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/12668.  Click on his name in that site and we find an investigation of child torture associated with an adoption by this agency — and not that long ago..

Related organizations
Organizations this person works for or is related to

Organizationsort icon Position Country From To
Aspiranet CEO
Documents
News paper articles, official documents and reports filed about this person

Document Datesort icon
Adoption Nonprofit Cooperating With Investigation Into Alleged Child Torture  2013-01-24
Average:

..

A 50-year-old woman faces a preliminary hearing next week on charges of torturing and assaulting two adopted children

By John Klemack, Melissa Pamer and Sharon Bernstein

The head of Los Angeles County’s child protective agency said Thursday he would personally investigate the case of a Palmdale woman accused of beating, torturing and starving two adopted children.

A day after authorities announced that Ingrid Brewer, 50, had pleaded not guilty to two counts each of child abuse, torture, assault with a deadly weapon and battery with serious bodily injury, the private agency that facilitated the children’s adoption said it was cooperating with the county Department of Children and Family Services.

DCFS Director Philip Browning called the allegations against Brewer “disturbing.” The county agency has not confirmed or denied whether the family was under his department’s supervision.

“I am personally looking into this situation to determine what role, if any, our department had in these children’s lives,” Browning said in a statement.

On Thursday, NBC4 learned that the children were adopted through a private South San Francisco-based nonprofit agency called Aspiranet, which has multiple offices in Southern California. 

Internal county documents obtained by NBC4 show that Brewer had seven foster children before adopting the most recent two, a brother and sister who were allegedly harmed by her at her Palmdale home.

.   …

Aspiranet Chief Executive Officer Vernon Brown said in an email to NBC4 that the agency is cooperating with the DCFS and Community Care Licensing, which both investigated the prior complaints.

“I cannot go into detail specifically regarding any prior complaints or allegations. CCL and DCFS are reviewing the files and Aspiranet is cooperating fully,” Brown wrote. “I cannot comment at this time regarding your request related to the finalization of the adoption due to confidentiality and privacy laws. All adoptions are finalized after review with DCFS and the Court.”

Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau said Brewer had reported the two children, an 8-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister, missing on Jan. 15. They were found hours later, huddled under a blanket and poorly clothed for the cold winter weather.

They recounted months of abuse — allegations that authorities described in some detail Wednesday.

“This one just really shocked our conscience,” Hudson said.

The siblings said they were hiding under a parked car because they were tired of being beaten by Brewer.

The children showed investigators injuries that gave credence to the story they told: When Brewer left for work each day, she would allegedly lock them inside their separate bedrooms for 12 hours at a time. They were forced to use waste baskets in their rooms when they needed to go to the bathroom during the day.

As punishment, Brewer allegedly pulled their wrists behind their backs with zip-ties, authorities said. The children had marks on their wrists consistent with such treatment, authorities said.

The children also said they had been beaten, sometimes with an electrical cord and a hammer, according to authorities. They were also deprived of food, sheriff’s department officials said.

Authorities said Brewer was cooperating with investigators, whom she had told the children were locked up because they had been stealing food.

A neighbor of Brewer — who lived on Clearview Court, in an area of fairly large, new homes — did not want to be identified but told NBC4 said Brewer did not respond to greetings.

The charges stem from crimes that allegedly occurred between Oct. 31 and Jan. 15.

“We had two kids that thought they were in a loving home. That’s where they thought they were headed when they were adopted,” Hudson said “Unfortunately that turned out not to be the case.”

Authorities said they were uncertain what agency approved the adoption of the children. The children were placed in protective custody with a foster family

But please see also Pound Pup Legacy’s “Position” (FAQs) and the “Demons of Adoption Awards.”  PoundPup is a well-developed site, and I’d bookmark it if you’re concerned about WHY it seems in the USA, so many parents are simply deemed unfit, and their kids sent into foster care.

Posting from Pound Pup Legacy doesn’t mean I’ve verified its contents or am 100% on the same page.  It’s an on-line reference that tells a different story than, as it mentions, the self-congratulatory agencies themselves.   Put some of this together with the fiscal behavior (above) and make your own decisions:

Pound Pup Legacy instituted the annual Demons of Adoption Award to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self congratulatory practices of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s annual Angels in Adoption Awards TM.

Previous editions:

2007: First Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to the National Council for Adoption)
2008: Second Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to the makers of Juno)
2009: Third Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to Bethany Christian Services)
2010: Fourth Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to Joint Council on International Children’s Services)
2011: Fifth Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
2012: Sixth Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to United States House of Representatives)
2013: Seventh Annual Demons of Adoption Awards (award went to Raymond Godwin and Nightlight Christian Adoption)

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  1. […] Continue Reading: https://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/milton-h-erickson-clinical-hypnosis-the-gottmans… […]

  2. daveyone1

    February 27, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    • Appreciate your periodic reblogs from FamilyCourtMatters over the years, including this one. Any effort to encourage people to engage in personal lookups of nonprofits’ tax returns and their relationship to federal grants is appreciated. Not all professionals seem to form nonprofits with which to engage in business. For John and Julie Gottman to have become HHS grantees totalling $2.3M (while also peddling the wares in CD form, etc.) and have a financial discrepancy between HHS’ account and the “Relationship Research Institute” account per tax returns is bad enough. But then when an RRI board member (apparently no consequences to RRI for its 2006-2010 fiscal reporting behavior) Dr. Renae Cleary Bradley then went on to recommend the “Stewards of Change LLC / Institute” cross-continental recommendation (California/NY) and with (see post) a Vernon Brown (or, Vernon McFarland-Brown) presiding over a longstanding foster care and afterschool provider in California (ASPIRANET, formed in 1975), there is a connection between fiscal dishonesty and major public funds. ASPIRANET’s most recent report — delivered to the state Charity May 2014 (per its “RRF” form) which is significantly late (it was due the previous fall; their fiscal year only ends June 30) — this means the latest year’s accountability for the public only represents Fiscal Year 2012 (and, we are in ASPIRANET’s Fiscal Year 2015 currently, Calendar year 2016 for the rest of us).

      And, as I recall, that state annual charitable registration (where are 2013’s and 2014’s??) reported $51M of revenues, the vast majority simply labeled (PART VIII Statement of Revenues) “Government Grants” on the IRS return, and on this return, provided in such fine print it would take an html technician (and a magnifying glass) to read. The firm with some of those $51M could easily have spent a few more minutes and spread the figures out over four pages, instead of two, and a few columns instead of multiple columns, so residents of the state (and out of state) might ACTUALLY be able to read it.

      I see you also follow Craig Childress, who I just heard about recently in terms of re-formulating Gardner, or letting Gardner’s ideas be expressed in pre-existing APA terms and pressuring professionals in the field who don’t go along with the “separation treatment” (vs. “reunification with child and both parents”) through their Board licensures (that’s a brief summary from a brief reading, during a busy season in my own life….). Another reason I don’t believe in arguing psychology with a psychologist, or giving it pre-eminence in family law matters. Whether or not the debates are ever settled, careers will continue to be made (“all PR is good PR”) over the debates…. At the end of the day, a parent who doesn’t share well with the other is likely to be suffering “detachment distress” under this philosophy as readily as any other, seems to me. I am wondering where his Psy.D. was from. I see a Pasadena address currently, which puts this within range of Los Angeles, definitely a powerhouse area in the family law arena, in fact the organization “AFCC” claims its origins to Los Angeles around 1963.
      _________________________________________

      http://childmyths.blogspot.com/2015/08/craig-childress-tries-to-drag.html.

      Now, here’s where we get to Craig Childress. Childress, a licensed clinical psychologist in California with a Psy.D. degree, and a faculty member at California Southern University, a distance-learning, on line outfit, has attacked others’ claims to treat PA and has presented his own claim that he knows 1) what causes PA behavior by accepted parents, and 2) how to treat the child’s rejection of one parent. He has published a book with a “boutique” publisher, Oaksong Press, about how this all works, and maintains an elaborate Facebook page and web site to argue for his views. There he comments on the “abject ignorance” of his opponents, a statement no doubt entertaining to some of the FB audience, but certainly not professional discourse. (Childress’ on line CV appears to show no activity between 1985 and 1998, raising more than one question about his professional history.)

      I have a few more comments over at RedHerringAlert which however began with looking at a “National Targeted Parent Alliance, Inc.” (domicile–when active, which it isn’t now. It was up only March 2015 – Dec. 2015) and they’d posted a Childress article, which was how I noticed the general company being kept. Not on my pay grade or priority to follow through more with this, but it’s interesting to note through what business models (registered/unregistered institutes, etc.) is the cause, classes/seminars / certifications (etc.) (therapy) being promoted:

      https://redherringalert.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/stop-approval-seeking/

      I believe that the fiscal behaviors of associated & related organizations is more objective ground on which to evaluate any such organizations. Patterns can be noticed, and the genders are being played against each other (as well as political, religious, and other dynamics) — that’s the “Good Cop/Bad Cop” game. Instead of being drawn into the philosophical (or psychological, or social science) debates, I say, pull back the curtains and look at the skeletal structure of the large, networked, almost living/breathing funding “organism” supplied CONTINUALLY through taxation, and as to the USA, we are a major taxing country, as well as a large country. Along with all this taxation goes tax-exemption, and it’s in those taxations a whole lot of laundering (or financial fraud) can and does take place. When I see in impassioned professional (particularly in this field, or in the fields involving lawyers dealing with domestic, child, or family relationships) associated with outfits whose ethical behaviors are not upright WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND TAX RETURNS, then it does shed some extra illumination on the impassioned theories, analyses, and causes.

      Let's Get Honest

      February 27, 2016 at 4:03 pm


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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