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Metro Detroit funding for kids at stake

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Head Start, has embarked on a nationwide review to assess Head Start grantees that have applied for additional funding under the Recovery Act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General released its results of a limited review of the City of Detroit Department of Human Services Head Start Program.

The Head Start Program is funded directly through federal grants.  For the fiscal year 2009, ACF awarded over $47 million to Detroit's Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. 

The federal review revealed questionable reporting activities that did not comply with federal mandates, possibly jeopardizing additional Recovery Act funds.  Detroit requested an additional $4.8 million through the Recovery Act for 2010.

The City responded by agreeing with the recommendations and asked ACF to take into consideration its financial condition.

Even though funding is separate, Wayne County is experiencing similar auditing challenges in its children and family services and juvenile programming. 

State of Michigan Auditor General reports have questioned the operations of Wayne County Children and Family Services and Juvenile Services. The most recent state audit questioned all claims of the county.

The Detroit is one of five cities under federal investigation for Medicare and Medicaid fraud. 

Targeted Case Management, a Medicaid program, is one of the largest funding sources for foster care, adoption and juvenile services.  The Michigan Senate has recently acknowledged "on going and large scale Medicaid fraud" with the introduction of a bill for a state Medicaid Inspector.