Thank you to my colleague Don Soeken who sent me the link to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) latest semi-annual report. index.asp
Upon review, something caught my eye. HHS, the largest grant making federal agency has continued to fail to provide proper oversight. That lack of oversight puts children at considerable risk of great bodily harm, sexual abuse, neglect and possible death. Grantees (recipients of federal funding) are not complying with State and Federal law in performing background checks and fingerprinting of people who work with children.
This is an intolerable situation since ALL grant applications require compliance with federal and state law. And ALL grantees are made aware of the requirements under a grant announcement, award notifications, continuation grant funding and the HHS grants policy statement. However, the blame for this debacle belongs to HHS employees and contractors who are obviously not properly reviewing documentation and not performing on-sight monitoring, as mandated by federal law.
This is extremely worrisome since I pointed out the same problem to the OIG 5 years ago. FEDS DIGGING INTO EHC
Below is an excerpt of the latest OIG report.
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Head Start Grantees Found To Have Health and Safety Violations
Of the 24 Head Start grantees that we reviewed, none fully complied with Federal Head Start or State requirements to protect children from unsafe materials and equipment. Twenty-one of the grantees did not fully comply with Federal Head Start or State requirements to conduct criminal records checks, recurring background checks, checks of childcare exclusion lists, or checks of child abuse and neglect registries. The grantees also failed to properly document criminal records checks. (emphasis added)