Close Up:
The Petro Foster Care Audits


Background

The Office of Ohio State Auditor Jim Petro explains: "Based on allegations of misspending, the Auditor of State began investigations in 1998 of non-profit agencies which provide foster care services to children. Evidence of questionable spending at some of these agencies led to comprehensive reform efforts at the state and county levels. Petro, at the request of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, launched audits of 25 randomly selected foster care agencies. Auditor of State Jim Petro opposes efforts by the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies to stop oversight of public foster care funds."

The Findings

Luxury car leases, tickets to sporting events, country club memberships, a cruise, limousine service, personal loans, and political contributions. All at taxpayer expense--and all from money intended to be used for children in foster care.

Among the Auditor's findings against one private foster care agency: "$1,209,680 in questioned costs for unallowed investments, a sports car, plastic surgery and health club dues." Among the Auditor's findings against another: "$492,974 for checks written to cash, a personal vehicle lease and other items." SAFY of Ohio, Inc., was charged by the Auditor with misallocating "$5,106,893 for high management fees paid to a parent company and other items."

As of October 2002, a total of $9,150,048 was identified by the Auditor as having been expended by private foster care agencies in a manner often inconsistent with federal law and policy.

The Opposition

On Monday, March 4, 2002, the association representing these non-profit corporations, the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA) filed suit against Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services Director Tom Hayes in federal court seeking to stop enforcement of ODJFS' new rules. "The lawsuit also seeks the court's declaration that the non-profit corporations are merely 'vendors' to the public agencies they act for, and thus, OACCA is also seeking a ruling from the court that the federal, state and local money their member corporations receive is theirs to spend any way they wish," the Auditor explains in a prepared statement issued by his office.

"The State of Ohio must do whatever it can to stop the few unscrupulous non-profit corporations who seek to traffic in Ohio's most underprivileged children for their officers' own personal gain," concluded the statement. "As Auditor of State, I will continue to do whatever I can to lead the fight to protect those children."

The public ultimately rewarded Jim Petro's dedication to fighting fraud and protecting children. Jim Petro was elected Ohio Attorney General on November 5, 2002, receiving 63.74 percent of the vote and carrying 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties.


For your convenience, links are provided to each foster care audit, as well as to press releases concerning the audits issued by Jim Petro's office. You may require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the audit reports.


Audits of Private Foster Care Agencies
Auditor of State
State of Ohio

Note: Bolded counties are those that place the most children with these agencies

Adriel School, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Adriel School - Allen, Athens, Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clarke, Darke, Defiance, Franklin, Fulton, Henry, Hocking, Licking, Logan, Lucas, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Paulding, Pickaway, Shelby, Williams, and Wood

Applewood Centers, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga only

Bair Foundation

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Columbiana, Summit, Stark, and Portage

Beech Acres

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Butler, Clermont and Hamilton

Beech Brook

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Ashland, Ashtabula, Butler, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Geauga, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lake, Logan, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Mercer, Perry, Portage, Seneca, Stark, and Tuscarawas

Bellefaire Jewish Children's Bureau

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, Lake, Stark, Mahoning Medina and Summit

Berea Children's Home

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Belmont, Butler, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Franklin, Geauga, Hamilton, Hardin, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Ross, Summit, Stark, Wayne, and Wood

Boys Village, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Wayne, Summit, Stark, Erie, and Knox

The Buckeye Ranch, Inc

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Licking, Jefferson, Montgomery, Pike and Stark

Homes With A Heart, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Lucas and Summit

House of New Hope, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Delaware, Franklin, Licking, Scioto and Muskingum

Lifeway

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Allen, Auglaize, Butler, Clark, Clinton, Clermont, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Greene, Logan, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, and Shelby

Lighthouse Youth Services

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Butler, Clermont and Hamilton

The Marsh Foundation

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Auglaize, Mercer, Wood, Paulding, Hancock, Henry, Washington, Hardin, Putnam, Van Wert and Shelby

Marycrest

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga only

Parenthesis Family Advocates

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Ashtabula, Crawford, Fairfield, Franklin, Hardin, Licking, Marion and Scioto

Parmadale, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga, Columbiana, Erie, Franklin, Lucas, Coshocton, Guernsey, Tuscarawas, Summit, Lake, Portage, Medina, Stark, Trumbull, Huron, Van Wert, Holmes, Lorain, Ottawa

Shoemaker's Christian Home

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Franklin, Montgomery, and Ross

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth SAFY) of Ohio, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: 62 Ohio Counties; primarily Cuyahoga, Montgomery, Franklin, and Hamilton

St. Joseph Treatment Center

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Allen, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Darke, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Holmes, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Pickaway, Seneca, Shelby, and Warren

Symbiont NFP, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Lake, Lawrence, Lucas, Licking, Muskingum, Ottowa, Perry, and Stark

The Twelve, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Stark

V. Beacon, Inc.

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Cuyahoga, Lucas, Franklin

Youth Services Network

o        Audit Report

o        Counties Served: Butler, Montgomery, Clark, Clermont, Darke, Licking, Miami, Preble, Warren and Greene


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Last updated April 8, 2005