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Letter to Kansas Children and Family Services Director Teresa McQuin on Child Welfare Fraud

Letter to Kansas Children and Family Services Director Teresa McQuin on Child Welfare Fraud

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Published by Beverly Tran
We have had several telephone conversations on 8/30/13 and 9/3/13 about my concerns with
Andrea Dixon’s non-profit organization called ‘Faith Builder’s’ and their negative involvement in
where black children are being placed in foster care homes and adoptions. I am putting in
writing to you when I became concerned about Faith Builders and I hope that there are actions
taken to stop what this organization is doing to families.
We have had several telephone conversations on 8/30/13 and 9/3/13 about my concerns with
Andrea Dixon’s non-profit organization called ‘Faith Builder’s’ and their negative involvement in
where black children are being placed in foster care homes and adoptions. I am putting in
writing to you when I became concerned about Faith Builders and I hope that there are actions
taken to stop what this organization is doing to families.

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Published by: Beverly Tran on Oct 12, 2013
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12/07/2013

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“The scales of justice should be equal for everyone” 
Mary DeanPresident Kansas Justice Advocate(316) 371-2253PPS Interim DirectorTeresa Mc QuinCentral OfficeKansas Department for Children & Families915 SW Harrison StreetTopeka, KS 66612(785) 221-7906September 3, 2013Dear Ms. Mc Quin: We have had several telephone conversations on 8/30/13 and 9/3/13 about my concerns with Andrea Dixon’s non-profit organization called ‘Faith Builder’s’ and their negative involvement in where black children are being placed in foster care homes and adoptions. I am putting in writing to you when I became concerned about Faith Builders and I hope that there are actionstaken to stop what this organization is doing to families.Several weeks ago, I was contacted by someone to request my presence at a meeting with a young mother who is fighting to keep her three children. The meeting took place on Tuesday, August 13, 2013, at Burger King and Former Rep. Melody McCray Miller was present and so wasseveral case management workers and the mother. Doing the course of the mother’sconversation, she kept mentioning how Andrea Dixon and her organization Faith Builders wereinvolved negatively with trying to take her three children from her. She stated that she wasdoing everything within her power to do what the court had ordered her to do in taking classes,finding employment, and trying to find a better environment in reference to a place to live. Shestated that no matter what she did in complying with the court orders it was not good enoughfor Andrea Dixon. She stated that time and time again Ms. Dixon tried to encourage her to giveup her parental rights to her children, especially her new born child of least than a year.During our conversations with the mother and the people attending the meeting Andrea Dixonand Faith Builders name came up a little too much for me in discussing Faith Builders role in where children are placed. Based on what I was hearing it would appear that Andrea Dixon believes that because of her friendships with people such as Sarah Robinson (Director of the Wichita Children’s home), Diane Bidwell (Regional Director for Wichita DCF), and JeanetteOwens (Director of DCCCA) she is so connected that she has been given the key to the front doorto give recommendations and demands on where children (especially black children) should go when it comes to placement. I wanted to know at the time who is ‘Faith Builders’, who are they accountable to and how many children have been reintegrated back into the home since theirexistence! No one could answer that question for me. I also wanted to know how in the worldcould an organization or agency have that much power that neither DCF, DCCCA, or the DA could override what Faith Builders wanted when it came to doing what is in the best interest of the children. No one could answer that question for me either.The mother was due to go to court on Monday, August 19, 2013 at 8:30 that morning. Based on what was told at the meeting this hearing was for terminating her parental rights. I stated to the
 
 
“The scales of justice should be equal for everyone” 
mother that Kansas Justice Advocate would go to the hearing to advocate for her and herchildren, and I would write a letter to the judge.
Letter is attached
. It upset me to hear thatparents are still going through the same nonsense with the threat of their children being takenaway from them years after I was part of a task force created by Governor Kathleen Sebelius toget recommendations from various counties in KS about Black Children who aredisproportionately in foster care longer and not reintegrated back into the home sooner. A little background information on why Governor Sebelius created the task force.
In July 2007, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its reportentitled, African American Children in Foster Care: Additional HHS AssistanceNeeded to Help States Reduce the Proportion in Care-(GAO -07-816). Among thefindings, the report reflects: African American children were over-represented infoster care nationally at a rate of more than twice their proportions in the U.S.child population. Minority children enter the system at disproportionately highrates: specifically, compared to Caucasian children, African American children arefour times more likely to be placed in the state’s care.On November 25, 2008, former Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced a new effort, under the direction of her Health and Human Services Subcabinet team, toassure racial and ethnic equity is a standard outcome across all Kansas child welfare and juvenile justice programs. This new effort would convene ten counties with issues of inequity into six community teams. In the spring of 2009, sixcommunity (Sedgwick County was one of the six communities) proximity teams setout to achieve the Governor’s charge. The final report compiled with informationfrom the six teams was issued to the Governor’s office in the fall of 2009 and isavailable athttp://www.srs.ks.gov/agency/cfs/Pages/CFSOutcomesandReports.aspx.
Monday, August 19, 2013, I went to the hearing as an advocate for the mother and children. While waiting to appear before the judge, I had a conversation with the youngest child’s father.This young father was concerned that Andrea Dixon and her organization (Faith Builders) wereinterfering in his and the mother’s efforts to get their children reintegrated back into their home.The father stated that early on that Andrea Dixon has interfered with the process of getting theirchildren back. He stated that his mother was willing to take the children to keep them out of thesystem, but it was determined that his mother’s home was not up to standards and the childrencould not go into the home with his mother. The father stated that none of his family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins) was ever considered as placement homes for the threechildren. The father was disturbed about what Andrea Dixon wanted him and the mother to doin giving up their rights as parents, telling them that it was in the best interest of the children forthem to give up their rights as parents. He also stated that Andrea Dixon should not have beenat the hearing that morning, because the court had indicated to her that Faith Builders was notneeded during the hearings. Despite that Andrea Dixon was at the hearing on Monday, August19, 2013. Thank God Judge Flaigle ordered that the hearing be continued for at least anothertwo months. That would give the mother and father more time to complete some court orders before any decision is made to terminate their parental rights. After the hearing I noticed that Andrea Dixon had approached a SRS representative and the DA representative and was engagedin a conversation with them. As I was leaving the court Andrea Dixon and the foster care parenthad surrounded the mother and later from what I understand both Dixon and the foster careparent met with the mother and told the father and the mother’s St. Francis case manager thatthey were not allowed in the meeting.
 
 
“The scales of justice should be equal for everyone” 
In the meantime I wanted more information about Andrea Dixon and Faith Builders.Thursday, August 8, 2013, I contacted via email Senator Michael O’Donnell, and Rep. Jim Wardabout letters written and sent to Director Susan Fout and Secretary Phyllis Gilmore on May 22,2013, on information which I was seeking on another matter and had yet to hear from them. Ialso expressed my concerns about Andrea Dixon and Faith Builders. Senator O’Donnell emailedme back and stated that he had spoken to the Secretary and requested that I be provided theinformation that I had requested.Thursday, August 22, 2013, I received a phone call from Director of DCCCA Jeanette Owens. I wanted to know who Faith Builders were and how long had they been in existence, what agency are they accountable to and how many children had been reintegrated back into the home sincetheir existence. Director Owens stated that Faith Builders started in 2005, and that they hadreceived their 501 c3 in 2012. Director Owens stated that Faith Builders was accountable to various agencies. And, I wanted to know which agencies. She wouldn’t tell me which agenciesFaith Builders was accountable too. Director Owens told me how good and helpful FaithBuilders has been to families in replacing items in making a fresh start. I wanted her to be morespecific about those items and did she have records of what Faith Builders had done. DirectorOwens stated that she would talk with Andrea Dixon about providing me Faith Builders annualreport and that she did not see a problem with Andrea Dixon getting the report to me. At the endof our telephone conversation, I truly believe that my concerns would be answered somewhat.On Friday, August 23, 2013, I decided to email Director Owens some questions to answer.
ü
 
I would like to know who Faith Builders' is accountable to. Based on my conversation with you, it was stated that Faith Builders is accountable to quite a few agencies. My question to you is who are these agencies? It is DCCCA, DCF, who?
ü
 
I want to know also how many children have been reintegrated back into the home sinceFaith Builders became a non-profit or for profit org in 2012.
ü
 
I would like some of the information that you gave me about what Faith Builders havedone in helping people with articles and items to help them setup residence since FaithBuilders was organized in 2005.Monday, August 26, 2013, Director Owens called me and stated that Andrea Dixon would notrelease Faith Builders annual report to me, because she said I was mad at her. I stated toDirector Owens that people will interpret someone’s statement based on what and how it suitsthem. I stated that Andrea Dixon should not get it twisted that when I talked to her at the August 19, 2013, hearing it was out of concern about her organization Faith Builders not out of anger. Director Owens did not offer to answer the questions sent to her on the 23th, nor has sheresponded in writing about my questions to this date. Wednesday, August 28, 2013, I received a phone call from Deputy Director Brian Dempsey (PPSDeputy Director) as a follow up for Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. During our conversation Idiscussed with Deputy Dempsey my concerns about Andrea Dixon and her organizationsnegative input on where children of color are being placed in foster care and adoptions. Basedon my questions about Faith Builders, Deputy Dempsey stated that:
1.
DCF does not overseeFaith Builders;
2.
DCF does not license or regulate Faith Builders;
3
. KDHD does all licensingfor foster care homes;
4.
Faith Builders is a non-profit organization, not a placement agency for

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