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DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Christy Gutowski

Investigations

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

A Chicago nonprofit that provides adoption, foster care and related services for abused and neglected children is fighting allegations it misused taxpayer money after an extensive state audit revealed questionable charges for staff meals, traffic tickets and membership to a private social club, among other issues.

In a 64-page draft report obtained by the Tribune, auditors for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said they had “serious concerns” about spending by vendor Child Link as well as its internal controls. Issues highlighted in the confidential report included a lack of supporting documentation as well as disallowed expenses for food, entertainment and fundraising efforts.

The state’s child welfare agency has demanded that Child Link repay about $100,000 in “disallowed costs” that were incurred over a three-year period ending last summer. DCFS had pressed to be reimbursed nearly double that figure in January after completing the initial audit, but Child Link reduced the amount by providing more receipts and other supporting documentation.

This is the first time in about six years that DCFS has conducted such an extensive audit of one of its private partners at the urging of its inspector general.


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