Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crossover Youth Practice Model Yields Recognition

Mesa County- Mesa County’s Crossover Team was recognized by the Convening on Children, Youth and Families. Don Castro, of 21 Judicial Probation received the Excellence in Practice Key to Success Award as the Chair of the Crossover Youth Committee of Mesa County.  This recognizes Mesa County’s focus on community partnerships through preparation, perseverance, and integrity which led to an effective collaboration among the courts, the child welfare agency, attorneys, providers, law enforcement, and child welfare community; while providing for safety, permanency and the well-being of children and families in Mesa County.

Don Castro, of 21 Judicial Probation says the following, “I would agree that there’s been a lot of collaboration between DHS and Probation and would say it’s at an all-time high.”

Jill Calvert, Division Director of Mesa County Child Welfare Services and Judge Valerie Robison are key supporters of the Crossover work and were instrumental in Mesa County being selected by Georgetown University as a site to implement the Crossover Youth Practice Model.

According to Calvert, DHS Child Welfare Division Director, “By working together we are able to serve children at the lowest possible level without duplicating services. This collaboration has been building for several years and the therapies we offer collectively provide the best opportunity for children to be safe and find permanency. ”

The Crossover Implementation Team consists of collaborations with the following community agencies: Probation, Judges, Magistrates, GJPD, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Justice Services, Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, Mesa County Department of Human Services, Division Of Youth Corrections, School District 51, Partners, Mind Springs Health, Hilltop.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Human Services Sends Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution

The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $5,432.74.  


The suspected fraud occurred from March 4, 2014 to August 31, 2015. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege fraud in the following programs:

Food Assistance: $1,679.00
AND
Aid to the Needy and Disabled:  $3,022.75

Additionally, the Department will be seeking restitution of $730.99 in Administrative costs associated with the investigation 

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application/re-certification in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mesa County Veterans Service Office Encouraging Vets to Visit

In observance of Veterans Day, November 11 the Mesa County Department of Human Services would like to highlight the services available through the County Veteran Service Officer (VSO). VSO, Dave Montoya, from the Mesa County Workforce Center is available to help veterans navigate their Veteran benefits. VSO’s help gather the information necessary to support a claim, filing a claim, and tracking the claim through the VA system. A County VSO can also assist with filing appeals for denied claims.  Some of the services the County VSO can assist with include:

·         Pension, Aid & Attendance, Nursing Home Care Claims
·         Insurance Benefits & Eligibility
·         Educational Benefits
·         Burial & Death Benefits
·         Federal, State & Local Benefits
·         Recovery of Military Service Records
·         Referral for: housing, health, employment, counseling, and other support agencies

Department of Human Service’s Executive Director Tracey Garchar states, “I strongly encourage local Veterans make use of the services provided by our Veteran Service Officer. Dave’s expertize can help Vets avoid the pitfalls and delays that can result from missing paperwork or improperly filled out claim forms.”
The Mesa County Veteran’s Service Officer provides services to veterans who served in the United State Armed Forces, their surviving spouses and dependent children.
Call today to schedule an appointment! 970-248-2733.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mesa County Workforce Center and Department of Human Services welcomes a new Workforce Director,

The Mesa County Workforce Center and Department of Human Services welcomes a new Workforce Director, John Flanagan. 

“We are pleased to welcome, John Flanagan to the team as our new Workforce Center Director. John has more than a decade of non- profit management and workforce development experience.” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director of the Mesa County Department of Human Services.

Prior to his appointment as the Workforce Center Director with Mesa County, Flanagan held the position of Chief Operating Officer - Title I/ Workforce Programs for the Northwest PA CareerLink ®, and it’s contracted provider, the Venango Training and Development Center, Inc. As COO, Flanagan was responsible for managing all WIA/WIOA program oversight for a 6 county Workforce Development area with a labor force in excess of 400,000 people.  
Three of John’s key initiatives were sector partnership development, focusing on advanced manufacturing and building and trades, helping to create career pathways with input from employers and educators to address the needs of the employer in creating a skilled labor pool, and job seekers looking for life and family sustaining employment.  The creation of a career exploration program for 6-8th grade youth and coordinating, managing and executing a large scale, STEM focused summer youth career readiness and employment program, serving in excess of 200 youth within Erie County were 2 other key focuses in John’s time in Northwest PA and the workforce sector. 

“I am extremely excited to be here, in Mesa County. Mesa County is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.  The Mesa County Workforce Center is truly a place where ingenuity occurs in order to assist employers and job seekers in attaining their goals and objectives.  I have always been a believer in the adage that there is no better social program than a job. I truly believe the Mesa County Workforce Center, and its partners, ascribe to that mission as well.” states John Flanagan, the new Workforce Center Director. 

Flanagan holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Public Administration from Gannon University.   Flanagan is married to Emily Flanagan, and they have a 1 year old son, Jack. In their free time, The Flanagan’s enjoy skiing, golfing, watching their beloved Pittsburgh Steelers on Sundays, and taking long walks with their 2 Boston terriers, Hank and Gretta. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mesa County Sheriff's Office LOSES to the Dept. of Human Services

Mesa County Department of Human Services Executive Director and the Mesa County Sheriff made a friendly bet on their 2015 Men in Heels teams and now it is time to pay UP!

Prior to the 2015 Latimer House, Men in Heels race, MCDHS, Executive Director, Tracey Garchar bet Sheriff Matt Lewis that his MCDHS Men in Heels team could beat the MC Sheriff Office team in a head-to-head race against the clock. The Mesa County DHS team was victorious when they ran the first heat against the Sheriff’s Office team during the Men in Heels Race on September 24, 2015.

Now it is time for Sheriff Matt Lewis to pay up and we are inviting the media to document results of this friendly wager. The check presentation will be on Monday, October 12, 2015, at 1:30pm at Latimer House. Lewis will present Garchar with a check, which will then be donated to Theresa McKenzie on behalf of Latimer House.

For more information contact:
·         Heather Benjamin, MCSO- Heather.Benjamin@mesacounty.us | (970) 244-3929
·         Theresa McKenzie, Latimer House- Theresamc@htop.org | (970) 244-0472
·         Angeline Roles, MCDHS- Angeline.Roles@mesacounty.us | (970) 256-2453


The Latimer House is a counseling, advocacy and shelter for adults and children who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Latimer House is located at 1003 Main Street, Grand Junction.

Friday, September 18, 2015

TANF Community Investment Program Application


Mesa County
Temporary Aid to Needy Families
Community Investment Program
2016 Funding
Application Materials


General Information
The Mesa County Department of Human Services (DHS) announces the availability of federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds to be awarded in the form of grants for the delivery of services to accomplish one or more of the following federal goals of the TANF program:

·         Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;
·         Reduce dependency of needy families on government benefits by promoting job preparation, training, and employment;
·         Prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock births; and
·         Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.


DHS is responsible for administering the TANF Program that transitions individuals from reliance upon public assistance to self-sufficiency.  DHS invites your application for the Community Investment Program through a competitive selection process of Request for Applications (RFA) utilizing the TANF Block Grant as its source of funding. Priority will be given to proposals that increase the likelihood of employment and self-sufficiency.

Community Participation
To further describe the 2016 focus of funds, the process for applying, and to answer applicant questions, a community meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, in Business Center Room B of the Workforce Center Building, 512 29 ½ Road, Grand Junction, CO 81504. For additional information, contact Sara Tourney via email (sara.tourney@mesacounty.us) or phone (970.248.2831).

Anticipated Timetable
Request for Applications Issued                                  September 1, 2015
Community meeting/open house                               September 8, 2015
Deadline for Application Submissions                        September 30, 2015
Award Letters Sent                                                     October/November 2015
Grant Agreements executed                                      November 2015
Funding Begins                                                            January 1, 2016

Application Review Information
An Application Evaluation Committee will be convened to review and evaluate applicant proposals. The evaluation form is attached for your reference (Appendix A). Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

·         Organizational Experience and Capacity
o   Describe your experience in delivering social service programs and working with poor and vulnerable populations in the community. Explain your capacity to plan and implement a sound program with adequate staffing, partnerships, training, and technical assistance.
·         Program Design
o   Outline the significance, innovation, and beneficial impact of the program to address the need or problem described in the aforementioned section. 
·         Outcomes and Performance Measures
o   Identify goals and objectives and link them to specific measurements (indicators/factors) for program evaluation and effectiveness in determining the overall impact of the program.
·         Monitoring and Evaluation
o   Describe how your agency will evaluate the success of the program and how often the evaluation will take place.

Applications that meet the requirements of this RFA will be rated against the criteria listed above on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most desirable.  A decision committee will review the applications and make the determination as to which programs most closely identify with the goals of the TANF program and the priorities of employment and self-sufficiency.



Award Announcement
The successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a notice of intended grant award.  Applicants may not receive the full amount of the funding request. The grant award and signing will be contingent upon the size of the award.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified in writing and be given an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Reporting Requirements
Monthly Financial Report:  A financial status report is required to be submitted 15 days after the end of each month to account for all expenditures to conduct the program.

Quarterly Performance Reports:  Awardees must submit a quarterly progress report to DHS within 30 days after the end of each quarter. A detailed account of activities, program success stories, promising approaches, and performance outcomes achieved.

Final Programmatic and Financial Reports: Grantees are required to submit a closeout report to DHS 60 days after the close of the program period.  Includes a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, whether the anticipated outcomes were achieved, and any problems encountered and lessons learned.

Monitoring
Selected programs will be monitored frequently by DHS Contract Manager, Sara Tourney.  Monitoring may include a review of eligibility documents, financial documents, and other as deemed necessary by the contract manager.

Administrative Costs
As a general rule, administrative costs for TANF funded services should be no more than fifteen (15) percent of an entity’s total allocation.  Special permission to deviate above this standard must be substantiated in writing and approved by DHS prior to the approval of any grant agreement. The examples below should help illustrate the types of cost allocations that would generally be considered to be administrative or non-administrative costs.

The cost of salaries and related benefits should be calculated only for the percentage of time personnel works on TANF-funded activities.  For example, a program director may be employed full time, but only 4 hours per week is allocated for TANF-funded activities.  Only that portion of salary and benefits should be considered as an allowable cost, not the entire salary.

The following are guidelines as to what is considered an administrative cost:
Ø  General administration or coordination of program, including accounting and payroll functions;
Ø  Salaries and indirect costs associated with performing administrative functions;
Ø  Supplies, equipment, travel, postage, utilities and office space related to the administration of a program;
Ø  Activities related to eligibility determinations;
Ø  Preparation of program plan, budget and schedules; and
Ø  Program monitoring.

The following are guidelines as to what is considered a non-administrative cost:
Ø  Direct cost of providing program services including client activities, assessment, case management, etc.;
Ø  Salaries and indirect costs associated with performing services functions;
Ø  Supplies, equipment, travel, postage, utilities, and office space related to the performing of services functions;
Ø  Evaluations and audits of service functions; and
Ø  Technology/management information systems not related to payroll, personnel or other administrative functions.

The following are not generally considered allowable costs under TANF, even if they are related to program operations:
Ø  Inherently religious activities
Ø  Purchase of vehicles
Ø  Renovation, construction or purchase of a building used for program operation
Ø  Payment of bad debts, or interest payments as a result of credit agreements
Ø  Medical services
Ø  Purchase of alcohol
Ø  Any clothing such as T-shirts
Ø  Match for other federal funds
Ø  Lobbying costs
Ø  Penalties, fines, etc.
Ø  Replacement of funds for existing programs
Ø  Expenditures DHS determines are not allowable uses of TANF funds.


Application




Friday, September 4, 2015

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Restored After CenturyLink’s Nationwide Phone Outage

CenturyLink has informed Mesa County that toll-free service has been restored to Colorado’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (1-844-CO-4-KIDS). The outage, which impacted all toll-free numbers hosted by CenturyLink throughout the nation, resulted in callers to the hotline hearing erroneous, recorded messages that the number was no longer a working number. 

We are pleased that this service is once again available throughout Mesa County and the state. The hotline, which was designed to provide one easy-to-remember phone number for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, is an important tool for helping to keep the children of Colorado safe.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Child Abuse & Neglect 800 Hotline Out Nationally

Mesa County re-routes 800 number to local hotline number

Mesa County – Mesa County, Colorado and Nationally 800 numbers are experiencing a failure. Currently, our local hotline number 970 242 1211 is working. Calls will be handled promptly by local Child Abuse Hotline operators.  

The Colorado State Hotline 1 844 CO 4 KIDS  is not working.  If Mesa County residents suspect Child Abuse or Neglect, please call the local number 970 242 1211. If the line is busy please leave a message and an Hotline operator will call you back. 

Centurylink reports, network engineers continue to work this toll free disruption at a critical level. As soon as information becomes available on their troubleshooting it will be provided. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GOVERNOR DECLARES SEPTEMBER AS WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT MONTH


Annual focus is on variety of services for job seekers and employers

Governor John Hickenlooper has issued a proclamation declaring September as Workforce Development Month in Colorado.

During the next four weeks, state and county run employment offices called Workforce Centers will partner with the Department of Labor and Employment to spotlight a variety of services and resources available to the state’s 2.7 million men and women in the state’s labor force and the 170,000 Colorado businesses that hire them.

Workforce Development Month began modestly in 2004 with a handful of events.  Now in its second decade, the annual series of events has grown to include a wide array of workshops, open houses, hiring events (both in person and online), employer seminars and more.

Hiring events will take place almost every day across Colorado.  Some will be traditional, face-to-face meeting with employers; others will be virtual, online hiring events such as the one going on now and running the entire month of September.

In Mesa County:
Customer Appreciation Day: September 15th
o   11am to 1pm
 Job Fair Boot Camp: September 18th
o   9am to 11am
 JobFest Job Fair: September 22nd
o   8am to 3pm
o   8am to 8:30am – Exclusive Access for Veterans
o   Anticipating 30+ Employers (over 28 employers already committed)

On October 1, the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt will conclude its 36th season with an awards reception to honor the exemplary teens and the great businesses that hired them this summer.

Workforce Development Month will showcase how the Department of Labor and Employment and Workforce Centers across Colorado can help businesses and workers succeed.  A full calendar of events is available at www.coworkforce.com.   Events will also be posted to Facebook (facebook.com/ColoradoLabor) and Twitter (twitter.com/ColoradoLabor).

It is a time to focus on creating a stronger and more competitive Colorado.  In his proclamation, Governor Hickenlooper notes that “breaking down the barriers that keep people from following their dreams and reaching their goals is critically important if Colorado is to remain economically robust and globally competitive.”  Workforce Development Month provides an opportunity for Colorado’s workers and entrepreneurs to focus on those dreams.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Looking for Businesses Needing Qualified Work Candidates


Looking for a Quality Employee?
On-the-Job Training With the Mesa County Workforce Center 

On-the-Job Training or OJT is a limited-duration contract between an employer and the Mesa County Workforce Center, which provides for the training of a new employee who is also a participant in the Workforce Investment Act program.

Benefits to the employer:
  • Reimbursement of the employee wage rate for a set period of time (50% to 90%).
  • Assessment screening of skill levels and work values needed for the job.
  • Worker receives the knowledge and skills essential to needs of the employer.

How it works:
  • Employer notifies Mesa County Workforce Center, 248-0866, of interest in participating in an OJT program prior to hiring applicant.
  • The funding for this program requires an eligibility process, which may take up to 1 week to complete.  Please allow for this time frame.

Duration of OJT Agreement is determined by such factors as:
  • The occupation for which the employee is being trained.
  • The content of the training
  • Prior work experience of the employee
  • The available amount of grant funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grant.

On-the-Job Training is an excellent opportunity for employers to cultivate new, qualified employees while minimizing the cost of training.

Contact Hollie VanRoosendaal at 248-0866, or Mark Fugere at 248-0867 for more information.

*Not all applicants referred by the employer or Mesa County Workforce Center may be eligible for On-the-Job Training


August is National Child Support Awareness Month

Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) collects over $1 million dollars in child support each month.  This money goes directly to support children in our community both emotionally and financially whether it’s ensuring basic needs are met such as food, clothing and shelter or providing financial support for participation in school activities or medical/dental care.  The child support system is critical for building a better future for our young ones.

The mission of the Colorado Child Support Services Program is to assure all children receive financial and medical support from each parent.  This is accomplished by locating each parent, establishing paternity and support obligations, and enforcing those obligations.   The Child Support Services Program puts children first by helping both parents assume responsibility for the economic and social well-being as well as the health and stability of their children. 

A recent innovation in Colorado Child Support Services is mobile and electronic methods of paying child support. The change has helped increase the convenience, efficiency and timeliness of delivering financial support to children. The new system has helped users make more than 5,000 payments totaling nearly $2 million in child support, statewide.

Colorado Child Support Services also has plans to begin an automated text messaging notification system by the end of this month. The system is intended to increase the effectiveness of child support enforcement correspondence by using short text messages in lieu of phone calls to communicate with clients. Similar systems implemented in other states have helped boost compliance with child support enforcement

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is committed to promoting the health and well-being of all children by ensuring that non-custodial parents pay child support on a regular and timely basis as agreed between the parents or ordered by the courts.

“Children rely on both parents for the financial and medical support they need to be healthy and successful,” said Michelle Trujillo, Director of the Economic Assistance Division at the Mesa County Department of Human Services.  “Child Support provides the security for children that they deserve, which is even more significant during recent economic challenges and rising health care costs,” added Trujillo.

The Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Support Team currently oversees a caseload of over 6700 cases.  For more information on Child Support services administered through MCDHS
please call 248-2780 or visit www.humanservices.mesacounty.us.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Gov. Hickenlooper Announces Boards and Commission Appointments

Gov. John Hickenlooper, recently announced several State Boards and Commission appointments to the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging.

David Norman of Grand Junction, Director of the Area Agency on Aging was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper and will serve a two year appointment until August of 2017. Norman, a 41 year employee of Mesa County will serve as a representative with extensive knowledge of and experience with state and local budgets and fiscal policy. Norman also, represents local nonprofit organizations that provide services to the aging population in Mesa County.

The Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging studies and produces a comprehensive strategic action plan on aging in Colorado through the year 2030. The planning group examines the impact, both positive and negative, of the aging demographic shift on the economy, workforce, businesses, market based products and services; Medicaid and other safety-net programs.

“This is an appropriate and prestigious appointment,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “Dave is a strong and knowledge advocate for our Senior population. His years of experience will serve the State Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, very well.” added Garchar.

The Area Agency on Aging were established under the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1973 to respond to the needs of Americans aged 60 and over in every local community. The AAA plans, coordinates and offers services that help older adults remain in their home, if that is their preference, aided by services such as Meals-on-Wheels, homemaker assistance and other programs needed to make independent living a viable option. By making a range of options available through contracts with both public and private groups, the AAA makes it possible for older individuals to choose the services and living arrangement that suit them best

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Human Services Sends Second Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution this Week

The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $42,104.88.  The suspected fraud occurred from March 16, 2007 to March 16, 2015. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance: $20,958.00
Medicaid: $ 15,727.34
LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program):  $981.86
Admin Costs: $ 3,923.48

Additionally, this case had several other assistance programs that were the victim of fraud and are associated with the investigation:
1.       School Lunch fraud. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with a total of $514.20

The total recovery for the investigation is $42,104.88 (all victims)

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Human Services Sends Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution

The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $62,654.87.  The suspected fraud occurred from January 1, 2011 to February 28, 2014. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance: $26,697.00
Medicaid: $ 8,470.11
Admin Costs: $ 968.79

Additionally, this case had several other assistance programs that were the victim of fraud and are associated with the investigation:
1.       School Lunch fraud. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with a total of $576.77
2.      Rocky Mountain Health Plans (Medicaid)fraud/ Rocky Mountain Health Plans is the victim on that portion with a total of $24,348.61
3.      Women Infants and Children (WIC)/Women Infants and Children program is the victim on that portion with a total of $1,593.593 

The total recovery for the investigation is $62,654.87 (all victims)

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.

Friday, July 31, 2015

15th Annual Caregivers Conference-Got Bounce.

Agenda For Caregivers Conference August 19, 2015
8:30 Registration
9:00am Opening Remarks
9:15-10:00am Brown & Brown
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:30 Caregivers Conga(stroll vendor booths and see demonstrations)
11:30-1:00pm Keynote Luncheon Jane Barton Got Bounce 
1:00-2:15pm Gift basket giveaways 



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Human Services Sends Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution


The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $$45,970.12. The suspected fraud occurred between August 1, 2008 to October 31, 2013.  Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance:  $34,261.00
Medicaid               $ 8,710.16
LEAP                    $ 2,438.44 
Admin Costs          $   560.52  

Additionally, this case had School Lunch fraud associated with it.  The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with is $831.26

The total recovery for the investigation is 46,801.38 (all victims)

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services.  “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.


If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at 256-2421.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Foster Family Info Night


Mesa County- Foster Care of Mesa County will host a foster care informational open house, June 29, 2015 at Main Street Bagels.

Foster care families provide stability, protection and a nurturing environment while a permanent plan is made for children and their biological families.

Some of What Foster Parents do?

  • Protect, nurture, guide and provide unconditional love for the children in their care
  • Participate as part of the professional team that works to meet the foster child’s needs
  • Provide transportation for family visits and health appointments
  This is a great opportunity for anyone to come and ask questions about being a foster parent and to talk to foster parents about what it is like to foster. Hope to see you there!” said Connie Mercer, from Foster Care of Mesa County.

Foster Family Informational Open House:

Date: Monday June 29
Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Location: Main Street Bagels (Vault room)
Address: 559 Main St, GJ 81501


Or call the Foster Parent Information Line at 248-2794.