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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mesa County Workforce Center Receives Designation

Mesa County- The Mesa County Workforce Center has been officially designated by Governor John Hickenlooper as a Local Workforce Development Area.  In accordance with Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Colorado Workforce Development Council, Mesa County demonstrated its ability to achieve this regional status by meeting all the criteria required by federal law and state policy. The designation means the Workforce Center no longer operates as part of the Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium.

“This designation will continue to allow us to quickly meet the needs of the local business community while remaining an important partner in economic development,” said Suzie Miller, Business Services Manager with the Mesa County Workforce Center.

The Mesa County Workforce Center achieved this designation due to years of impressive performance in building relationships with the business community, helping people find jobs, and assisting people in addressing barriers.

            According to the Mesa County Human Services Director, Tracey Garchar, “The Mesa County Workforce Center being designated as our own region is a different opportunity to continue to do what we have done in the past. We will still work with the State, but we won’t be part of the Rural Consortium, which is the network of rural workforce centers. We will continue with a genuine focus and value on the success of the people in our community.  As a Local Workforce Development Area we will be able to fully build and strengthen our services with business, education, and economic development efforts to meet the needs of Mesa County.”

 Mesa County has effectively been operating the Mesa County Workforce Center since 1998 as an integrated One Stop Shop for business and job seekers. This designation will strengthen the collaborations with business, industry, secondary and higher education.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Events for June 2015 for National Adult Protection Awareness Month

Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) receives an average of over 70 new adult protection referrals each month.  Victims of adult abuse or neglect are at-risk adults age 18 or over who are unable to protect themselves due to age or disability.  These individuals are sometimes not aware of the resources in our community and often have no one else to protect them.

 Approximately 46% of the victims are over 70 years old and are physically impaired or have some form of dementia.  The younger at-risk adult victims are persons with physical or mental disabilities.  Abuse, exploitation and neglect are caused by a member of the victim’s own family in a large percentage of cases. These residents are often vulnerable to assault, burglary, fraud and other crimes because they cannot provide for their own care and protection.

A schedule of recognition proclamations & events for June is as follows:
City of Grand Junction - Wednesday, June 17th at 7pm, Grand Junction City Hall
Town of Palisade – Tuesday, June 9th, 6pm Palisade Town Hall
City of Fruita –Tuesday June 16th, 7pm, Fruita City Hall
Annual Adult Protection Awareness Luncheon-Thursday June 18, DHS Room 1060 1:30-3:00pm

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is committed to advocating for people’s rights.  Senior citizens and persons with disabilities are vital members of our families, our society, and our community.  Historically, 1 in 5 cases of adult abuse are actually reported.  Adult abuse encompasses many different types of harms and can occur in community, home or institutional settings. It is hoped that Mandatory Reporting will increase the number of referrals and provide greater safety for the older adults in our community.

For more information on suspected adult abuse and neglect please visit www.humanservices.mesacounty.us or call the Adult Protection Hotline at 248-2888, option 2.  Callers can remain anonymous if they so chose.

We Continue to be Here for You Through the COVID-19 Crisis

Although our offices are closed to the public, we continue to be here for you through a variety of ways.  We have created a docum...