Thursday, May 26, 2016

Human Services Fraud & Recovery Sends First Case to Jury Trial


The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent its first Welfare Fraud case to a jury trial. 
The jury trial ran from Monday, May 16 through Friday, May 20, 2016.
A guilty verdict was reached on Friday May 20, 2016 in the case of Heather Diane Williams.
Williams was found guilty on
3 forgery charges a class 5 felony
3 counts of attempting to influence a public servant at class 4 felony
1 count of theft a class 4 felony
Williams was found guilty of 7 out of 37 courts presented
She has a court ordered restitution up to $4999

The case involved both Food Assistance and Medicaid fraud.
Sentencing in this case will be held on August 12, 2016. The exact amount of William’s restitution will be determined at that sentencing.

“We are proud of our Fraud and Recovery team for putting in the time and diligence to the details in taking this case to trail,” 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. When they are used inappropriately our Fraud and Recovery Team will dutiful investigate and prosecute those cases of Fraud at every level.” said, 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.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The First Ever- Western Slope Celebration of Excellence


The Mesa County Child Welfare Department is hosting the first ever Western Slope Celebration of Excellence.

This is a celebration of youth in foster care, DYC, and at risk youth in our community. Some are homeless or have been involved in the legal system. During the month of May, these young people are graduating high school or receiving their GED.

The celebration is scheduled for Tuesday May 24, 2016 at the Mesa County Workforce Center from 3:00-5:00pm. 

"These young people have made tremendous strides to get this point in their lives.  It is time to recognize their hard work and resilience.  We are proud to honor them as they move into adulthood," said Kari Daggett, Child Welfare Permanency Manager, at the Mesa County Department of Human Services.

The youth and their family/supports will be attending this graduation like ceremony. The keynote speaker will be Prinjastin (PJ) Kyle Dre Sykes a former foster youth from the Denver area.

The event is open to public.

We ask for your sensitivity when photographing these youth. Please ask for their consent show their faces or reveal their identities.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Legislation Aims to Impact Quality Child Care

Mesa County- A long discussed bill from the 2015 legislative session will soon impact Child Care providers in Mesa County. HB 15 1317 mandates quality of child care for Colorado children being served through the Mesa County Workforce Center’s Child Care Assistance Program.

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides financial assistance for low-income families who are working, searching for employment or are in an educational activity (junior high school, high school, or GED, or in some instances post-secondary, vocational or technical training) and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. The child care assistance program is administered through the Mesa County Departments of Human Services at the Mesa County Workforce Center.


This new legislation encourages child care providers additional funding for providing high quality child care for our low income families. It is good for the providers and for our current clients being served by this program.” states John Flanagan, Director at the Mesa County Workforce Center. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Community Resource Fair at the Workforce Center


May 2016 Proclaimed as Foster Appreciation Month in Mesa County


Commissioners Proclaim May 2016FOSTER/KINSHIP PARENT APPRECIATION MONTH


The Mesa County Commissioners will proclaim May as National Foster/Kinship Parent Appreciation Month on Monday May 9th at 9:00am, The Proclamation will be signed at the old County Courthouse, 544 Rood, in the Public Hearing Room. Members of the media are invited to attend. DHS staff and a Foster Family Dan and Erica Waalkes will be accepting the Proclamation and will be on hand for interviews immediately following the Proclamation.

In Mesa County there are nearly 300 children and youth in foster care.  There are over 180 Foster and Kinship families, in Mesa County, who open their homes and hearts to children. These Foster/Kinship families and play a vital role in helping children and families heal and reconnect, thus launching children into successful adulthood. During the month of May we take the opportunity to thank these heroes of our community for providing loving safe homes for children and families in crisis.


More Foster/kinship families are needed to provide stability and love to children of all ages in Mesa County.  If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent contact Foster Care of Mesa County at 970 683 2607.