|July Trust Agenda|
With all the nonsense going on in Miami-Dade county it is easy to forget the Children’s Trust and its own shenanigans.
If you aren’t familiar with the Trust, it is a governmental organization tasked in 1988 with the bringing services to the community via local small service providers who would know the needs of the grassroots community. At least that is how it was sold to the voters during the initial election campaign. Over the years, it has become a research organization that acts more like an agency providing services rather than a direct funder of other agencies. It has morphed into a tax-payer funded super agency that is political and controlling to the point of killing non-profits that were already serving the communities the Trust moved into.
In recent months, The Trust President-CEO, Modesto Abety-Gutierrez retired (after some internal upheavals) and the Trust went on a “national search” for new leadership. As it goes with most national talent searches, amazingly the board committee found the perfect President-CEO, Charles M. Auslander, already on their staff. Lord only knows how much taxpayer money was spent on that national search.
The Trust is famous for requiring organizations to create “service partnerships” which most agencies do with naturally without direct orders from their funders. Six years ago they required the artificial creation of service partnerships, then killed them three years later by defunding the partnerships, knowing that finding funding during the economic downturn would be nearly impossible.
Then almost immediately, the Trust revived the “service partnership” model and issued a new Proposal for Services and started the whole silliness of creating new partnerships where there had been some already in place and successfully servicing the local communities. Throughout this process, Charles Auslander was privy to the financial and emotional stress put on the agencies.
Auslander was put into place as President of the Trust on the second week of July 2013, and by the last week of July, his Trust had once again killed or almost killed numerous non-profits working in the South Dade area service partnerships. This time around it is even more disruptive to the recipients of the Truancy/family stabilization services provided through the service partnerships to the community and the high risk schools.
What the Trust has done is given Community Health of South Florida, an agency that has never done violence or truancy prevention over $950,000 (multiple millions, if one counts their other Trust contracts) to set-up a new service partnership to replace the ones that already had Trust trained staff performing the services. In fact, because CHI had never done this sort of work before, the Children’s Trust ordered CHI to use two new agencies as sub-contractors. Additionally, the Trust gave the City of Homestead an additional $400,000 to service the same Homestead/Florida City areas as CHI giving extra support to CHI, while dumping the two service partnerships already servicing those areas.
Why is CHI (Brodes Hartley, President) being funded if they can’t do the job without sub-contractors and why on earth, would the taxpayers want to pay CHI to manage a program that they aren't qualified to manage and usurp the case managers at the Children’s Trust? CHI is a medical provider to the community and public schools. Why are they getting an extra $950,000 to perform a contract that they can’t fulfill alone?
I think there is a political agenda here and it hurts the community and now out-of-work employees who were already trained and in place to handle the contract. The Children's Trust has invested time and money in non-profit staff training that is now thrown out the window.
This is a poor start to a new era at the Trust. The Children’s Trust continues to be politically self-serving with their policies and actions. This is not what the taxpayers voted for in 1988, nor is it what people voted for in 2010.