July 13, 2016 |
Health club memberships, political contributions, and $3,000 line-dancing lessons are among the expenses that a well-connected Philadelphia lobbyist is accused of illegally charging to a state grant program meant to help welfare recipients land steady jobs. Now, Melonease Shaw - who has at times worked as the city's lobbyist in Harrisburg, and who was, until her arrest, seeking the job again - faces a court hearing next week on charges including theft, deceptive business practices, and tampering with public records.
June 4, 2016
ISSUE | CHILD WELFARE A reason for change I applaud social worker SaraKay Smullens' commentary about the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and the city's reaction to the downgrading of DHS's license because of failures in our system. Smullens' approach is refreshing: Use this rebuke to improve our system, not to spend money we don't have arguing about whether the downgrade is warranted. As a pediatrician in Philadelphia for more than 30 years, I know - as do the many others who work with our most vulnerable citizens - that the goodwill and hard work of most of the DHS staff are not sufficient when caseloads are too heavy, services are fragmented and limited, and support - financial and philosophical - is inadequate.
May 4, 2016 |
Seven child-welfare workers in Philadelphia were fired in February and March in connection with at least two false reports about home visits, according to state officials. Rachel Kostelac, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said three were workers from Community Umbrella Agencies contracted by the city to handle cases, and four were with subcontracted foster-care agencies. The report of the firings followed remarks Friday by a state DHS official, who said child-welfare workers in Philadelphia had falsified reports in response to high caseloads.
April 27, 2016
Nathan Benefield is vice president of policy for the Commonwealth Foundation Conservatives loathe government handouts. Liberals denounce special favors to corporations. One thing can unify these two sides: ending Pennsylvania's budget-busting corporate-welfare handouts. Every year, state government gives millions in taxpayer dollars to favored businesses under the guise of "economic development. " In reality, these giveaways represent political development, enriching special interests and their well-connected lobbyists.
December 28, 2015 |
GORDONVILLE, Pa. - Humane Officer Jen Nields knocks on a door of the suspected puppy mill in Gordonville and steps back. She fidgets with a notebook and peers through a covered glass panel looking for signs of life. Then she waits. The setting around her is breathtaking: lush Dutch Country farmland at sunset, a sea of gold and green. It is also ground zero for a culture and information war still raging in the mid-state after years of soul-searching and debate. "A lot of people don't understand when I say, 'We [Lancaster County]
November 13, 2015
WE ARE HEADING toward the holiday that encourages gluttony. Supermarkets are already overstocking their shelves with traditional Thanksgiving food items. But in many homes, there will be people who won't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or a meal at all that day. How many of us stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving not fully appreciating that many people regularly go hungry, scraping by on a few dollars a day? Typically at the beginning of the month, I select a personal finance book with wisdom or strategies to help individuals improve their financial situation.
October 28, 2015 |
AS A NAVY MAN, Chuck Coleman traveled extensively, but it did not interfere with his religious duties. In fact, the travel helped propel him into greater church responsibilities. He served churches in Hawaii and in South Carolina, and became assistant chaplain at the Navy Chapel in Rota, Spain. Also, while still in the Navy, he attained a degree from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton. Later, after leaving the Navy, he received a master's degree from Widener University in Chester.
September 15, 2015 |
A CROSSING guard with a college education? Why not? For Joyce Elaine Adams, guiding schoolchildren across dangerous streets was just one more career choice for a woman who devoted her life to caring for others. A 31-year employee of the Department of Public Welfare, where she worked with families in need of her caring and compassion, she retired to the corner of 20th Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia to help kids cross the street. "She formed loving relationships with all of the residents and schoolchildren she came in contact with," her family said.
May 16, 2015 |
A state audit of three county welfare agencies - in Burlington, Camden, and Passaic - found them lacking in proper documentation for benefits and urged closer attention to verification of recipients. The audit, performed by the Office of the State Comptroller, pertained to General Assistance, which provides state-funded monthly grants to eligible single adults or couples without children. The recipients are supposed to work, be actively looking for work, or participate in an approved work activity, including community service.
April 18, 2015 |
In accepting the Democratic nomination for president in 1992, Bill Clinton promised to "end welfare as we know it. " "We will say to those on welfare: You will have, and you deserve, the opportunity, through training and education, through child care and medical coverage, to liberate yourself. But then, when you can, you must work, because welfare should be a second chance, not a way of life. " Republicans agreed with Clinton on that, if little else, and welfare reform became a reality in 1996.