March 19, 2012
Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has awarded the Department of Social Services (DSS) a $100,000 grant to detect and deter child care waste, fraud and abuse.
“We are grateful that OCFS has recognized the good work of our DSS Investigations Unit. My administration continues to aggressively support far-reaching fraud detection efforts that protect taxpayers and ensure that only eligible recipients receive public assistance,” said County Executive Mangano.
In announcing the state grants, OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión said, “These grants demonstrate the state’s continued commitment to the families of New York State by combating fraud and promoting the integrity of child care programs, while ensuring that those who are most in need of child care subsidies receive them.”
Conservative estimates from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) indicate that anywhere from 11% to 33% of expenditures on publically funded day care benefits are lost to fraud, waste and abuse due to the improper conduct of day care providers and recipients.
In 2010, New York State day care expenditures totaled $730 million and Nassau County expenditures totaled $49 million. Based on recently released OCFS estimates, $80.3 million to $240 million annually may be stolen from taxpayers statewide by those who cheat the system. The estimate of fraud, waste and abuse in Nassau County alone may range from $5.4 million to $16 million annually.
Mangano noted that, “Since the inception of Nassau County’s ground breaking child care fraud detection and prevention program 11 months ago, we’ve already saved $2.1 million dollars. We are proud to be a statewide leader when it comes to uncovering fraud and abuse in all areas of welfare fraud. This is yet another example of the great work DSS has done to insure Nassau taxpayers are guaranteed that their hard earned money will go only to people who are truly eligible for services.”
Social Services Commissioner Dr. John Imhof added, “The DSS Day Care unit is working closely with the DSS Office of Investigations to detect child care situations which might be questionable. We want to insure that families who need the service receive the benefit. Anyone who is taking advantage of the system will be identified and appropriate action will be taken.”
Sunita Manjrekar, Director of Employment and Day Care Services has been working closely with her units to identify situations which need further review. Manjrekar stated, “We are committed to working with our families and providers to make certain eligible children get appropriate child care. We likewise do not want ineligible people to take advantage of an already taxed program.”
The Director of the Office of Investigations, Scott Skrynecki added, “With these additional funds we can now further expand our child care provider fraud unit at no cost to our taxpayers.”
To report suspicions of waste, fraud or abuse, please call: 1-877-711-TIPS (8477) or visit our website at: http://nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Welfare/index.html. All calls are completely confidential and callers can remain anonymous.