Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers Page: 24 of 30
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Case State Months wait-listed Case details"
8 Texas 2 months * The mother, a single parent of four children, made $1,000 per
month, almost $14,000 a year below the poverty line. Since applying
for Head Start services, she has become unemployed.
* The family is on two public assistance programs: Medicaid and
* The family has faced domestic violence, but the Head Start center
did not ask the parent whether they had.
* When the mother was working, she had to pay over $300 a month to
hire a babysitter to take care of her child.
9 Pennsylvania 2 months * Both parents are unemployed, and the family lives with a brother
who currently provides for them.
* The mother feels that the child is missing out on an education as a
result of not attending Head Start.
10 Pennsylvania 7 months * The family of three is $8,000 a year under the poverty guidelines
earning $200 a week.
* The family is on several public assistance programs, including WIC,
Medicaid and SNAP benefits.
* The applicant is concerned that his child will not be able to speak
English when he starts school.
Source: GAO summary of what families told GAO about their situation and concerns.
aStatements made by parents were not verified by GAO.
On April 20 and April 23, 2010, we briefed OHS and HHS officials on the
results of our undercover testing. Officials indicated that HHS would work
quickly to address the weaknesses we identified. We suggested a number
of potential actions the agency should consider to minimize Head Start
fraud and abuse, including the following:
* Creating an OHS program management fraud hotline for individuals to
report fraud, waste, and abuse. These tips could be investigated by the
program, the HHS Inspector General, or both.
* Establishing more stringent income verification requirements,
documentation requirements, or both by Head Start employees
responsible for certifying family eligibility, such as maintaining income
documentation provided by the applicant (e.g., pay stubs or W-2s).
* Conducting undercover tests, such as the ones we describe in our
report, as a management oversight function.
GAO-10-1049 Head Start
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers, report, September 28, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296264/m1/24/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.