Texas foster placement agency closes, citing increased state scrutiny and citations

Texas foster placement agency closes, citing increased state scrutiny and citations

San Antonio-based nonprofit Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services (TFCAS) is closing.

The foster-housing agency received roughly $2 million a year in state funding to place youth and monitor foster homes. It has been under scrutiny for how it handled allegations of sexual abuse against one of its executives since TPR reported on it in September.

After the TPR report, the state increased its review and citations, CEO Karen Perez said. TFCAS had been under “increased monitoring” for two years because of previous violations, and she said they expected to soon come out of those restrictions.

“Our offices and your homes were immediately flooded with state monitors,” she wrote in a letter to foster family clients this week. “We started getting multiple quotes on every visit. These citations have resulted in a placement ban for the agency.”

A placement stay is an informal stay on other foster children who are placed through TFCAS. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission had immediately launched an investigation into the agency in September, but has not made the results public.

Neither HHSC nor the Department of Family and Protective Services responded to TPR’s requests for comment.

Perez confirmed that the organization would be closed, but said it was not because of TPR’s history.

TPR reported three months ago that Jerry Monroe, the chief financial officer at Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services, was found by Child Protective Services to have sexually abused his granddaughter, Shawna Rogers. Reason to Believe, or RTB, was released in June 2020, but he remained employed at TFCAS until December of that year.

“The state failed to inform Texas Foster Care that our former CFO received an RTB for sexual abuse,” Perez wrote.

TFCAS told the state it fired Monroe in December 2020 after he was arrested by Austin police for the alleged abuse. Monroe denied that there had been any sexual activity between the two. The case against him – which dragged on for months – was dismissed in early 2022 after Rogers died in a car accident.

A former manager at the nonprofit objected to the timeline provided by TFCAS for TPR that tracked when leadership knew about allegations of abuse. Perez called the former manager’s accusations false.

IRS documents reviewed by TPR also called into question the role Monroe had at the agency after he was fired. They showed that 11 months after his termination, his address was still used on tax documents and he was still registered as a data keeper. A former IRS official described to TPR that TFCAS tax documents suggested Monroe still had a significant relationship with the organization.

A San Antonio-based nonprofit organization said TPR’s report about an accused child rapist remaining on staff eight months after the accusation is wrong and is threatening legal action against former employees who spoke out. But the documents and former additional employees call into question what the organization has told the state and is telling the families it serves.

“All our data has been checked [by the state] and finances as well and everything is in order. The listing you refer to was the result of the CPA and not our company,” Perez said in an email to TPR on Wednesday.

In addition to maintaining the foster placement and increasing the citations, Perez noted that an active foster family had forwarded emails from TFCAS to a former staff member.

“After much discussion, it was decided that we can no longer serve foster children working under these conditions. It’s not financially possible and it’s not fair to the children, foster families or our staff,” Perez wrote.

According to the email, TFCAS is helping people transition to another placement agency and expects to be out of business near the end of February.

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