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AGENCY THAT MONITORS YOUTHS LOSES CONTRACT

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An agency that monitors youths placed in private homes by the state has lost its contract due to poor supervision and training and false billing for services, the Department of Human Services said.

Interstate Youth Services, with offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Logan and Provo, lost its contract, said Jack Green of the state Department of Human Services' Office of Liability Management.It is one of several that contracts to monitor youngsters under 18 who are removed from their homes on court orders or by a state agency. None of the youths are affected by the contract problem, Green said.

The alleged misdeeds occurred in the Salt Lake area only, Green said.

Anita Barnes, the former director of the company's Ogden office, said Friday that the company's owner and assistant director have been bought out by the employees. The new company has the financial backing of Youth Services International of Baltimore and will operate as a subsidiary of that company.

The new owners negotiated contracts with the state, Barnes said. "The employees banded together and felt like we weren't just going to drop these kids off somewhere."

Meanwhile, she said, the more than 60 youths the company supervises statewide, including 22 between North Salt Lake and Logan, will stay where they are and are being properly cared for.

Interstate placed them in "proctor homes," which are private homes that operate like foster homes. The child has a place to live and the proctors are paid a monthly stipend.

The company was supposed to send a worker to visit each child every day but didn't even though the state was billed as if it did, Green said. Also, the families were not trained properly, he said.

An investigation began in June, and the charges "seemed to be confirmed to the point that we felt we needed to terminate the contract," Green said.

No criminal charges have been filed, although the investigation is continuing. He also said the attorney general's office has begun looking into the situation.

"The allegations that the state has proven so far were lack of adequate foster care and training, falsifying tracking services and then billing for therapy sessions that weren't provided," Green said.