WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Problems at New Hanover County Community Action have cost the organization its role as a Head Start provider.
The US Department of Health and Human Services sent NHCCA a letter terminating the group's designation as a Head Start grantee. The letter says the "decision is based on the fact (the) Head Start program failed to timely correct the findings determined to constitute deficiencies from the Office of Head Start (OHS) Monitoring Review conducted in February 2012."
According to the letter, the problems go back to an on-site review of NHCCA in Deember 2009. The organization learned of the problems in a letter the following April. When OHS returned in February 2011, it found NHCCA had "not corrected all previously identified areas of noncompliance and that it was being designated 'A Grantee with Deficiencies.'"
OHS cited NHCCA for four deficiencies. A follow-up review this past February showed three of the four had still not been corrected, including:
-Standards for Financial Management Systems: OHS determined that NHCCA did not ensure its financial management systems provided for accurate disclosure of the financial results of the Head Start program in accordance with the reporting requirements of the regulation.
-Determining Community Strengths and Needs: OHS determined that NHCCA did not collect and analyze all required elements in its Community Assessment.
-Allotment of Funds; Limitations on Assistance: OHS determined that NHCCA did not ensure 10 percent of its actual enrollment was children with disabilities.
"Right now we're trying to find a way to keep things in tact and find another organization locally and then apply for the funding, whether it be an outside group or the school board, applying for the funding," New Hanover County Commission Vice Chair Jonathan Barfield said. "There's a real need in the community to have Head Start here."
We spoke with New Hanover County Community Action Board chairman Charles Davis, who says he had not read the letter yet, because he is out of town for a conference. Davis says the board will respond to the letter, but did not say if they plan to appeal the termination within the 30-day time limit.