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New Hanover Community Action loses Head Start designation

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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."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LETTER OF TERMINATION AND OVERVIEW OF FINDINGS

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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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His cup runneth over.

His cup runneth over. Allelujua! Real stand up guy, yea right. Highly educated in the sense that he has the distinct ability to rip little kids off. Give me a break. Throw them all in the bink where they belong.

It's about time!

I don't live in Wilmington nor have I ever worked for these folks, but I have worked in Head Start in recent years. The only shame I see in this situation is that it took 3 years of monitoring for this to happen. HS is monitored by the Feds every 3 years, more often if deficiencies are found...but there are also financial reports submitted to the regional HS office & visits by NC Division of Child Development to monitor compliance with NC licensing regulations, which covers a lot of their classroom-related violations. Head Start is a wonderful program, but it's when people like this abuse the system that anyone pays attention.

If People Only Knew...

I have a relative who works at this Head Start and if people only knew the kinds of things that really go on there this place probably would have had to deal with even more repercussions. When I found out some of the things going on I even tried to contact someone so they could investigate but I was met with deaf ears. No one seemed to care enough to even investigate. When you receive that kind of taxpayer money per year and you make your staff work over and don't pay them for their time, force them to have to do administrative tasks at their homes that should not be even considered in their scope of practice, kids end up eating "a small bag of cookies for breakfast," and you call a single Ritz cracker a "snack" there's something seriously wrong going on. Some of these kids live in families that can barely afford to feed them when they get home so they should have at least been getting healthy, nutritious, and filling meals at school! And yes, I have seen these things first hand myself when I would stop by the school. My relative says these kids will be taken care of either way so they, and their families, should not have to suffer the consequences of administrative sticky fingers. It's a sad situation but this would not have happened if it had not been warranted. They had plenty of time to try and make some improvements and chose not to. It's sad innocent people are having to pay the price for other peoples' greed, selfishness, and laziness.

There really needs to be a

There really needs to be a criminal investigation into where all that money went.

D.A. Ben David and Head Start Embezzlement

Children standing in urine (four year olds for pete's sake), other signs of abuse, and where is the District Attorney? Too busy running for Attorney General or Govna to care about children, justice, fighting corruption which we really need a D.A. for here (New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus are so corrupt, WWAY has done a couple stories like RC Soles who was just business as usual for the other station and Red Star. How is it that with child abuse and financial crimes, apparently, the local District Attorney and his staff support the organization and see no reason to look into the matter. The Board of Commissioners care so little I asked a few questions, basically about the Board and who the Commissioners appointed to it, why the lack of oversight others have mentioned, and only one of them could answer any question. That was Brian Berger. I wrote to five Commissioners, that's all of them, right?
Berger blamed legal bills for his financial troubles a couple weeks ago, and said somewhere he's spent his entire life savings, a pretty hefty amount, for showing up at a meeting about Head Start and this corruption and trying to put a stop to it. Isn't that what he ran on fighting corruption and cronyism and abuse on all these Boards like the ABC Board, Utility Authority, apparently Boards no other Commissioner cares about since none of the others can even name their own representative on the Community Action Board. Here's an idea, instead of the DA and other Commissioners harassing Mr. Berger and putting him behind bars for keeping his word, Ben David and the other politicians and law enforcement should put him in charge of cleaning up all these Boards that steal and waste whatever the Commissioners and City Council don't get their greedy hands on first.

Head Start

This is a wonderful organization that provides a great service to children in New Hanover County. I hope that a new organization will be able to offer these services in the fall as NHCCA did not deserve to be entrusted with this program.

Comm Action

More taxpayer money wasted.

Man this is amazing

Head Start provides a community service, I don't know what kind of over site these people had but three years and they couldn't get their financials working? Honestly people should look more closely into this to make sure someone wasn't embezzling funds.

My only question is, will this be needed service be picked up by someone else or is it gone from the Wilmington area for good. There are a lot of children who benefited from this program, I can only hope the mismanagement by some doesn't ruin it for everyone.

No funding, no program.

No funding, no program.

NC MOVING BACKWARDS

Another fine example of the state of North Carolina moving backwards instead of forwards. Good one there, NHC.

CASH COW

Did anyone read how much tax money they received $3 million a year,and only listing helping less than 300,you can divide and see that something is wrong with how the taxpayers money was being used.
This is only from what has been reported on and they would not release the financial reports to the public if nothing to hide release these information.
Just think things need to change and serve more people.This is a community thing and needs to be run a such and not a income stream for some people not doing their jobs.

???

Who runs this organization?

Who runs Head Start?

Reverend Charles Davis is the Chairman of the Board, and Cynthia Brown is the Executive Director.

NHCCA / Head Start

It's about time! These people had no idea what they were doing! This is a great community service. Too bad the present Chairman and director had no idea what they were doing and squandered the money! I feel sorry for the children and the employees. The present leadership is no leadership at all! Replace these people with someone who knows what the heck they're doing!!! What a shame!

nhcca/headstart

what are the qualifications?Sound like you know what you are talking about give it a shot.

a mess

Then they absolutely need to be investigated. Is he a real reverend or is that a title he gave himself and are either of them educated enough to run such a program? I highly doubt it and obviously they aren't.

a mess

Yes he is a real pastor.Highly intelligent.Educated enough without a doubt.Rest assured whatever is going on he will get it straight trust and believe.

Oh good...

so he is giving all the mis-managed money back?