In some jurisdictions, such as Illinois and some counties in Pennsylvania, for-profit companies can’t get contracts to run foster care operations directly. Mentor found a way around that, by partnering with nonprofit sister organizations Alliance Human Services and Alliance Children’s Services, both founded by Murphy.
Indeed, the corporate paper trail shows that Alliance group subsumed the original nonprofit Mentor Inc. that Hensley founded in 1980.
Those nonprofits have received contracts in states that bar for-profit foster care operations. And then those nonprofits turn around and hire Mentor’s for-profit arm as a subcontractor to run virtually the whole operation.
In Illinois, for example, Alliance gets paid over $200 per day per child to provide therapeutic foster care to children. But, according to contracts obtained by BuzzFeed News, it has hired Mentor to recruit the foster parents, check their backgrounds, train them, monitor them, and act as social workers for the children.
Mentor’s Robson said that when Alliance was layered into Mentor foster care contracts, it wasn’t a ruse but an effort to make sure federal dollars kept flowing during periods of confusion about whether for-profit operations could get reimbursed. He said state and federal officials knew of the arrangement between Alliance and Mentor. Reached briefly by phone, the president and CEO of Alliance, Mary McCarthy, also defended the contracting, and said, “The reason that we started any of these things were to help states that needed help in getting federal reimbursement.”
Robson said that Mentor does not control Alliance. Still, the two organizations are intertwined at many levels. In addition to Murphy, who founded Alliance and now heads Mentor, another former senior official at Mentor, Doris Davila, is now a vice president at Alliance. In Illinois, Mentor is headquartered in a large office building at 600 Holiday Plaza Drive in Matteson. It’s in Suite 400. Alliance is in Suite 410.
Alliance Children’s Services, which was the charity that subcontracted to Mentor in Texas for 16 years, even reported to the IRS in its nonprofit filings that its books and records were in the custody of the for-profit National Mentor
Carroll County DD looks to privatize workshop
- Carroll County Development Disabilities Board will shift day-time adult care services for nonprofit service provider. privatize=nonprofit service???