Friday, December 07, 2007

Payne Doesn't Get It

If you haven't read the story in today's Star by Tim Evans and Jon Murray describing the chain of events which led up to the death of Tajanay Bailey, please check it out. After you read the full story, please consider this statement from DCS Director James W. Payne:

"We sometimes tend to wait too long to make those tough calls," DCS Director James W. Payne said Thursday, in his first public comments about the specifics of TaJanay's case.

"I will defend my staff in their judgment, because it's our job then to figure out how we can improve that judgment," Payne said. "My review of this case does not cause me to conclude that there was either malfeasance or misfeasance, nor was there neglect."

Under Payne's tenure, the agency has been completely overhauled. One of the reforms he implemented was a team approach to handling these cases. What is apparent from today's Star report is there were completely opposing conclusions being reached by members of the team. The social workers on the ground who were able to observe first-hand the conditions in the home recommended Tajanay's removal. Even with the missing police report, the DCS workers had every reason to conclude Tajanay should be removed from the home. Instead, the DCS supervisors of the case opposed her removal. If Payne read the Bailey file and came to the conclusion that those DCS supervisors, who apparently overruled the social workers on the ground under his team approach, weren't guilty of "malfeasance or misfeasance" or "neglect", as he put it, then Gov. Daniels should immediately remove him from his position. His statements in light of Bailey's records are nothing short of shocking and outrageous.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Payne was an idiot in juvenile court, he's a bigger idiot now.
He couldn't care less about the children in this state. As long as he gets his big-fat paycheck, he's happy!

Anonymous said...

You couldn't be more right, Gary.

But this is a man who paid thousands for his going-away party, from scarce Juvy COurt funds.

Please, folks, support his successor, Judge Marilyn Moores, as she unravels the tangled web of nonsense Payne established over on Keystone. It was PayneWorld...he rueld with an iron fist.

I am a Democrat who rarely supports Republicans, but Judge Moores is doing combat daily, and she's making tremendous progress. Much more work to do...

Payne should never have been hired at DCS. His conduct is not new. Ask anyone associated with the Juvy system.

Anonymous said...

A three year old girl under his care is beaten to death due to errors his staff made and he seems so uncaring and cold about it. He seems more interested in CYA than in fixing a problem. I dont know him but is this man a monster?

Anonymous said...

Mom "failed drug test." Simple
rule should have been in place here: If parent or parent's significant other fails a drug test or if illegal drugs are found in their home, child/ren go to foster care.

Anonymous said...

Would the DCS have any monetary reason to request that child be taken from a foster home and placed back with the parent(s)?
Does the State pay for the foster care until such time the child is placed back with the parent(s), at which time I assume, the Fed Gov resume assistance payments to the parent(s)?
Is it possible that DCS saves State money when a child is taken out of foster care and place back in the home of the parent(s)

indyernie said...

This job has to be a calling, these people deal with heartbreak daily.
The folks in the trenches should make the calls.
To run this system like a football team (plays being called by the coaching staff) is simply wrong.
Children are constantly being placed back in the homes only to be removed time and time again. Each time they are placed in harms way.

Anonymous said...

Quote<<<
Payne was an idiot in juvenile court, he's a bigger idiot now.
He couldn't care less about the children in this state. As long as he gets his big-fat paycheck, he's happy!

9:13 AM EST


Anonymous said...
You couldn't be more right, Gary.

But this is a man who paid thousands for his going-away party, from scarce Juvy Court funds.

It was a Jim PayneWorld...he ruled with an iron fist.

Payne should never have been hired at DCS. His conduct is not new. Ask anyone associated with the Juvy system.>>>QUOTE

Got to agree with these folks - Payne is a train wreck. I was so glad to see him gone from Juvenile Court only to find that he was going where he could ruin peoples lives state wide.

I voted for Mitch but who ever is in charge of selecting State of Indiana Department heads needs a serious head adjustment. This wasn't the only appointment made where I wondered "what were they thinking".

Same thing worries me about Mayor Elect Ballard. If the transition team puts in their people - it'll be business as usual. IMPD needs a housecleaning in Admin from the Chief down thru the Bought ($$)appointed Ranks.

Shofar said...

This is a perfect example of why ALL these records need to be open and public.

As I have stated before, the FCMs that are in homes and see the actual conditions are time and time again being over ruled on their recommendations by supervisors that have been out of the field for years.

To complicate matters more, the judges (in most cases) have never been into any of the homes that these children live in.

Unless supervisors and judges actually get out from behind their desks and get into the field to see how things truly are, decisions will continue to be made that are not in the best interest of the children.

Unfortunately, the FCM that was handling the case will most likely be the one that gets in trouble. Brizzi not only likes to prosecute police officers, but also case managers and others.

The State of Indiana's supervisory attitude is to hang the front line staff, protect management and the publics safety be damned. This is true at DCS, DOC and any other organization sworn to protect the public. This is part of the reason that it is so hard for the state to keep good people.

Frustration, politics and a culture of fear that rules in so many State agencies make it so that those who truly do want to do a good job for the community are harangued, intimidated and bullied by management to the point where the employee either leaves, or gets fired for standing up to management.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:38
Those are my suspicions too. Does the supervisor take budget concerns into account when deciding to remove a child or not? When 3 people recommend removal and its denied, the first thing that pops up in my mind is monetary concerns.

Anonymous said...

3:21,
I was the one who posed that question. Apparently no one that's posted to AI knows the answer.

If it is indeed true, that money saved by the DCS takes precident over the welfare of a child then I would say that the Governor will have hell to pay.
No, the Governor did not make the ultimate decisions thatlead to this child's death but the buck stops on his desk, it is his program.
I am convinced it's the money barring any other rational explanation of which there are none at this point.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 4:52, I don't think there is any question the state saves money if the child is left in a home with their parents because they aren't paying for the foster care. What isn't known is whether there is a deliberate effort to reduce the number of children in foster care to save money.

Anonymous said...

Gary,
If what you say is correct then isn't rather obvious that this is precisely what happened. It certainly cannot be anything else other than complete stupidity and I think those supervisors knew exactly what they were doing.

Anonymous said...

Ballpark is foster parents receive
$600 per month per child.

Advance Indiana said...

The cost savings angle doesn't make sense to me. Daniels put a lot of extra money into this agency to hire more case workers so their individual caseloads wouldn't be as high and they could devote more attention to their cases.

B said...

Isn't the cost actually a county cost (one of the things property taxes pays for)? I think the State runs the program, but the County has to fund it through property tax-- at whatever level the State says.

If so, it really wouldn't be "the State" saving money w. more kids out of foster care. Those who are concerned about the State Budget (Governor, etc.) wouldn't necessarily be concerned with keeping the DCS costs for foster care down.

I think it has been a source of tension between State and Counties. I seem to recall after Payne came in & DCS was set up, they made a grand tour of the counties, explaining why the counties would have to significantly increase their funding for child welfare when they set up "the new DCS system" with more caseworkers w. higher education levels, higher salaries etc. The counties were balking (I particularly remember the Marion Co CCC doing so) because it was a State mandate they had to fund by increasing property taxes, with no input or discretion into how much to spend for the programs. They had to pay (and raise prop. taxes) for whatever the State said they had to pay. Part of the ongoing tension that has been building for years between State and local government.

Not saying it was/is a good way or a bad way to go about it... but I don't think their is a "state incentive" to reunify since the state isn't the one footing the bill.

Anonymous said...

DCS is an independant agency and operates on it's own budget. DCS MUST stay within it's budget. This is where these supervisors come in. Reports vary on the number of kids in foster homes in Indiana but the numbers can range from 10,000 to as high as over 19,000 at any given time. That's a ton of money and that doesn't include the cost of this "supposed beefed up staff". Actually, the State budgeted more money to outsource tracking to Unisys than they did on "real" caseworkers.
Money was the motive until I see something more that makes a whole helluva lot of sense.
A peak at the budget and any incentives provided supervisors to keep within may provide the smokong gun.
My take is that supervisors are rewarded for staying in or under budget. Prove that is not true.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the Star removed the blog re Judge Payne? It had over 300 responses against Payne by noon.....and the Star removed it. Fire Payne and Laquita 2 name.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the Star removed the blog re Judge Payne? It had over 300 responses against Payne by noon.....and the Star removed it. Fire Payne and Laquita 2 name.

Anonymous said...

The Star is nothing but a tool of the republican right wing...always has been, always will be.

Carole said...

Payne is oe of the finest and most honorable men I know who has strived always for the best interests of children.