Dept. of Children and Families: Expands anti-fraud team to increase fraud investigations

Contacts: Erika Monroe-Kane, Department of Children and Families, (608) 266-9000

Reggie Bicha, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), today announced that the Department will continue to expand its crackdown on Wisconsin Shares fraud and abuse. Over the past two years, DCF has launched sweeping reforms of the child care subsidy program resulting in 201 suspended providers and 13 criminal charges. The Department now estimates a savings of $115 million in taxpayer funds over the next two years.

“We know that as we shut one door, criminals try to create a new way to steal from Wisconsin Shares,” stated Secretary Bicha. “We are doubling our efforts to ensure that every tax dollar in the Wisconsin Shares program is used only for the care of children and to help parents work to support their families.”

While DCF’s efforts have led to a dramatic decrease in fraud of the Wisconsin Shares program, the Department is intensifying efforts to track down those stealing from Wisconsin’s taxpayers. The Department is adding 31 additional staff, for limited time, to the Fraud Detection and Investigation Unit. These new investigators will follow-up on reports of fraud and build cases against providers suspected of scamming the program.

“Our anti-fraud efforts have achieved great results. By taking what we have learned and expanding our efforts, we can even better protect tax dollars, shut down criminal providers and improve the quality of care children receive. The people and children of Wisconsin deserve nothing less.”

DCF continues other successful strategies to stop fraud including Child Care Fraud Task Forces in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties and a child care fraud hotline. In addition to eliminating fraud, DCF is improving the safety of child care and improving the quality of care through the YoungStar child care rating and improvement initiative.