Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Department of Human Services" ...

  • Years of abuse and neglect kept secret

    News 5 Investigates discovered the Colorado Department of Human Services knew about several cases of abuse and neglect at a facility for teens and young adults with psychiatric and behavioral issues years before the center permanently closed.
  • Home Sweet Hustle

    For 15 years, the Portland nonprofit Give Us This Day occupied a unique place among foster-care agencies in the state of Oregon. Its four group homes served the most troubled, challenging kids in the state—children who had been sexually abused, starved, beaten and abandoned. It was the state’s only African-American-run foster care agency, a distinction that made it especially valuable to the state agency that manages housing for foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services. The executive director of Give Us This Day, Mary Holden, was lauded as a human-rights champion. Give Us This Day was also unique in how leniently it was regulated by state officials. The state turned a blind eye to more than 1,000 police reports at foster homes run by Give Us This Day. It regularly paid large cash advances to the provider—something no other foster-care agency requested so regularly. And the Department of Human Services ignored years of allegations that Give Us This Day neglected children.
  • WTAE Investigates Elder Abuse

    Our series of reports examined the under-reported problem of elder abuse and helped prompt a new policy to track cases. With the help of a viewer who shared his video evidence, we first aired a cell phone clip that showed elder abuse inside a local diner and sparked a county Department of Human Services investigation. Our stories revealed the legal complexity in handling elder abuse cases and the importance of a uniform state-wide system. Our stories stressed the need for state and local agencies to close the loophole among police, the Department of Human Services and the courts.
  • Hidden suffering, hidden death

    The deaths of severely disabled Illinois residents who lived at home cared for by friends and relatives were not being investigated by the state agency specially created to protect them — the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Human Services. The reason given for not investigating?The agency's internal documents showed that that OIG considered the dead to be "ineligible for services," even when victims died shortly after being hospitalized on an emergency basis and after the agency had received calls on its hotline alleging that the disabled person had been abused or neglected. The Belleville News-Democrat's wide-ranging investigation initially focused on the deaths of 53 of these home bound disabled adults.
  • Hospital at Risk

    My investigation of the Minnesota Security Hospital, a state-run facility that provides psychiatric treatment to nearly 400 adults deemed "mentally ill and dangerous," uncovered high rates of violence and injuries of employees and patients at the facility, a critical shortage of psychiatrists, and widespread confusion among employees about what to do when a patient becomes violent. I found that much of confusion was the result of the abrasive, threatening management style of head administrator David Proffitt, who was hired in 2011 to reform the facility. I began investigating Proffitt and found he was hired without a basic background check. I uncovered many troubling details from Proffitt's past, including domestic violence, a PhD from a now-defunct online degree mill, a forced resignation from his previous job as the administrator of a private psychiatric hospital in Maine, and other failings. The state ordered Proffitt to resign and the Minnesota legislative auditor began an audit of the department's hiring practices. The assistant commissioner of the Department of Human Services who led the hiring search also resigned. The governor proposed $40 million in renovations to address safety concerns. Regulators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration visited the facility for the first time in 21 years. The facility also implemented new training for employees to reduce violence. My investigation of the facility continues.
  • Hidden suffering, hidden death

    The deaths of severely disabled Illinois residents who lived at home cared for by friends and relatives were not being investigated by the state agency specially created to protect them — the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Human Services. The reason given for not investigating?The agency's internal documents showed that that OIG considered the dead to be "ineligible for services," even when victims died shortly after being hospitalized on an emergency basis and after the agency had received calls on its hotline alleging that the disabled person had been abused or neglected. The Belleville News-Democrat's wide-ranging investigation initially focused on the deaths of 53 of these home bound disabled adults.
  • Watchdog website and its web pages

    The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com started this project in 2008 with the Right to Know page, a collection of databases developed internally to go along with stories and links to relevant public information. That site became part of the Watchdog page in 2009. In 2010, the staff continued to evolve the Watchdog page with "mini-sites" of investigative topics, such as a political corruption case at the Oklahoma Legislature; the staff's FOI fight over the birth dates of public employees; and allegations of bid-rigging with a married lawmaker and lobbyist for a private company seeking a state juvenile justice contract. Other "mini-sites" under Watchdog include ongoing coverage of the state Department of Human Services and the federal stimulus package.
  • "Welfare Waste"

    Welfare funds can be, and often are, misused. A review of "two million state welfare transactions" by the KSTP-TV team reveals that EBT cards were used more than 100 times in liquor stores during the course of one month. They also found the money was spent on things like lottery tickets and tattoos, and the practice is entirely legal.
  • "Children Failed, Children Forsaken"

    The deaths of 13 children could have been prevented, says the Colorado Department of Human Services. The child welfare system in Colorado is "fraught with incompetence" and mismanagement. Caseworkers are improperly trained, leaving the children "in peril." As of late 2009, new hires and improved caseworker training had not been enforced leaving the situation in the same poor state as it has been for years.
  • Failing the Children: Deadly Mistakes

    "In May 2007, authorities found 7-year old Chandler Grafner starved to death in a closet. He showed signs of long-term abuse. His guardians, Jon Phillips and Sarah Berry, were convicted of murder. In covering the story, KMGH-TV investigative reporter John Ferrugia attempted to determine the extent of the the Denver Department of Human Services' involvement with the family... Ferrugia and the KMGH investigative team consistently obtained internal documents to expose a system fraught with incompetence, lack of oversight, poor management and ineffective training... In short, a system that left children at risk."