The San Antonio non-profit care facility has been closed because it poses an “imminent risk” to child safety


The state paid Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services (TFCAS) $2 million a year for much of the last decade, only to have its license revoked last month, saying the organization poses a risk to children.

The nonprofit foster family was one of many across the state tasked with screening homes for foster placements and adoptions, and subsequently monitoring families.

TPR conducted a months-long investigation into the organization and found that it had retained a staff executive who had been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a family member.

The nonprofit care organization denied continuing to employ the man after learning of the allegation. Those denials were eventually refuted by a state investigation completed last year and obtained by TPR last month.

In a Valentine’s Day letter, the Texas Health And Human Service Commission said it was forced to revoke the nonprofit’s license due to the sheer number of deficiencies TFCAS had encountered — as well as their severity — over the past two years.

“The scope and severity of the deficiencies cited, together with continued non-compliance with probation conditions and heightened oversight duties, demonstrate a general inability or unwillingness to comply with minimum standards, rules and laws; Because of this, children being cared for are at imminent risk and your operations must be halted,” said Ashland Spencer-Batiste, HHSC Deputy Assistant Enforcement Commissioner, in the revocation letter obtained by TPR.

Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services has been under increased surveillance for its safety record for two years. But instead of improving, the state said it continued to commit violations. It was included in a corrective action plan, but according to the state that hasn’t helped – the agency has collected 88 deficiencies since November 2020.

“TFCAS has never been a safety risk for children, nor has any agency [HHSC] decided to put pressure on the closure,” said Karen Perez, CEO of Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services.

She said they would appeal the revocation decision. She claimed that many of the citations had been overturned, but did not provide any documentation to support the claim.

State investigators found violations ranging from failure to conduct or document required medical exams to three counts of negligent supervision or abuse in a single year.

In their report, investigators said two foster children witnessed the domestic abuse of their foster mother by their foster father. In another case, the adult son of a foster parent sexually abused an 8-year-old child, as well as another incident where a foster parent sexually abused a 13-year-old foster child, according to the revocation letter.

An HHSC investigation late last year found the nonprofit may also have forged several documents. It was said that an American Red Cross card belonging to Perez’s son Jose – whom she employed – was forged, as were signatures on his subcontracting contract. The investigator also found that a former employee claimed that the nonprofit forged several employee training certificates.

The state revoked Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services’ license as the organization prepared to close. In a letter to their foster families at the end of December, the organization said they could no longer work with so many inspections.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to revoke our license a week before closing. I can only offer my opinion that the retaliation was intentional,” Perez wrote in an email to TPR.

It was retaliation, she said, for TPR’s story, which highlighted the six-month lag between a government agency saying Monroe likely raped his great-niece and the nonprofit’s firing. Perez blamed the state for the delay and said Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services were not notified of the abuse finding until after he was fired.

Contrary to the state’s portrayal of a steady decline, CEO Karen Perez told the families in December they were making progress as reporting coincided with new investigations.

“We had just celebrated our best quarter with the fewest citations and saw the end of increased surveillance in our eyes when The TPR Article came out,” Perez wrote in her December email regarding TPR’s investigative story.

Despite an investigation into child sexual assault, an executive at a San Antonio foster family kept his job at Texas Foster Care & Adoption Services for months.

TPR reported in September that Gerald Monroe, the chief financial officer, was arrested in December 2020 for allegedly raping his great-niece Shawna Rogers. The story questioned why TFCAS — despite a Department for Family and Protection Services decision in June saying Monroe likely abused Rogers — waited until December after his arrest.

Criminal proceedings against Mornoe were finally dropped in May 2022, a few months after Rogers died in a car accident.

Perez pointed his finger at DFPS. She said the state never told them about their investigation months ago.

The state confirmed that it is standard practice to notify a placement agency such as TFCAS when an employee is abusing a child. It was not clear that TFCAS was alerted by DFPS from records obtained by TPR from the state.

Regardless, interviews and documents indicated that Monroe may have continued to work for TFCAS despite his arrest. Perez denied the allegations and stated that they quit Monroe when they learned of the December 2020 arrest.

Several former employees told TPR that Monroe continued to run the organization even after his arrest. Tax filings dated 11 months after his sacking appeared to confirm her account. They listed him as the custodian of the organization’s records and his house as headquarters.

Monroe had always been a remote worker, so many with the nonprofit organization had never met him. Despite this, Monroe is often listed on tax documents as the highest-paid employee, taking home as much as $81,000 a year for one day’s work per week.

Perez told TPR and regulators that Monroe was terminated and received a severance payment, a salary that would continue until he was legally able to rejoin the nonprofit, or for two years, which was until January 2023.

HSSC disagreed. It said that Monroe was actually still employed by the organization and continued to work for them until 2022.

“It was determined that there was sufficient evidence to establish that Mr. Monroe continued to be employed and acted as a controlling person after his arrest,” the state inquest said late last year.

Monroe has been consulted more than once by TFCAS employees and officers about financial documents, according to the state. His seemingly unfettered access to those critical financial documents was one of the reasons the state said it was still viewed in a controlling role.

A former employee reported that he was referred to Monroe to earn a W2 long after the CFO was fired.

TFCAS Monroe Report

A screenshot from the state investigation into Gerald Monroe’s role at Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services, with an employee saying Monroe had to be contacted with multiple connections to sort out his payroll.

The investigation into Monroe’s role at the nonprofit nursing organization targeted an incident in February 2022 when emails containing Texas Foster Care’s financial documents were created by Monroe and then sent to Perez, who forwarded them to state regulators and identified Monroe’s E -kept the mail chain intact.

Perez told a state investigator she didn’t know how he would still have access to the documents, but admitted she asked him for the documents provided he knew how to get them.

When asked by investigators about Monroe’s access to documents, Texas Foster Care co-founder Nagi Patibandla initially said Monroe’s wife Laurie created them and Monroe sent them in. The state investigator pushed back.

“This inspector pointed out that the document was created and sent within 3 minutes of Gerald Monroe’s personal email; Karen Perez has previously stated that he may have had access to these things…” the investigation said.

Patibandla admitted they made a mistake and Monroe may have created the documents.

The state’s investigation also notes the odd timing of several hirings at TFCAS, in which Monroe attempted to replace some of his job roles with family members or family friends shortly after learning he was being investigated by the state for alleged sexual abuse, but before he said it his employer knew about the allegations.

According to the state investigation, Laurie Monroe, Gerald’s wife, was brought on board in May 2020 to handle the nonprofit’s payroll. Two months later, it hired Devin Haines, a man with no accounting experience or degree, to run payroll.

Documents from the DFPS sexual abuse investigation said Haines lived with the Monroes and was dating her granddaughter. Laurie Monroe later denied that Haines ever lived in her home.

According to state documents, Haines’ employment records are questionable because his employee record was missing many required documents. Perez told state investigators to help Laurie Monroe with payroll.

An email from TFCAS to the state said both she and Gerald were no longer with the nonprofit foster home shortly after the arrest. But after Gerald Monroe was allegedly fired, Laurie Monroe took over the nonprofit’s payroll for him, according to the investigation.

Haines could not be found to comment on this story.

Perez said they decided to terminate Laurie Monroe after TPR released his first story and replaced her with Haines, but later turned around due to his connection to the family.

Perez claims Gerald Monroe was fired in December 2020. She said the state was wrong. She attacked TPR’s credibility, saying the state should use its money to “improve the lives of families” instead of “micromanaging” organizations.

The non-profit nursing home is currently closed. However, Perez didn’t rule out a full reopening and said they had no plans to do so until state licensing “acted together.” And of course after they regain their license.

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