BRYN MAWR, Pa. (PRWEB) August 5, 2008
But the court order process for structured settlement sales also takes into account the interests of dependents of the petitioners. According to Keith Mayer, vice president of customer service for J.G. Wentworth, “When we purchase structured settlement payments, the courts are directing that a portion of the proceeds be allocated to various state human and child welfare service agencies. These funds represent back-dated obligations that otherwise probably would not have been paid.”
Mr. Mayer said that from 2003 to 2007, J.G. Wentworth made more than $ 2.7 million in payments to state agencies on behalf of its client’s payments, primarily comprised of past due child welfare and other support payments.
“Development of this legislation represents one of the rare occasions when the interests of the judiciary, state regulators, business and consumers lined up nearly perfectly,” said Mr. Mayer, who has worked with structured settlement owners before and after the advent of judicial regulation. “As a result, our support for judicial review remains as strong as ever and our experience across tens of thousands of transactions is that consumers, once they are educated on the value of that review in protecting their own interests, agree.”
For more information about structured settlements as well as individual state statutes governing their sale, go to J.G. Wentworth’s Structured Settlement Resource Center (http://www.jgwentworth.com/Structured-Settlement/Structured-Settlement -Information/Default.aspx). (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser’s address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)
About the J.G. Wentworth family of companies
J.G. Wentworth, Inc., based in Bryn Mawr, PA, is the nation’s oldest, largest and most respected buyer of deferred payments for illiquid financial assets like structured settlements, annuities and, through dedicated subsidiaries, life insurance policies. Since 1992, J.G. Wentworth has purchased over $ 3 billion of future payment obligations from consumers and is also the nation’s largest securitizer of structured settlement and annuity backed notes. The company’s notes are rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s Corporation.
For more information about J.G. Wentworth, go to http://www.jgwentworth.com.
Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) December 15, 2010
The State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has selected Corticon Technologies to provide their enterprise standard business rules engine. Corticons software will be used by Idaho DHW to provide faster and more efficient social services, while also improving service quality. This is achieved by automating the rules, regulations, and best practices that govern benefits determination, needs assessment and service delivery.
Idaho DHW focuses on the health, safety, and self-sufficiency of Idahoan individuals and families. DHW provides services in the form of benefits programs such as health care, cash assistance, food stamps, nutritional assistance, foster care and child protection. Recently, an ailing economy has created an influx of citizens in need. Currently, DHW serves the 1.5 million citizens of Idaho, of which nearly one in four citizens require services. Record enrollment, combined with lower tax revenue, has created a crises situation, overloading social service personnel. Fortunately, Corticon can help.
Idaho intends to use Corticon to automate regulated, rules-driven processes such as benefits determination and needs assessment. The Corticon-powered solutions will help Idahos social workers more effectively manage the increased workload, while simultaneously improving quality of service via better adherence to federal regulations and best practices. Corticon will be used both to replace aging, inflexible, legacy technology, as well as to automate manual tasks. According to Mike Wickham, Bureau Chief, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, “Almost everything that we do is heavily driven by business rules, mandated by federal regulations that define our social service programs. Corticons rules engine will make our business rules more visible and accessible to the business, but also more responsive to the changes that come from either state or federal regulations.”
Idaho plans to first implement Corticon as a part of their WIC system replacement. WIC refers to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, a Federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). WIC provides nutrition assistance for low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five.
Idaho’s WIC program has expanded dramatically in recent years, from 62,000 citizens in 2006, to 82,254 citizens in 2010. This growth has overwhelmed their social workers. Their existing legacy WIC system, which minimally supported the process, was too inflexible to change. Thus, Idaho decided to replace their WIC system.
After evaluating a number of WIC systems at other states, Idaho decided to build their own, using Corticon as the rules engine. The new solution is expected to significantly improve their social workers productivity, by helping to automate the process of certification (i.e. eligibility), needs assessment, and food package selection. The new WIC system will provide faster service to citizens, while also improving service quality via better adherence to federal regulations and best practices.
Idaho DHW chose Corticon as their enterprise standard rules engine after a lengthy evaluation process. After evaluating several products, and working with a rules engine product as a part of an existing system, Idaho recognized Corticon as providing a true breakthrough in ease-of-use. Most products require learning multiple tools and languages to do what Corticon could do with a single, business-friendly tool, said Vickie Flatt, Project Manager at Idaho DHW. This ease-of-use results in several benefits. First, new systems can be developed and modified far more quickly. Second, with Corticon, all rules are transparent to business people, ensuring that the rules are easier to understand, validate and change. Third, with Corticon, it is far faster and easier to train new resources, including business people, to build and maintain rules.
“We proved that Corticon can significantly reduce the overhead to create and maintain business rules,” said Mr. Wickham. “We are embracing Corticon as an enterprise standard and see the opportunity to put the rules engine in many other areas of our business.”
“Corticon is pleased to partner with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to provide more efficient and responsive benefits systems,” said Dr. Mark Allen, CEO of Corticon. “We look forward to helping Idaho to better serve the needs of their citizens.”
About Business Rules Engines
Business rules engines (BRE), also known as business rules management systems (BRMS) , are an advanced technology used to deliver more agile IT systems (see http://www.corticon.com/Products/). Business rules engines enable the business logic of software applications to be externalized from programming code and managed by subject matter experts. Business rules engines provide a number of key advantages such as accelerated application development and maintenance, increased business transparency and control, and improved audit-ability. In addition, they enable the automation of sophisticated operational decisions that are too complex and volatile to automate via traditional programming techniques.
About the State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s programs and services are designed to help people live healthy and be productive, strengthening individuals, families and communities. From birth throughout life, we help people improve their lives. We deal with complex social, economic and health issues. We receive requests every day for assistance with food or medical insurance. We help others with child care, child support and substance abuse problems. Throughout the state, we are at the forefront of protecting public health. We help people help themselves. Our goal is to help people become self-reliant, working with them to identify issues and solutions to their problems so they won’t need future assistance from us. Idaho’s health and human services are a partnership. We team with other agencies and human service providers to meet the needs in each community. Working together, we can build a better Idaho.
Corticon is the leading independent provider of business rules engines, used to automate decision making processes with unprecedented agility and business control. Corticon is a privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, California, with European headquarters in The Netherlands, worldwide distribution through local Corticon offices, and an extensive partner network. Corticon’s products are in use today at many of the world’s largest banks, insurance companies, media companies, telecommunication providers and government organizations, collectively automating millions of decisions per day.
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New York (Vocus/PRWEB) March 03, 2011
UNICEF, the world’s leading children organization, has assembled teams of experts to fly into Tunisia and Egypt and another on standby for Libya as the agency today launches the Libya Crisis Children’s Appeal for $ 7.2 million to meet humanitarian needs of women and children in all three countries over the coming months.
UNICEF is expecting the number of refugees to climb into the hundreds of thousands if the unrest continues. Critical facilities such as clinics and hospitals are not open for a variety of reasons. Food supplies routes have been disrupted and Libyan children and their families are facing a potential humanitarian crisis.
In any emergency where people are displaced, children are the most vulnerable population, said U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern. Our mission is to provide them with not only basic needs like food, water, medical care and protection, but to be their voice and to advocate on their behalf.
Nearly 100,000 people have already fled across borders to escape from the violence and the rapidly spreading conflict in Libya. Up to 40,000 people have crossed the border from Libya into Tunisia, while an estimated 55,000 people have crossed into Egypt. The first wave of displaced people is mostly constituted of returning nationals or third country migrants. As the conflict continues within Libya, however, growing numbers of Libyans are fleeing the country with their families. Immediate concerns for children include child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and health and nutrition.
In Tunisia and Egypt, UNICEF is prepared to strengthen its capacity to respond in all sectors, pre-positioning stock for possible outflow of Libyan families and specific efforts to reinforce child protection capacity. Child protection interventions will include psychosocial support and family tracing and reunification efforts in anticipation of increasing numbers of unaccompanied or separated children. In Tunisia, the immediate priority will be to provide water, sanitation and hygiene services to the people who have already crossed the border into Egypt. As soon as the security situation in Libya allow UNICEF will deploy a core response team whose initial focus will be around child protection and psychosocial support, water, sanitation, hygiene nutrition and emergency health care.
To donate to the emergency relief efforts in Libya please visit http://www.unicefusa.org or call 1-800-4UNICEF.
UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 22,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit http://www.unicefusa.org.
For additional information, please contact:
Marci Greenberg, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2464, mgreenberg(at)unicefusa(dot)org
Lauren Monahan, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, lmonahan(at)unicefusa(dot)org
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Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) October 21, 2011
The Lakota Peoples Law Project is working to return children to their communities by developing Native services and reforming the Indian Child Welfare Act.
According to NPR Laura Sullivan is known for her investigative reporting on the plight of the countrys most disadvantaged people. NPR also lists Ms. Sullivan’s 2007 revelation of the widespread rape of Native American women on their reservations, committed largely by non-Native men. This tragic story took place, and continues to take place, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas.
The Lakota Peoples Law Project (LPLP) has documented the theft and destruction of Indian children. Native children are being taken at an alarming rate. LPLP investigators and attorneys have found that the South Dakota Department of Social Services in a misguided attempt to help the children removes them from their families and places them in non-Indian households, foster-care settings, and state institutions for years. These children often experience sexual and emotional abuse, medical over-drugging, and inadequate education. According to LPLP lead attorney Daniel P. Sheehan, the current system is a failure. Mr. Sheehan’s research shows that South Dakota, is one of the worst offenders nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of children in state foster care in South Dakota are Native American. By age twenty, over 60% of these children are dead, homeless, or in prison.
Since 2005 The Lakota Peoples Law Project has been partnering with the Native American tribes of South Dakota. Through law, public policy, research, and education The Lakota Peoples Law Project is challenging the systemic injustices of the last 150 years and working for the renewal of Lakota culture and society
The Lakota Peoples Law Project is sponsored by the nonprofit Romero Institute of Santa Cruz, CA. The Romero Institute, named after slain human rights advocate, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, seeks to identify and disassemble structural sources of injustice and threats to the survival of our human family.
Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) July 18, 2012
In National Geographics “In The Shadow of Wounded Knee,” Alex White Plume speaks in the present, as if the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee is happening now. Indeed while there is no genocide against the Lakota occurring today, the onslaught on Lakota culture in South Dakota is in full swing. According to Lakota Peoples Law Project (LPLP) Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan, the removal of Lakota children by the Department of Social Services has become an epidemic since 2000. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires that Lakota foster children stay with their extended families and tribes whenever possible, but a 2005 federal audit shows that South Dakota is among the worst violators of ICWA, with 95% of Native children being placed in non-Native care.
According to Laura Sullivans October 2011, Peabody Award-winning investigative series Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families, the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) removes as many as 700 Native children every year from their homes. Sullivan explains that the state currently receives nearly $ 100 million dollars per year in federal revenue for foster care serviceswhich South Dakota officials treat as a stimulus to their state’s weak economy.
Olowan Thunder Hawk Martinez, whose story of personal resilience and triumph is the centerpiece of In The Shadow of Wounded Knee, is the niece of Madonna Thunder Hawk, a renowned Lakota activist and founding member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). On July 5th, Madonna Thunder Hawk, who is also the Tribal Liaison for the Lakota Peoples Law Project, spoke at a community festival and fundraiser in Aptos, CA for the Lakota Child Rescue Project,. Thunder Hawks account detailed how Lakota children are predominantly placed in white foster care homes or institutions. According to Thunder Hawk, Native American children under the age of 2 are especially in demand in the adoption market since they will never remember their families or culture.
According to Lakota Peoples Law Project consulting anthropologist Randolfo R. Pozos, Ph.D., “In The Shadow of Wounded Knee breaks new ground. Alexandra Fuller avoids the common story of the conquest and oppression of the Lakota in favor of a much more detailed story of humans stubbornly refusing to be victims. Pozos also observes The ability of Alex White Plume and Olowan Thunder Hawk Martinez to tell their stories honestly, without rancor or self-pity, is not only a testament to their personal resilience, but it is a description of a people refusing cultural oblivion.
The Lakota Peoples Law Project commends Alexandra Fuller and National Geographic for illuminating a portrait not often seen of the Lakota in the 21st century. The article illustrates resilience in the face of over a hundred years of hardships. Lakota Peoples Law Project Executive Director Sara Nelson states, This is a moving piece of journalism that demonstrates the great importance of protecting Lakota children, who are the future of Native Americans in South Dakota.
In partnership with Lakota leaders, the Lakota People’s Law Project is confronting South Dakota’s systematic violation of the Indian Children Welfare Act, as descried by NPR. LPLP has launched a campaign to petition the Bureau of Indian Affairs to host a summit on foster care in South Dakota. In a letter to the Department of Interior last October, two Democratic congressmenEd Markey of the House Natural Resources Committee and Dan Boren of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairsdemanded action by the BIA, but nothing has been done yet. LPLP is circulating the petition online. To learn more about their effort, visit this web page.
The Lakota Peoples Law Project is sponsored by the non-profit Romero Institute of Santa Cruz, CA. The Romero Institute is named after slain human rights advocate Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. The Institute seeks to identify and dismantle the structural sources of injustice and threats to the survival of our human family.
Portland, OR (PRWEB) November 12, 2012
Last year, over 4,600 children spent at least one day in foster care in Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties. Many of these children experience an extended stay through multiple placements in the protection of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). Up to 75% of children entering foster care in Multnomah County must wait in an office for 1-2 hours while a social worker calls to find a suitable placement. This is usually a time of high anxiety for children, having been recently removed from their home and facing an unknown future.
The Welcome Box Initiative seeks to engage Warner Pacific students to serve these children who are experiencing this often painful transition. While the child is waiting, a social worker is able to give the child a colorful box of age appropriate items to occupy their time and provide a sense of comfort. Since many children enter their new foster homes with very few belongings, the psychological importance of owning nice possessions cannot be underestimated.
Our campus is responding to the Welcome Box Initiative because its a simple way to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who are hurting, said Adam Ristick, President of the Associated Students of Warner Pacific College (ASWPC). Given that this is a brand new project, weve experienced a much higher rate of participation among students than we first expected and were excited to discover how we can expand our goal and provide even more Welcome Boxes to local DHS offices.
After reallocating funds from their ASWPC budget to purchase supplies, Warner Pacific students had originally committed to assembling 100 Welcome Boxes during the month of November. However, less than two weeks into the month, they have already met that goal and are finding new ways to create additional boxes. Many campus clubs, sports teams, and residence halls have accepted the challenge and are donating time and money to create more Welcome Boxes.
I am not sure I have words to express my gratitude for this movement,” said Jamie Broadbent, DHS Human Services Manager. “The level of commitment by the students from Warner Pacific is simply amazing. They are making a difference!
Assembling the Welcome Boxes, which include a coloring book or journal, art supplies, non-perishable snacks, kid-friendly toiletries, small toys, and a battery-powered flashlight and nightlight; is also a learning process for the students. Before creating the box itself, students walk through various stations where signs provide insight into the process a child entering a DHS office must face. From descriptions of how children are removed from their homes, to statistics about what the child will face in the days ahead; students are meant to get a glimpse of what these children will experience. After the box has been assembled, the final step is an emotional moment as students hand-write a personal note of encouragement to the child.
Adam and the leadership of Warner Pacific College hope to see the relationship between the College and DHS offices continue to grow, finding creative ways for the students at Warner Pacific to make a lasting, positive impact on the child welfare system in Portland.
Founded in 1937 in Spokane, Washington, as Pacific Bible College, Warner Pacific is a Christ-centered, urban, liberal arts college dedicated to providing students from diverse backgrounds an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world.
Rapid City, SD (PRWEB) July 03, 2013
The People of the Seven Council Fires, the Oceti Sakowin, is the name the Sioux call themselves and it is the name of an historic conference to be held in Rapid City, SD, July 8 -10 at the Holiday Inn, Rushmore Plaza. The two and half day meeting will focus on joint policy solutions to key issues identified by the nine Lakota tribes in South Dakota. The conference will focus on improving child welfare, protecting sacred sites, and dealing with uranium pollution along with health care and water rights.
This level of inter-tribal cooperation across such a wide spectrum of issues is unprecedented according to Madonna Thunder Hawk, tribal liaison for the Lakota Peoples Law Project. According to Thunder Hawk, the tribes have set an ambitious agenda that covers the key issues affecting the present and future welfare of the Lakota.
Tribal leaders are taking steps to develop their own social service programs to maintain the integrity of the tribes and their futures because of their concern with high placement rates of Native children in state institutions or with white families. A 2011 Peabody Award winning NPR investigative series by Laura Sullivan alleges that the State of South Dakota has not complied with the Indian Child Welfare Act. Concern about the taking of Lakota children by the State of South Dakota has caused the Oglala Sioux Nation (Pine Ridge Reservation) President Bryan Brewer to declare a state of emergency.
The meeting will focus on successful efforts that are already underway by Native American tribes. These include the LOWO Lakota Practice Model conducted by the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation. And, the Lakota People’s Law Project will present on the Port Gamble SKallam Tribe from Washington State, which has succeeded in getting direct federal funding for its social welfare programs.
The Lakota are also concerned about saving their sacred sites from development or misuse. Tim Mentz, Sr (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) will discuss the Vantage Project and the discovery of sacred sites on the US Canadian border. Russell Eagle Bear (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) will present an update on Pe Sla and the status of the purchase of this sacred site by the tribes. Waste Win Young (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) will talk about Nuclear Regulatory Commission uranium projects in Lakota / Dakota country and how to educate young people and get them involved in these issues. Members from the Oglala, Standing Rock, and the Cheyenne River tribes will discuss the Keystone pipeline.
Now on contract with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Lakota Peoples Law Project has been partnering with tribes and leaders in South Dakota since 2005 from its offices in Rapid City, SD and Santa Cruz, CA. The Lakota People’s Law Project is providing technical support for the tribes to gain direct federal funding for the development and operation of their own child and family service programs. The project combines public interest law, research, education, and organizing into a unique model for advocacy and social reform.
The Lakota People’s Law Project is sponsored by the non-profit Romero Institute based in Santa Cruz, California. The Institute is named after slain human rights advocate Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. The Institute seeks to identify and dismantle structural sources of injustice and threats to the survival of our human family.
Cardiff (PRWEB UK) 20 August 2013
It was reported last Tuesday in the Scotsman that confidential child welfare documents have been found in a skip at a refuse site in Dundee.
According to the article, the documents include the home addresses and medical details of social work service users, as well as other personal information about the health and care of the children.
The same article states that Aberdeen City Council has subsequently ordered an urgent investigation into the allegations, which if true would be considered a huge breach of the Data Protection Act.
Shredding company PHS Datashred believes that this incident highlights the importance of secure data disposal, as well as the need for confidential waste cabinets and bins.
Anthony Pearlgood, Managing Director of PHS Datashred, said: All businesses have a duty to prevent their information from being breached to protect the privacy of their employees, customers and suppliers.
However, social work records are particularly sensitive, and if these allegations turn out to be correct then Aberdeen City Council will be at risk of being fined by the Information Commissioners Office.
Luckily, the leak of important documentation can be avoided by investing in secure bins to keep confidential waste materials safe on your site, before they are destroyed by an approved shredding company.
PHS Datashred offers a range of confidential waste cabinets and bins for organisations to store redundant paperwork, ranging in size from 120 to 1100 litre wheelie bins, and smaller desk side containers.
All secure bins come with a lock and slot mechanism to ensure that there is no unauthorised access to the contents.
Anthony Pearlgood said: The child welfare document data breaches should be a wakeup call for other organisations, particularly those dealing with confidential information such as councils, healthcare centres and financial services.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is now able to fine businesses up to
Miami, FL (Vocus/PRWEB) April 19, 2011
Crime doesnt pay — but judging from budget cuts proposed by Florida Governor Rick Scott, neither does fighting it. The Scott Administrations proposal to slash $ 172 million and 1,800 positions from the Department of Children and Families will only create more tragedies like the recent murder of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona, says crime victim attorney Philip M. Gerson of the Miami law firm Gerson & Schwartz. That makes it imperative, he says, for voters and the Florida legislature to stand up to the proposed cuts, and help protect the states greatest asset — its children.
The administration wants to cut funding for the agency that has the responsibility to discover abuses and prevent senseless injury and death — like that of young Nubia, who was beaten and dumped in a trash bag in the back of a truck, allegedly at the hands of her adoptive parents, says Gerson. They had been entrusted with Nubias care by DCF, and unfortunately, there wasnt sufficient oversight even before budget and manpower cuts. Under the administrations proposal, the agency will be even more overwhelmed and underfunded. How does that do anything but create more tragedies and more crime victims?
According to the Miami Herald Nubia and her twin brother Victor had been found in their adoptive fathers truck on Valentines Day — Nubia already dead and Victor near death after being doused with toxic chemicals. Their adoptive parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona, have been charged with first-degree murder in Nubias death. Over the years, multiple complaints about the Barahonas — alleging disturbing treatment of the children — had been filed with DCF. Callers to the agencys hotline reported that Nubia and Victor were locked in bathrooms for long periods of time or bound with tape. Still, the children remained in the Barahona home and police were not notified.
The latest call — from a therapist concerned about the childrens safety — came just four days before Nubias body was found. A subsequent independent review recommended changes in DCF policy and procedures.
Now were asking DCF to do a better job while taking away resources and creating even higher case loads, says Gerson. Actually what we need is more resources and more supervision. The administration may not see how thats just common sense, but voters can see it — and they have to make sure their legislators see it, too.
Gerson — a board member of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nations leading advocacy organization for crime victims — urges all Florida residents to become advocates for the states children. By speaking and writing to lawmakers, we can make sure that proposals that imperil our youth never happen — and changes that protect them do.
Founded in 1970 by Miami crime victim attorney Philip M. Gerson, the law firm of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., has spent the past four decades protecting, and vindicating, the rights of individuals who have suffered serious harm. In the process, the firm has become recognized as Top Lawyers by the South Florida Business Review, and noted for its work with advocacy groups like the National Center for Victims of Crime and International Cruise Victims Association. To learn more about Gerson & Schwartz, visit http://www.injuryattorneyfla.com.
Philip M. Gerson
Gerson and Schwartz, P.A.
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