SEBRING — A former family case manager supervisor for a social service agency dealing with foster children and children at risk for neglect or abuse may have falsified records to boost statistics, according to a warrant released Thursday.
Lindsay Bass, 30, 4757 E. Avon Pines Road, Avon Park, was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and charged with two felony counts of falsification of records. She claimed on two occasions to have visited with families, but had not done so, the warrant indicates.
At the time of the alleged falsification of records, Bass worked at One Hope United, an agency that among other things deals with placement of foster children, training of prospective foster parents and helping families where a risk exists of abuse or neglect of children. One Hope is a Florida Department of Children and Families that provides services in Hardee and Highlands counties.
An employee at One Hope told authorities that “Bass was only concerned with her unit having the top statistics for the OHU office,” the warrant said.
OHU officials refused to comment on the situation.
“Due to privacy procedures meant to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the children who may be affected, it is One Hope United’s policy to not comment on such cases,” OHU Executive Vice President Barbara Moss said in an emailed statement. “Any situation that raises concerns about impropriety is quickly investigated and rectified. As always, One Hope United is serious about its commitment to strengthening families and protecting children.”
The warrant said that OHU Director Michelle Ramirez reported to the DCF Office of Inspector General that Bass in May 2014 falsely documented entries involving a family. The warrant said the complaint was that Bass said she attended a court hearing in Okeechobee County on May 27, 2014, but claimed it actually occurred the following day. Ramirez also reported that Bass said she made a home visit to a family in Port St. Lucie on May 28, but that did not occur.
Another One Hope employee said that while Bass claimed to have accompanied her on a visit with the family, that never occurred, the warrant said.
The employee said that after they attended a judicial hearing, Bass wanted her to state in the records that it was actually a home visit, the warrant said. The employee said she refused to do so.
Members of the family involved did not recall Bass visiting them, the warrant said.