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Questions raised about expenses for state adoption agency

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UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The agencies that place children in Wisconsin foster homes had 130-thousand dollars of questionable expenses over the past two fiscal years.  The Legislative Fiscal Bureau checked the ledgers of five of the state's 24 child-placement agencies.  Over 78-percent of the questionable expenses came from Thrive Treatment Services of Watertown, which places children with emotional-and-behavior issues into foster homes.  The audit said Thrive spent $5,500 state tax dollars on four holiday parties -- $11,000 for a house in Adams County where foster care was not properly documented -- and another $5,000 for a board meeting last year. 

The audit also showed that $200,000 state dollars were loaned to businesses owned by the C-E-O's relatives. 

The group has not commented. 

Auditors recommended that the state Children-and-Family Services Department review Thrive's spending -- and that the $130,000 be paid back unless the firm can justify those costs.  Governor Scott Walker said yesterday he would work with the department on the audit's suggestions, and will work with lawmakers on any needed changes in state law.

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