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Unpaid Providers Seek Answers

Anna Wines and Dianne Nair have spent years doing adult foster care in their homes.

"Some of them have mental disabilities as well as physical disabilities," said Wines.

"These are mentally and physically disabled folks who cannot care for themselves they cannot speak for themselves," said Nair.

It is why they're speaking out.

"They need that money," said Nair.

The money they're talking about is thousands of dollars owed to them by Alternative Family Living or AFL, and it's owner Tracy Smith who tells News 13 she is broke.
"I am hurt. I am hurt that I can't pay them," said Smith who spoke to News 13 by phone from her home in Leicester.

Tracy who has an extensive background in adult foster care has run AFL taking in state funds she then pays out to contracted care givers like Anna Wines and Dianne Nair.

"Over the years, we've really, really provided a good service and payed people well," said Smith. "They cared about their clients, and this is heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking to me."

"I have another job and can make ends meet this weekend," said Nair. "But people who live paycheck to paycheck now won't be able to feed their client's dinner tonight and their clients depend on them."

The clients and caregivers are the ones Nair said she's concerned about.  Both she and Anna Wines learned Friday they other adult foster care givers who worked for AFL weren't getting paid for the entire month of April.

"The company has gone bankrupt," said Smith of her company AFL. "It's not that I had to use April payments for April. I  had to use it to make march payroll."

"What happened to March's money if she's bankrupt," said Nair. "Where's the money."

"It is state money," said Wines who has done adult foster care along with her mother she says for ten years. "That(money) shouldn't be in someone else's hands. It's money meant to provide care for these clients."

Smith admitted to News 13 she has had cash flow problems in recent months. Of  30 contracted employees Smith said she'd paid her hourly workers and a number of her contracted workers caring for adults.  She said she paid ones she knew depend on the state funds from week to week. 

"I think this is medicaid fraud. It has to be. There's nothing else it can be," said Nair.

"I've known some of these people for years, They take care of their people and love them," said Smith.  "I do not feel I lied to them. I probably could have been more forthcoming but I wasn't sure how much money I would get."
"I don't buy what she's saying because she has been paid," said Nair. "And where has the money gone." 


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