Port St. Lucie DCF case worker accused of falsifying records realting to children under her care

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A case manager working for a state Department of Children and Families subcontractor was arrested Monday following accusations she falsified records relating to children under her care, according to records released Tuesday and an official.

Maria Clacher, 49, of the 1900 block of Southeast Hillmoor Drive in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a felony charge following a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.

According to an official and statements in a complaint affidavit supporting Clacher's arrest, Clacher was working for a subcontractor working for DCF, though was terminated in June 2011 "for falsifying her visits."

Documentation provided showed Clacher falsified at least 13 visits for five families.

Investigators were told case managers were supposed to make face-to-face contact at least once every 30 days with the care giver and child. A form must be completed and a photograph of the child must be taken.

Some told investigators Clacher was difficult to get in touch with, didn't take photographs or rarely took them and also rarely performed home visits. They also pointed out inaccuracies in case notes. One person said he contacted his Congressman to talk about the issues.

Asked whether she remembered a time she wrote a report knowing she didn't perform the visit, Clacher said, "I'd hate to say yes and I'd hate to say no because I don't remember ..."

The incidents happened Oct. 2010 — June 2011.

She gave "excuses" of why she might have missed visits. She said it frequently was tough to find people and said some caregivers made threats to "get her job."

She said she missed work for at least a week, suggesting that anyone could have removed documents from files or her desk.

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