Metro health board probes spending for parenthood program - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Metro health board probes spending for parenthood program

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Last week, the Channel 4 I-Team reported that Metro taxpayers may be on the hook for thousands of dollars, after the federal government questioned how the Metro Health Department spent money from a federal grant.

The head of the program is now facing tough questions from the Metro Board of Health.

That grant money was supposed to be used for a program to help men become better fathers.

As the Channel 4 I-Team reported, Metro was to receive $4.8 million for the three-year program, but only 130 men completed the parenting classes in the first two years, meaning the program has cost about $24,000 per dad.

The board was angry last month when it learned the federal government had raised a red flag about how taxpayers money was being spent.

Nearly $30,000 of the grant money was used to build a new gym floor at the Martha O'Bryan Center, where the fathers met for classes, and $15,000 went to a kitchen remodeling job that was never finished.

The man who heads up the parenthood program was asked why the money was needed for a gym floor.

"I'm not sure if you've been to Martha O'Bryan, but there was carpet on the gym. So if someone spills food or things like that, and for a lack of a better term, it gets funky in there," Robert Taylor said.

Taylor told there were some misunderstandings, but they're adding more oversight to the program. He hopes the federal government will take them off probation and let the program continue another year.

The program is currently in the second of its three-year period.

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