Report 2005-129 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2005-129: Department of Social Services: In Rebuilding Its Child Care Program Oversight, the Department Needs to Improve Its Monitoring Efforts and Enforcement Actions (Release Date: May 2006)

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Recommendations to Social Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should continue its efforts to make all nonconfidential information about its monitoring visits more readily available to the public.

Not Fully Implemented
2

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should develop a plan to measure its random and required visits against its statutory requirement to visit each facility at least once every five years and assess its progress in meeting the requirement. In addition, it should continue to assess its progress in meeting its other statutory visit requirements. Further, it should ensure that the data it uses to assess its progress in meeting the various requirements are sufficiently reliable.

3

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should continue its efforts to rebuild the oversight operations of its child care program and assess the sufficiency of its current monitoring efforts and statutory requirements to ensure the health and safety of children in child care facilities. As part of its assessment, the department should evaluate whether its caseloads and frequency of periodic inspections are sufficient.

4

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should complete complaint investigations within the established 90-day period. In addition, the department should revise its policies to identify specific actions its child care program staff could take to reduce the number of inconclusive complaint findings. Further, the department should continue its plans to train all of its analysts in evaluating evidence and reaching conclusions on complaint allegations.

5

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should evaluate its pilot project for supervisory approval after the plan of correction has been completed and implement a consistent process statewide for ensuring that licensees take appropriate corrective action.

6

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should provide specific guidance to its staff about whether deficiencies, such as those cited for absent or expired certifications for first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, should be categorized as Type A or Type B violations.

7

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should ensure that deficiencies identified during its monitoring visits are corrected within its established 30-day time frame, that evidence of corrective action is included in its facility files, and that required plans of correction submitted by facilities are written so that it can verify and measure the actions taken.

Fully Implemented
8

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should conduct a review of the complaint specialist pilot project in its regional offices. The review should include, at a minimum, the timeliness and appropriateness of actions taken since the project’s implementation. The department should then use the results of its review to determine how it should modify its existing processes.

9

To ensure that the department continues to make monitoring visits, including periodic inspections and complaint visits, and carries out its other required responsibilities for child care facilities, the department should develop sufficient automated management information to facilitate the effective oversight of its child care program regional offices.

10

To improve its enforcement actions in order to effectively address health and safety violations by child care facilities, the department should ensure that it assesses civil penalties in all instances where state laws and regulations require it. Additionally, it should consider proposing statutes or regulations requiring it to assess civil penalties on homes for additional types of violations. Further, the department should consider seeking changes to the requirement that it cannot assess civil penalties if follow?up visits are not conducted within 10 days of the time that corrective action was due.

11

To improve its enforcement actions in order to effectively address health and safety violations by child care facilities, the department should clarify its direction to regional office staff to help ensure that they are using noncompliance conferences promptly and in appropriate instances. Additionally, the department should reevaluate the May 3, 2004, memorandum and, to the extent that it reflects the department’s current intent, incorporate the guidance into its evaluator manual. Further, the department should periodically review regional offices’ use of noncompliance conferences to ensure that they are consistently following established policies.

12

To improve its enforcement actions in order to effectively address health and safety violations by child care facilities, the department should ensure that regional office staff consult with legal division staff early in the process when circumstances warrant it by clarifying its policies as necessary and following up to determine that the policies are complied with.

Fully Implemented
13

To improve its enforcement actions in order to effectively address health and safety violations by child care facilities, the department should require follow-up monitoring visits to ensure that child care facilities with revoked licenses are not operating and that individuals excluded from facilities are not present in the facilities. The department should also revise its policies for following up on excluded individuals to ensure that it more promptly verifies that they are not present in facilities.

Fully Implemented
14

To improve its enforcement actions in order to effectively address health and safety violations by child care facilities, the department should ensure that visits to facilities on probation are made within the required deadline.

Fully Implemented


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