Report 2011-101.1 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 2011-101.1: Child Welfare Services: California Can and Must Provide Better Protection and Support for Abused and Neglected Children (Release Date: October 2011)

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Recommendations to Social Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that its licensees, including state-licensed foster homes, foster family agencies, and group homes, are in compliance with applicable requirements and that children are protected, Social Services should complete on-site reviews at least once every five years as required by state law.

Fully Implemented
2

To encourage more effective communication from county CWS agencies regarding its licensees, Social Services should specify in regulations what types of situations or allegations the agencies should forward to its licensing division.

Will Not Implement
3

To ensure that rates paid to foster family agencies are appropriate, Social Services should analyze the rates and provide reasonable support for each component, especially the 40 percent administrative fee it currently pays these agencies.

Not Fully Implemented
4

Social Services should create and monitor compliance with clear requirements specifying that children placed with foster family agencies must have elevated treatment needs that would require a group home placement if not for the existence of these agencies' programs. Specifically, Social Services should revise its regulations so licensed foster homes have higher priority than foster family agencies for children that do not have identified treatment needs.

Not Fully Implemented
5

Social Services should require county CWS agencies to file in CWS/CMS a detailed justification for any child placed with a foster family agency.

Will Not Implement
6

Social Services should create a mechanism by which it can efficiently check for compliance with the needs-justification requirement.

Will Not Implement
7

To encourage continued progress and innovation in keeping children safe, Social Services should add to its current CWS performance metrics a measure of the percentage of investigatory visits (both immediate and 10-day) completed on time that excludes attempted investigatory visits from its calculation of successful outcomes.

Fully Implemented
8

To determine whether the hold harmless provision has been effective in reducing caseloads and whether it should be revised or rescinded, Social Services should refine and use CWS/CMS to calculate and report county CWS caseloads.

Will Not Implement
9

To encourage county CWS agencies to conduct formal internal death reviews, Social Services should revise its annual report on child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect to provide information on whether county CWS agencies conducted such a review of child deaths with prior CWS history. To obtain this information, Social Services should revise its regulations to require all county CWS agencies to not only report child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect but to also require a subsequent report indicating whether an internal child death review was completed.

Will Not Implement
10

As part of its instructions related to its outcome review process, Social Services should direct county CWS agencies to include completed internal death reviews in the development of their self-assessments and improvement plans.

Fully Implemented
11

To provide more useful information in its annual report, Social Services should provide child death information broken out by county, not just statewide totals. Further, Social Services should provide more analysis, such as comparing child death information over multiple years and presenting each county's child deaths as a percentage of its total child population.

Will Not Implement
12

Social Services should begin to conduct regular address comparisons using Justice’s sex offender registry and its Licensing Information System and Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS). If Social Services believes it needs additional resources to do so, it should justify and seek the appropriate level of funding. If efforts to obtain additional resources fail, Social Services should assign this high-priority task to existing staff.

Fully Implemented
13

To provide sufficient oversight of county CWS agencies with delegated authority to license foster homes, Social Services should complete comprehensive reviews of these agencies’ licensing activities at least once every three years.

Fully Implemented
14

To ensure that county CWS agencies send required reports of abuse and neglect to Justice, Social Services should remind these agencies of applicable requirements and examine the feasibility of using CWS/CMS to track compliance with these statutory provisions.

Fully Implemented
15

To achieve greater cooperation from county CWS agencies and to make it possible for some of these agencies to improve their placement practices, Social Services should develop a funding alternative that allows the agencies to retain a portion of state funds they save as a result of reducing their reliance on foster family agencies and only making placements with these agencies when justified by the elevated treatment needs of the child. The agencies would use these funds to support placement activities necessary to achieve the savings (for example, assessment centers and placement resource units).

Fully Implemented
16

Social Services should work with the Alameda County CWS agency to improve its percentage of ongoing case visits completed until it at least meets Social Services’ compliance goal of 90 percent.

Fully Implemented
17

To improve agency practices and increase the safety of children within the CWS system, all county CWS agencies should perform a formal internal review of the services they delivered to each child before he or she died of abuse or neglect and implement any resulting recommendations.

Fully Implemented
18

As part of its oversight of the outcome review process, Social Services should follow up on whether Fresno and Sacramento counties implemented recommendations resulting from their respective internal death reviews.

Fully Implemented
19

To ensure that they report all requisite child deaths to Social Services and investigate all child deaths involving abuse or neglect, county CWS agencies should annually reconcile their child death information with other reliable information on child deaths, such as county child death review team data.

Fully Implemented
20

To ensure that vulnerable individuals, including foster children, are safe from sex offenders, Social Services should complete follow up on any remaining address matches our office provided in July 2011 and take appropriate actions, as well as relay information to Justice or local law enforcement for any sex offenders not in compliance with registration laws.

Fully Implemented


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