Report 2005-129 All Recommendation Responses

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)

Recommendation #1 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

CDSS has improved the transparency of licensing reports and records to ensure parents and guardians using a licensed child care facility are aware of situations that present the greatest danger to children.

The CDSS' transparency efforts include:

Posting a notice of a site visit at the facility, which indicates an inspection was recently conducted and that copies of the non-confidential reports from that visit may be obtained by contacting the CDSS. Parents may also ask to review the licensee's copy. Licensees are required to leave this notice posted in their facility for 30 consecutive days.

Informing the public on the CDSS' Web site that they may contact the local Regional Office or County Office to make a request to review a facility's non-confidential file in person or over the phone.

Requiring Licensees to provide copies of any document showing a Type A deficiency, a noncompliance conference, and/or any legal action to current parents, as well as all documents showing noncompliance for the 12-month period to new parents upon enrollment of a child in a facility.

The Legislature added to the CDSS' transparency by requiring Resource and Referral Agencies to advise parents of their right to get information about any substantiated or inconclusive complaints concerning a child care provider by calling the local licensing office.

The CDSS meets with stakeholders including the Resource and Referral Network to share licensing information. They, in turn, communicate with providers and the general public relative to licensing requirements, including the posting and parent notification requirements identified above.

In this past year the CDSS made changes to the child care licensing home page in order to make it less cumbersome and easier to navigate. This additionally ensures greater ease of public access to licensing information. In addition to Quarterly Updates, the CDSS provides e-blasts when information is needed immediately. The Community Care Licensing Division believes these changes, coupled with the above information, reflect the CDSS' commitment to make all non-confidential information readily available to the public. Although a future goal, there is no current technological capacity to post licensing reports online.

  • Completion Date: May 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #2 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #3 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #4 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #5 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #6 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #7 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

1-Year Agency Response

The department developed extensive revisions to its evaluator manual, particularly regarding clearing deficiencies, granting extensions for plans of correction, and using self-certifications. The evaluator manual revisions also included guidelines for developing effective plans of correction. In addition, the department indicated that it trained its staff in these areas and that there has been an increase in supervisory involvement to ensure consistency. (2008-406, p. 190)

  • Response Date: August 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Social Services, Department of

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 projectís implementation. The department should then use the results of its review to determine how it should modify its existing processes.

Recommendation #9 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #10 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Recommendation #11 To: Social Services, Department of

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 departmentís current intent, incorporate the guidance into its evaluator manual. Further, the department should periodically review regional officesí use of noncompliance conferences to ensure that they are consistently following established policies.

Recommendation #12 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

1-Year Agency Response

The department reported that the legal divisionís early consultation pilot project in Southern California was well received, yet significant operational changes were made because of staff turnover. It reevaluated areas of assignment and sent legal staff to regional offices to be readily available for consultation. However, the department stated that it was doubtful it would expand the pilot project to Northern California, in part because the diversion of legal counsel to full-time consultation did not seem likely. Still, the department stated that it has continued to stress the need for early legal consultation. Finally, the department indicated that it requires monthly legal consultation on all cases that may result in an administrative action. (2008-406, p. 192)

  • Response Date: August 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #13 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

1-Year Agency Response

The department issued a memo in October 2006 that directed all licensing staff to consider follow-up visits to facilities with revoked licenses or those with excluded individuals as the highest priority work, equal to complaint visits. The memo also addressed instructions for ensuring that a facility is actually closed when revocation becomes effective, ensuring that an excluded person has actually left the facility, and monitoring visits to facilities on probation. (2008-406, p. 193)

  • Response Date: August 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

Subsequent to the original publication of this response, the state auditor considered this recommendation to be fully implemented.


Recommendation #14 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

1-Year Agency Response

The department issued a memo in October 2006 that directed all licensing staff to consider follow-up visits to facilities with revoked licenses or those with excluded individuals as the highest priority work, equal to complaint visits. The memo also addressed instructions for ensuring that a facility is actually closed when revocation becomes effective, ensuring that an excluded person has actually left the facility, and monitoring visits to facilities on probation. In addition, the department indicated that it requested additional resources to minimize the impact on other licensing and monitoring activities. Further, the department stated that it was revising its evaluator manual to incorporate the mandates of the memo. Finally, the department stressed the importance of making enhancements to allow for automated tracking and notification for follow-up visits to facilities. 2008-406, p. 193)

  • Response Date: August 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

Subsequent to the original publication of this response, the state auditor considered this recommendation to be fully implemented.


All Recommendations in 2005-129

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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