Report 2011-101.1 Recommendation 11 Responses

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)

Recommendation #11 To: Social Services, Department of

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.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

CDSS continues to disagree with the recommendation to include county-specific information and will not implement. County specific analysis is best left to each county, for a local analysis of any systemic indicators that would require policy or practice changes on behalf of the county staff. The purpose of the state-level report is to analyze statewide trends and provide this information in the context of statewide policy.

CDSS has made changes to the annual report to make the analysis more useful by comparing child fatality data over several years and providing trend analysis in the annual report. CDSS has partially implemented the recommendation by including additional analysis of child fatality data such as comparisons of fatalities over time, analysis of primary and secondary individuals responsible and analysis of CWS involvement with the family. CDSS has identified policy and prevention strategies in response to its data analysis. Further refinement will continue as CDSS identifies systemic issues, identifies trends and gathers additional evidence to support policy and prevention strategies prospectively.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Partially Implemented. CDSS agrees that the annual report can be made more useful by including additional analysis such as comparing child fatality data over several years. Now that the Department has had multiple years collecting the same information on child fatalities, CDSS is including trend analysis in the annual report. CDSS has partially implemented the recommendation by including additional analysis of child fatality data such as comparisons of fatalities over time, analysis of primary and secondary individuals responsible and analysis of child welfare services (CWS) involvement with the family. CDSS has identified policy and prevention strategies in response to its data analysis. Further refinement will continue as CDSS identifies systemic issues, trends and gathers additional evidence to support policy and prevention strategies prospectively.

CDSS continues to disagree with the recommendation to improve the annual child fatality report by including county specific information. County specific analysis is best left to each county, for a local analysis of any systemic indicators that would require of the need for policy or practice changes on behalf of the county staff. The purpose of the state-level report is to analyze statewide trends and provide this information in the context of statewide policy.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The CDSS continues to disagree with this recommendation for the reasons noted below.

Previous Response: County-specific information already is available from each county, and each county is required to review fatalities and near-fatalities due to abuse or neglect. That analysis is best left to each county, for a local analysis of any systemic indicators that would require the need for policy or practice changes on behalf of the county staff. The purpose of the state-level report is to analyze statewide trends and provide this information in the context of statewide policy. The annual reporting process and product is still in its infancy. The state has only been producing the annual report per Senate Bill (SB) 39 for two years, and reporting requirements have varied throughout the years prior to enactment of SB 39. However, as more data becomes available, it is appropriate to expect that the CDSS and its county partners will be analyzing that data to develop any needed data reporting and policy changes.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. The CDSS disagrees with this recommendation. County-specific information already is available from each county, and each county is required to review fatalities and near-fatalities due to abuse or neglect. That analysis is best left to each county, for a local analysis of any systemic indicators that would require of the need for policy or practice changes on behalf of the county staff. The purpose of the state-level report is to analyze statewide trends and provide this information in the context of statewide policy.

The annual reporting process and product is still in its infancy. The state has only been producing the annual report per SB 39 for two years, and reporting requirements have varied throughout the years prior to enactment of SB 39. Therefore, at this time it is uncertain what additional information would prove valuable in understanding the commonalities in child fatalities that would allow for effective changes in policy or practice across the state. However, as more data becomes available, it is appropriate to expect that the CDSS and its county partners will be analyzing that data to develop any needed data reporting and policy changes.

As a final note, while any fatality is a tragic event, the incidence of fatalities is so low that percentage information would not be meaningful.

The CDSS continues to disagree with this recommendation for the reasons noted above. This, therefore, will be CDDSS' final response to this particular recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

Social Services continues to disagree with this recommendation, stating that county-specific information is already available from each county. As we indicate on pages 90 and 91 of the audit report, Social Services' assertion that this information is already available from the 58 counties does little to help state decision makers and stakeholders who may be interested in this information. Social Services has this information by county readily available and could present this information in its annual report. AB 1440 would have required Social Services to enhance its annual report to include the information we suggested. However, AB 1440 was not enacted during the 201112 legislative session.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

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


All Recommendations in 2011-101.1

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


Report type

Report type
















© 2013, California State Auditor | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Download Adobe PDF Reader