Social Services should create a mechanism by which it can efficiently check for compliance with the needs-justification requirement.
The CDSS continues to disagree with this recommendation, because Assembly Bill 403 represents a significant shift in the scope of services provided by foster family agencies (FFAs). CDSS has issued All County Letter (ACL) 16-79, dated September 22, 2016, which describes the phased-in implementation of the new HBFC rate structure for FFAs. Two components have been added to capture the new activities: Resource Family Approval and Services and Supports. The administrative component remains the same. Cost reports will be modified to track the new costs. The new HBFC rate structure will now standardize the rates paid to all resource families regardless of the HBFC setting; i.e., placed in a county resource family approved home or in an FFA. The child/youth's need for services will no longer be limited to the placement types. Additionally, FFAs will now expand their scope of services and supports to relatives and non-FFA homes.
See Recommendation 5.
Remains Not Implemented/Agree with Recommendation. The legislation that would have required the system change to CWS/CMS was withdrawn by the author (AB 1697, Perea, 2012) due to significant costs associated with the change. The CDSS continues work with the Program Impact Advisory Committee (PIAC) to explore a change to the CWS/CMS, which will create a field or fields within the system for county placing agencies to document their justifications for placement of a child within a foster family agency. However, the PIAC for the CWS/CMS has identified necessary system changes through Spring of 2015 resulting in this request being held for later reconsideration.
CDSS is currently exploring the utilization of the data entry instructions created in response to AB 74 that added Welfare and Institutions Code Section 16010.8 requiring CDSS to report to the Legislature on the outcomes of the assessment of youth in group care for longer than one year, and the outcomes of transitions or plans to transition youth to family settings. Due to the inability of the existing CWS/CMS system to collect this specific information, CDSS has had to develop an interim solution with instructions for counties to document in various fields in the CWS/CMS the results of the assessment and justification for continued placement of children in group care. CDSS is in the process of issuing the ACL with these instructions. Once issued, CDSS will be developing ad hoc reports and conducting random case reviews to determine whether these instructions yielded the required information. If successful, CDSS will work with stakeholders to collect similar information for placement of children into FFA, pending a larger system fix and for improved efficiency.
See Social Services' response under Recommendation 2.1.c.
†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response 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 or subsequent to one year.
*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.