Report 2011-101.1 Recommendation 8 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 #8 To: Social Services, Department of

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whether the hold harmless provision has been effective in reducing caseloads and whether it should be revised or rescinded, Social Services should refine and use CWS/CMS to calculate and report county CWS caseloads.

Agency Response*

CDSS continues to disagree with this recommendation and will not implement. The annual Child Welfare Realignment report does include a section reporting county caseloads (self-reported).

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: November 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

CDSS continues to disagree with this finding, as the state's hold harmless policy does not significantly influence caseload for the Child Welfare Services program. There are significant variations on how county programs assign workers based on tasks or cases, and the state also does not have access to county staffing levels at consistent points in time that could be used for statewide reporting. County staffing levels also are not included in the CWS/CMS system.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: October 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

The CDSS does not agree with this finding, as the state's hold harmless policy does not significantly influence caseload for the CWS program. There are significant variations on how county programs assign workers based on tasks or cases, and the state also does not have access to county staffing levels at consistent points in time that could be used for statewide reporting. County staffing levels also are not included in the CWS/CMS system.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. While CDSS agrees that CWS/CMS could and should be used to calculate and report county caseloads, the Department does not agree with this finding, as the state's hold harmless policy does not influence overall caseload for the CWS program. It is a fiscal policy related to county administrative costs. Due to budget constraints, the state has not funded county cost increases since FY 2001-2002. This policy was instituted to avoid creating a disincentive for counties that create innovative programs or have other factors that result in decreases in out of home care for children.

The CDSS continues to disagree with this recommendation for the reasons listed above. Additionally, funding for child welfare has been realigned directly to counties. As a result, this will be CDSS' final response to this particular recommendation.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: October 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

In its October 2011 response to the audit report, Social Services disagreed that one purpose of the hold harmless provision was to reduce caseloads, but nonetheless agreed that CWS/CMS could and should be used to calculate and report county caseloads. Rather than provide an update on its progress towards creating this measure, Social Services once again asserted its disagreement regarding our description of the purpose of the hold harmless provision.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: November 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2011-101.1

†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.


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