Report 2013-110 Recommendation 10 Responses

Report 2013-110: Child Welfare Services: The County Child Welfare Services Agencies We Reviewed Must Provide Better Protection for Abused and Neglected Children (Release Date: April 2014)

Recommendation #10 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that social workers are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, the San Francisco County CWS agency should develop clear policies about the method and duration of social workers attempts at making contact with hard-to-reach families, and clearly state under what circumstances a referral may be closed for lack of contact.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Policy - The Emergency Response After Hours (ER/AH) Policy and Desk Guide (DG) were completed and distributed to all staff on 7/29/2015. Initial training and review was conducted with the Front End staff during the summer. Based on the feedback received, formalized training sessions are scheduled for all staff on the new policies beginning in October 2015.

In order to ensure that PSWs are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, we have developed policies to address agency expectations as to the method and duration of PSW attempts at making contact with families (including hard-to-reach families) and the specific circumstances under which a referral may be closed for lack of contact. The Attempted Contacts with a Child or Family Sections of the ER and ER/AH Desk Guides also provide PSWs with clear and specific instructions and actions they are to take before closing a referral for lack of contact. Supervisory Oversight has been included in the Desk Guides to ensure proper monitoring by the Supervisors.

Supportive Documentation Provided

  • Completion Date: August 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Policy: In order to ensure that PSWs are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, we have developed policies to address agency expectations as to the method and duration of PSW attempts at making contact with families (including hard-to-reach families) and the specific circumstances under which a referral may be closed for lack of contact.

The Attempted Contacts with a Child or Family Sections of the ER and ER/AH Desk Guides, also provide PSWs with clear and specific instructions and actions they are to take before closing a referral for lack of contact. Supervisory Oversight has been included in the Desk Guides to ensure proper monitoring by the Supervisors.

The Emergency Response After Hours (ER/AH) policy and DG are both undergoing final review, and are expected to be finalized by 4/10/15. Publication of the Policy and Desk Guides will be completed by 5/8/2015.

- See Supporting Documentation

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 8, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

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

The policy referenced above is still in draft, once it's final, this recommendation will be fully implemented.


6-Month Agency Response

Please refer to response #2 regarding CQI, Policy & Training.

Additionally, a statewide workgroup has been meeting to develop consistent and clear policies about the method and duration of social workers' visits in these situations. Once finalized, we will revise the county policy and develop a desk guide for staff which will clarify FCS expectations and guidelines on this matter.

CQI will work with the newly hired training Coordinator to conduct mandatory training in the new policy and practice expectations.

Once fully staffed, CQI will conduct ongoing reviews to ensure adherence with the new policies.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

To date we have hired a Policy Supervisor who will develop policies and procedures requiring supervisory review of the hotline tool. The supervisor will come on board June 9, 2014. Additionally, we are in the process of redirecting 5 Protective Services Worker (PSW) positions to the Policy unit. We expect to have them on board by July 21, 2014.

Once the Policy Unit is established it will develop and implement clear policies and procedures regarding method and duration of social workers attempts at making contact with hard to reach families, including specific expectations for frequency, method, and quality of in-person contacts in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful.

Guidelines will also be developed specifying the circumstances under which a referral may be closed for lack of contact.

We are waiting for approval to hire 6 Quality Assurance (Q.A.) staff including 1 supervisor and 5 analysts to ensure compliance with new policies. Once hired, Q.A. will work with the Training Coordinator to conduct mandatory training in the new policy and practice expectations. Q.A. will conduct quarterly reviews to ensure adherence with the new policies.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2013-110

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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