Report 2013-110 Recommendation 13 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 #13 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that all required SDM assessments are completed, the San Francisco County CWS agency should develop and implement clear guidance regarding which assessments are required in different situations.

Agency Response*

Policy: The SDM Policy and Desk Guides were completed on 3/13/2015. Final approvals are being obtained and they will be disseminated to all staff by 4/30/2015.

The SDM Tools Section of the Policy Manual provides clear definitions for each of the five tools used by San Francisco. Each provides an explanation of why they are used and at what point in the life of a case or referral they are to be used.

The SDM Desk Guide includes the Which SDM Tool to Use and When - The Five Critical Decision Points grid, which provides staff with clear guidance regarding which assessments to use and when. The DG also provides clear instructions for the review and approval of each referral in CWS/CMS and clear time lines are documented for the timely completion of each assessment review.

- See Supporting Documentation.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 30, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The policy referenced above became effective on April 27, 2015. As a result, this recommendation is fully implemented.


Agency Response*

The Policy Unit has completed drafting a policy regarding how and when to use SDM. The SMEs for SDM have been provided with the draft which is due back for final revisions at the end of November, 2014. The SDM desk guides are also being drafted and will be released to staff along with the new policy.

Once the policy and desk guides are completed, the new Training Coordinator will work with the Children's Research Center (CRC) and the Bay Area Training Academy to provide additional SDM training to staff.

CQI will also work with the Training Coordinator to conduct mandatory training in the new policy and practice expectations. CQI will conduct ongoing reviews to ensure that SDM assessments are thorough and complete.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: February, 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


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 unit is established, the policy unit will develop and implement policies and procedures clarifying expectations on when and how to use SDM.

The county will work with the Childrens Research Center and the Bay Area Training Academy, to provide training and initial coaching, as needed, to ensure consistent use and completion of the SDM tool.

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 in place, Q.A. will develop a review system and tools for ongoing compliance monitoring.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2013-110

†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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