Report 2013-110 Recommendation 24 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 #24 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that required safety plans are created, the San Francisco County CWS agency should have supervisors review all safety assessments in a timely manner and verify that a written safety plan signed by the responsible parties accompanies any assessments designating the need for a safety plan.

1-Year Agency Response

Policy: Specific instructions have been incorporated into the appropriate Policy and Desk Guide sections of the ER, ER/AF, and the SDM manuals instructing supervisors of their responsibility to review all safety assessments in a timely manner. Furthermore:

1. A Safety Plan must be completed in collaboration with the family when the following conditions exist during a safety assessment of a case or referral:

A. A safety threat is identified in the SDM Safety Assessment AND

B. A safety intervention is specified in the SDM Safety Assessment AND

C. A child will be left in the home.

The Completing the Safety Plan Section of the SDM Desk Guide instructs supervisors as to their responsibility to:

1. Be available to provide consultation to the PSW who is completing the Safety Plan with the family.

2. Review the Safety Plan completed by the family and the PSW to evaluate whether safety threats(s) are being mitigated by the agreed upon Safety Plan. Review of the document should occur within 24 hours. Sign the Safety Plan documenting approval. If the signed Safety Plan is insufficient in mitigating the safety threats then:

A. Consult with the PSW to make the necessary revision;

B. Have the PSW meet with the family to review and discuss needed revision; and

C. Have the family and the PSW re-sign the revised Safety Plan if everyone agrees.

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 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: May 8, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

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

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

6-Month Agency Response

As a result of the Safety Workgroup recommendations final revisions are being made to the Family Safety Plan template.

The new Family Safety Plan will require that the following is included:

1. Each safety threat identified

2. Information is written in a family-friendly manner

3. Detailed information for each planned safety intervention

4. Information that describes how the safety plan will be monitored and

5. Signatures of family members, the worker, his/her supervisor and anyone else participating in the plan are obtained.

Once the new template is completed, desk guides will be developed clarifying supervisory responsibilities to review all safety assessments in a timely manner and verify that any assessments designating the need for a safety plan are accompanied by a written safety plan signed by all responsible parties.

Review of Safety Plans is part of the CSFR case review tool under Safety Outcome 2. Once CQI begins conducting case reviews, they will also review for timely supervisory oversight and approval of the plans.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January, 2015
  • 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 clear policies and procedures regarding the use of safety assessments and plans. It will include supervisory expectations for the timely review of assessments, and their role in verifying that required safety plans are completed and signed by all responsible parties.

  • 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.