Report 2013-110 All Recommendation 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 #1 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that referral response decisions are accurate, the Butte County CWS agency should develop policies requiring a supervisory review of the hotline tool and a monitoring system to ensure that supervisory reviews are completed.

Agency Response*

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 24, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding supervisory review requirements and the Quality Assurance review monitoring process. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting. Supporting documentation was submitted as part of the six-month review.

Butte County revised the Intake Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) which also addresses these issues. Training was provided to Child Welfare staff and supervisors at the November 6, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the November 6, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised Intake Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) is attached.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

At this time, there is no functionality in the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Hotline Tool for supervisor approval. However, the supervisor does review the outcome of the hotline tool in case staffing meetings, in reviewing the referral intake form (which includes SDM hotline tool outcome information) and in the RED Team during referral reviews, and at the time the referral is approved in CWS/CMS.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding supervisory review requirements and the Quality Assurance review monitoring process. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 is attached.

A new Intake Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed and staff trained by December 31, 2014.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/14
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

At this time, there is no functionality in the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Hotline Tool for supervisor approval. However, the supervisor does review the outcome of the hotline tool in case staffing meetings, in reviewing the referral intake form (which includes SDM hotline tool outcome information) and in the RED (Review-Evaluate-Direct) Team during referral reviews, and at the time the referral is approved in CWS/CMS.

Butte County will include the supervisory review process in the intake policy and procedure. Butte County has identified an interim team consisting of a Program Manager, two Administrative Analysts and the staff trainer to update policies and procedures, pending new staff to be hired for this function, anticipated to be hired by September 2014. This will include one Administrative Analyst position that will be responsible for the oversight, development and review of all Policies and Procedures for Child Welfare. This policy and procedure is in the process of being updated, but is not yet complete.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #2 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that referral response decisions are accurate, the San Francisco County CWS agency should develop policies requiring a supervisory review of the hotline tool and a monitoring system to ensure that supervisory reviews are completed.

Agency Response*

Policy To date the Policy Unit has developed new policies and Desk Guides (aka procedures) which clearly detail how and when supervisory oversight and review is to occur. Supervisory Oversight is being incorporated into all relevant FCS Policies. Sections in the new SDM and Emergency Response/After Hours (ER/AH) Policy Manuals (PM) and Desk Guides (DG) include specific language and instruction related to the audit recommendations.

Hotline With 2 Hotline Supervisors now in place, every referral is reviewed daily for timeliness, accuracy and completion. The supervisors have received extensive training and coaching.

The responsibilities for review and approval of the SDM Hotline Tool for both the Hotline and After Hours supervisors are outlined in the SDM DG. Effective 4/6/2015, it is now required that for every referral received, the supervisor review the Hotline Tool in Web-SDM prior to approving and documenting their approval of the referral in CWS/CMS. Additionally, the new policies require systematic reviews by the Program Directors, to ensure that the supervisory reviews are completed.

Training The Hotline and After Hours staff has received extensive retraining on the utilization of SDM and Safety Organized Practice (SOP). This training is ongoing.

QA/CQI San Francisco continuous to participate in the statewide pilot of the new Children and Family Services Review (CFSR) case reviews, using a standard federal tool. Six CQI Analysts have been hired and trained on the use of the tool, and are conducting comprehensive case reviews of 10 cases per month in the areas of safety, permanency and well-being. This additional oversight will be supplemented by additional targeted reviews specific to the new policies once the CFSR case review process is finalized via the pilot.

- See Supporting Documentation.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Policy Unit has been in place since August 30th. We convened 3 workgroups to address key areas of the audit recommendations including: SDM,Supervisory Oversight, and Safety. The workgroups, staffed by directors and supervisors, developed recommendations to address audit deficiencies. Policy worked with the workgroups to ensure that policy issues are addressed. The unit prioritized the policies needing development and is currently working with Subject Matter Experts (SME) to revise/develop the policies and detailed Desk Guides for all staff.

To ensure better monitoring of decisions made at the Hotline we added 4 additional staff to the Hotline (for a total of 8) and will hire a second supervisor to provide better oversight and review of referrals. In the meantime, the current Hotline supervisor and director have received individual CWS/CMS training including how to enter, review, and approve referrals.

The SDM workgroup identified a need to develop separate policy and training for After Hours staff. The new Training Coordinator will be responsible to structure all trainings including Hotline and After Hours. Staff will undergo extensive retraining on the utilization of SDM and Safety Organized Practice (SOP).

Q.A./Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

To date we've hired 1 supervisor and 3 Analysts, and plan to hire 3 additional CQI staff in January 2015.

CSFR Pilot San Francisco is one of 5 counties participating in a statewide pilot of the new Children and Family Services Review(CSFR) process. The new CSFR review tool focuses on safety, permanency and well-being through seven outcomes and seven systemic factors including. We will begin piloting the CSFR tool starting November 2014, by reviewing 8 to 10 cases using the new tool by December 2014 and 8 cases a month starting in January 2015. During the pilot, we will assess the tool for compliance with the Audit and will add additional review items as needed.

  • 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 policy unit is established, policies and procedures will be developed requiring supervisory review of all hotline referrals.

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 that require supervisory reviews to be completed timely and accurately for all hotline referrals. Once in place, Q.A. will develop a monitoring 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


Recommendation #3 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To ensure that referral response decisions are accurate, the Orange County CWS agency should ensure that all intake supervisors are trained on the use of the hotline tool and that they are regularly reviewing their staffs use of this tool.

Agency Response*

Structured Decision Making (SDM) Hotline tool training is provided on an annual basis to all Child Abuse Registry (CAR) staff. This training was last provided to all CAR staff July 2014.

The CAR manager reviewed CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant California Department of Social Services Division 31 regulations with all CAR supervisors on June 4, 2014. CAR supervisors reviewed the CAR P&P and regulations with each CAR social worker during individual conferences, June and July 2014.

Social Services Agency (SSA) fine-tuned its system to ensure accurate completion of the Hotline tool and documentation of supervisory oversight. Effective May 2014, CAR social workers began printing hard copies of completed Hotline tools, which supervisors are required to review for accuracy. In May 2014, a tracking tool was developed which requires supervisors to document the date on which the Hotline tool was reviewed and approved.

SSA revised the CAR P&P to incorporate the increased oversight practices of the Hotline tool. The revised P&P was finalized and published July 16, 2014. All CAR supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised policy.

SSA developed a CAR/Hotline audit tool. This tool is used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor Hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight. The CAR manager and supervisors completed reviews using the CAR/Hotline audit tool, January 2015. QST completed two audits of CAR (August 2014 and February 2015).

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation.The agency trained intake supervisors on the use of the hotline tool and now requires supervisors to approve the hotline tool. In addition, the agency developed a review tool which supervisors, managers, and quality support team staff use to monitor Hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.


Agency Response*

The Structured Decision Making (SDM) hotline tool training is provided on an annual basis to all Child Abuse Registry (CAR) staff. This training was last provided to all CAR staff in July 2014.

The CAR manager reviewed the CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant California Department of Social Services Division 31 regulations with all CAR supervisors on June 4, 2014. CAR supervisors reviewed the CAR P&P and Division 31 Regulations with each CAR social worker during their individual conferences in June and July 2014.

Orange County SSA fine-tuned its system to ensure accurate completion of the hotline tool and documentation of supervisory oversight. Effective May 14, 2014, CAR social workers began printing out hard copies of completed hotline tools, which supervisors are required to review for accuracy. In addition, a tracking tool was developed which requires supervisors to verify the date on which the hotline tool was reviewed and approved. This practice was implemented on May 22, 2014.

SSA revised the CAR P&P Number M-0109 to incorporate the newly implemented oversight practices of the hotline tool. The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 16, 2014.

SSA has developed a CAR/hotline audit tool. This tool is used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

QST began its first audit to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight in August 2014. A second audit is scheduled for February 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

The Structured Decision Making (SDM) hotline tool training is provided on an annual basis to all Child Abuse Registry (CAR) staff. The next training is scheduled for July 2014. The CAR manager reviewed the CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant California Department of Social Services Division 31 regulations with CAR supervisors on June 4, 2014. All CAR supervisors will review and discuss the CAR P&P and Division 31 Regulations with all CAR social workers during their individual conferences in the month of June 2014.

Orange County SSA fine-tuned its system to ensure accurate completion of the hotline tool and documentation of supervisory oversight. CAR social workers now print hard copies of completed hotline tools, which supervisors are required to review for accuracy. This became effective on May 14, 2014. In addition, a tracking tool was developed which requires supervisors to verify the date in which the hotline tool was reviewed and approved. This practice was implemented on May 22, 2014.

Orange County SSA has developed a CAR/hotline audit tool that is close to being finalized. This tool will be used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight. It is anticipated that it will be ready for use by the end of June 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that the statewide case management system contains accurate and complete information for each referral, the Butte County CWS agency should update its policies or otherwise provide clear guidance to social workers about the importance of ensuring that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded upon intake.

Agency Response*

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 24, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding supervisory review requirements and the Quality Assurance review monitoring process. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting. Supporting documentation was submitted as part of the six-month review.

Butte County revised the Intake Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) which also addresses these issues. Training was provided to Child Welfare staff and supervisors at the November 6, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the November 6, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised Intake Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) will be submitted.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff.

The Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20) was revised, effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidance to social workers about the importance of ensuring that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded upon intake. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised Investigations Policy and Procedure No. CSD-14-20 are attached.

A new Intake Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed and staff trained by December 31, 2014.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/14
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County has identified an interim team consisting of a Program Manager, two Administrative Analysts and the staff trainer to update policies and procedures, pending new staff to be hired for this function, anticipated to be hired by September 2014. This will include one new Administrative Analyst position that will be responsible for the oversight, development and review of all Policies and Procedures for Child Welfare. At this time, this policy and procedure is in the process of being updated, but is not yet completed.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #5 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To ensure that the statewide case management system contains accurate and complete information for each referral, the Orange County CWS agency should update its policies or otherwise provide clear guidance to social workers about the importance of ensuring that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded upon intake.

Agency Response*

The Child Abuse Registry (CAR) manager reviewed CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant Division 31 regulations with all CAR supervisors, June 4, 2014. CAR supervisors reviewed the CAR P&P and Division 31 Regulations with each social worker during individual conferences, June and July 2014.

In order to ensure accuracy within the intake process and provide additional oversight, the CAR manager continues to randomly select recorded CAR calls to review. The CAR manager listens to calls monthly and ensures that information provided is accurately documented.

Social Services Agency (SSA) revised the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines P&P Number A-0412, which addresses accurate documentation during investigations, July 2014. All Emergency Response (ER) and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised policy.

SSA developed a CAR/Hotline audit tool. This tool is used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor Hotline tool usage, accuracy of intake documents, and supervisory oversight. The tool also includes listening to the recorded CAR call to verify accurate documentation. The CAR manager and supervisors completed reviews using the CAR/Hotline audit tool, January 2015. QST completed two audits of CAR (August 2014 and February 2015).

SSA also developed an ER audit tool, which includes a review of accurate documentation. QST completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014). A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR managers and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool, January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation. The agency revised its policy and provided guidance to social workers in meetings. Also, the agency implemented an audit tool which its Quality Support Team uses to monitor whether social workers include all pertinent details of each referral in the statewide case management system.


Agency Response*

The Child Abuse Registry (CAR) manager reviewed the CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant Division 31 regulations with all CAR supervisors on June 4, 2014. CAR supervisors reviewed the CAR P&P and Division 31 Regulations with each social worker during their individual conferences in June and July 2014.

In order to ensure accuracy within the intake process and provide additional oversight, the CAR manager continues to randomly select recorded CAR calls to review. The CAR manager listens to calls and ensures information provided is accurately documented. This will continue to occur on a monthly basis and is fully implemented.

Orange County SSA revised the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines P&P Number A-0412, which addresses accurate documentation during investigations. The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 15, 2014. All Emergency Response (ER) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in July and August 2014. All Differential Response supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in September 2014.

SSA has developed a CAR/hotline audit tool. This tool is used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

QST began its first audit to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight in August 2014. The audit also includes listening to the recorded CAR call. A second audit is scheduled for February 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

The Child Abuse Registry (CAR) manager reviewed the CAR Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number M-0109 and relevant Division 31 regulations with CAR supervisors on June 4, 2014. CAR supervisors will review and discuss the CAR P&P and Division 31 Regulations with social workers during their individual conferences in the month of June 2014.

In order to ensure accuracy within the intake process and provide oversight, the CAR manager is randomly selecting recorded CAR calls to review. The CAR manager listens to calls and ensures information provided is accurately documented. This will continue to occur on a monthly basis and is currently in full implementation.

Orange County SSA has determined that the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines P&P Number A-0412, which addresses accurate documentation during investigations, requires minor modifications. The proposed changes have been drafted and the P&P is in the process of final revisions. Once approved, the Emergency Response (ER) managers will review the P&P with supervisors and social workers within an ER staff meeting. The anticipated completion date for this is July 22, 2014.

Orange County SSA has developed a CAR/hotline audit tool that is close to being finalized. This tool will be used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST) to monitor hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight. It is anticipated that it will be ready for use by the end of June 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor hotline tool usage, accurate documentation, and supervisory oversight.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #6 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that the statewide case management system contains accurate and complete information for each referral, the San Francisco County CWS agency should update its policies or otherwise provide clear guidance to social workers about the importance of ensuring that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded upon intake.

Agency Response*

Policy The new Hotline Intake and Emergency Response/After Hours (ER/AH) Policies and Desk Guides (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.

Quick Guide/Flow Charts (QG) for screeners have been completed and distributed and provide detailed instructions for completing the Referral Intakes. The QG directs PSWs on how to document each client, alleged perpetrator, and types of maltreatment accurately upon intake. Additionally, the new policies require systematic reviews by the Program Directors, to ensure that the supervisors are reviewing for accuracy.

The Hotline DG provides screeners with step by step instructions for correctly documenting in CWS/CMS.

The ER/AF Policy and DGs were also completed and distributed to all staff on 7/29/2015. The ER/AH DG specifically directs After Hours staff on all required actions which must be done when completing a referral including inputting into CWS/CMS and utilizing the SDM Hotline tool.

Training CWS/CMS Hotline Referral Entry Training is now required before a PSW or a Supervisor can work in the After Hours program. The importance of ensuring that accurate and complete information is entered in each referral is addressed in the training and in policies.

Intake staff continues to abide by the new guidelines.

See Supporting Documentation

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Policy The new Hotline Intake and ER/AH Policies and DGs, have been developed and will be published to all staff by the end of April. Quick Guide/Flow Charts (QG) for screeners have been completed and provide detailed instructions for completing the Referral Intakes.

The QG directs PSWs on how to document each client, alleged perpetrator, and types of maltreatment accurately upon intake. Additionally, the new policies require systematic reviews by the Program Directors, to ensure that the supervisors are reviewing for accuracy.

The Hotline Intake Policy is in the final approval stage and should be published by April 14th. The Hotline DG provides screeners with step by step instructions for documenting correctly in CWS/CMS.

The ER/AF Policy and DGs are also completed and will be ready for distribution to staff in late April. The ER/AH DG direct After Hours staff on all required actions which must be completed when finishing up a referral and inputting it into CWS/CMS and utilizing SDM Hotline tool.

Training CWS/CMS Hotline Referral Entry Training, is now required before a PSW or a Supervisor can work in the After Hours program. The importance of ensuring that accurate and complete information is entered in each referral is addressed in the training and in policies.

Intake staff is now abiding by the new guidelines. We anticipate final approval and publication of the policies and desk guides by the end of this month.

- See Supporting Documentation

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

San Francisco County CWS agency's policy referenced above did not address all aspects of our recommendation. The agency stated it will add more explicit language to emphasize the importance of ensuring that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded upon intake. Once the agency does so, this recommendation will be fully implemented.


Agency Response*

Please refer to response #2.

Additionally, the new Training Coordinator will work with members of the management team to develop and standardize training for staff in this area.

The Policy Unit will be responsible for developing policies and Desk Guides for intake staff. The Desk Guides will include specific guidelines/expectations for staff to ensure that all alleged perpetrators, victims, and types of maltreatment are accurately recorded at intake.

The CQI unit will conduct monthly reviews using the new CSFR case review tool to monitor compliance in this area.

  • 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 policy unit is established, policies and procedures will be developed requiring supervisory review of all hotline referrals for accuracy and completeness for each referral.

Once established, the Policy Unit will update existing policies and develop relevant Quick guides for staff use.

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 that require supervisory reviews to be completed timely and accurately for all hotline referrals. Once in place, Q.A. will develop a monitoring 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


Recommendation #7 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that social workers are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, the Butte County CWS agency should develop clear policies for how frequently social workers must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contact are unsuccessful.

Agency Response*

Child Welfare Program Manager has met with each investigation unit to discuss this recommendation and gather practices already in place regarding current process to make reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated.

The Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20) was revised, effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidance to social workers regarding how frequently social workers must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contact are unsuccessful. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised Investigations Policy and Procedure No. CSD-14-20 are attached.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Child Welfare Program Manager has met with each investigation unit to discuss this recommendation and gather practices already in place regarding current process to make reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated. We have requested input from additional counties regarding their process in this area. Next steps include development of written policy.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #8 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 for how frequently social workers must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contact are unsuccessful.

Agency Response*

Policy - The Emergency Response (ER) 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.

The new ER Policy Manual includes a section directing how frequently PSWs must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful. It states that "when an initial attempt to see a child is unsuccessful, and the investigating PSW is unable to locate the child within the assigned referral response time, subsequent attempts will occur as soon as possible and no more than every five business days until contact is made. Subsequent attempts to contact a child will be made at varying times (e.g., morning, afternoon and evening) and locations."

This guideline applies to each child with an allegation, regardless of the allegation type, with the exception of a sibling identified as: "at risk, sibling abused." The ER DG General IR Referral Protocol Section provides specific time frames for the PSW to respond to referrals and meet with all children living in the allegation household.

See Supporting Documentation

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Policy: The Emergency Response (ER) Policy will be completed by 4/10/2015, and the Desk Guides by 4/14/2015. We expect to publish the ER Policy and DG to all staff by the end of April, 2015. Initial training is being provided by Policy staff and will be formalized in the training plan currently being developed by the new Training Coordinator and Manager.

The new ER Policy Manual includes a section directing how frequently PSWs must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful. It states that "when an initial attempt to see a child is unsuccessful, and the investigating PSW is unable to locate the child within the assigned referral response time, subsequent attempts will occur as soon as possible and no more than every five business days until contact is made. Subsequent attempts to contact a child will be made at varying times (e.g., morning, afternoon and evening) and locations."

This guideline applies to each child with an allegation, regardless of the allegation type, with an exception of a sibling identified as: "at risk, sibling abused." The ER DG General IR Referral Protocol Section, provides specific time frames for the PSW to respond to referrals and meet with all children living in the allegation household.

We anticipate final approval and publication of the policies and desk guides by the end of this month.

- See Supporting Documentation

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

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


Agency Response*

Please refer to response #2 regarding the policy.

Additionally, new policy and desk guides will be developed and provided to staff regarding how frequently social workers will follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful.

  • 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 it will develop and implement clear policies and procedures regarding agency expectations for reasonable and timely efforts for in-person contacts with children.

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.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #9 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that social workers are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, the Butte 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.

Agency Response*

Child Welfare Program Manager has met with each investigation unit to discuss this recommendation and gather practices already in place regarding current process to make reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated.

The Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20) was revised, effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidance to social workers 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. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised Investigations Policy and Procedure No. CSD-14-20 are attached.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Child Welfare Program Manager has met with each investigation unit to discuss this recommendation and gather practices already in place regarding current process to make reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated. We have requested input from additional counties regarding their process in this area. Next steps include development of written policy.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


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.

Agency Response*

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

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


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

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 8, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

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


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.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • 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 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.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #11 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To ensure that its social workers are following its policy regarding timely follow-up visits, the Orange County CWS agency should provide training or other clarification of its policy and have its supervisors regularly review whether their staff are complying with this requirement.

Agency Response*

Social Services Agency (SSA) made minor modifications to Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number A-0412, which addresses timely follow up visit attempts. Language was added emphasizing the importance of conducting follow up visits at varying times and locations (if needed.) The revised P&P was finalized and published July 15, 2014. All Emergency Response (ER) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P, July and August 2014. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P by October 2014.

SSA developed an ER audit tool which is used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST). This includes monitoring compliance with required follow up visit attempts.

QST completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014) including compliance with timely follow up visits. A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR managers and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool in January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency revised its policy to address the audit recommendation. In addition, it implemented a review tool which instructs supervisors to check whether social workers make timely follow-up attempts at varying times and locations.


Agency Response*

Orange County SSA made minor modifications to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number A-0412, which addresses timely follow up visit attempts. Language was added emphasizing the importance of conducting follow up visits at varying times and locations (if needed.) The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 15, 2014. All Emergency Response (ER) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in July and August 2014. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in September 2014.

Orange County SSA has developed an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST). This includes monitoring compliance with required follow up attempts.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor compliance with follow up attempt requirements.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Orange County SSA made minor modifications to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number A-0412, which addresses timely follow up attempts. Language was added emphasizing the importance of conducting follow up visits at varying times and varying locations (if needed). The Emergency Response (ER) managers will review the P&P with supervisors and social workers within an ER all staff meeting. The anticipated completion date for this is July 22, 2014.

Orange County SSA is developing an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST). This will include monitoring compliance with required follow up attempts. It is anticipated that the tool will be fully developed by July 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor compliance with follow up attempt requirements.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #12 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

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

Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding which assessments are required in different situations. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting. Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 were submitted as part of the six-month review.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding which assessments are required in different situations. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 is attached.

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. It is anticipated that this policy and procedure will be completed and trained to by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County has identified an interim team consisting of a Program Manager, two Administrative Analysts and the staff trainer to update policies and procedures, pending new staff to be hired for this function, anticipated to be hired by September 2014. This will include one Administrative Analyst position that will be responsible for the oversight, development and review of all Policies and Procedures for Child Welfare. At this time, this policy and procedure is in the process of being updated, but is not yet completed.

New staff will also include one Program Manager, the above referenced Administrative Analyst, and two new Social Worker positions. This team, along with the existing Social Worker assigned to Quality Assurance, will comprise a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


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


Recommendation #14 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To improve the timeliness and accuracy of SDM assessments, the Butte County CWS agency should ensure that its supervisors are promptly reviewing assessments.

Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding which assessments are required in different situations. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 were submitted as part of the six-month review.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines to ensure supervisors are promptly reviewing assessments. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 is attached.

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed by January 31, 2015

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County has identified an interim team consisting of a Program Manager, two Administrative Analysts and the staff trainer to update policies and procedures, pending new staff to be hired for this function, anticipated to be hired by September 2014. This will include one Administrative Analyst position that will be responsible for the oversight, development and review of all Policies and Procedures for Child Welfare. At this time, this policy and procedure is in the process of being updated, but is not yet completed.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #15 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To improve the timeliness and accuracy of SDM assessments, the Orange County CWS agency should ensure that its supervisors are promptly reviewing assessments.

Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number D-0311 and California SDM Manual with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting June 5, 2014.

Social Services Agency (SSA) fine-tuned its system to document supervisory oversight of SDM assessments. A new section was added to the existing Investigation Narrative tool in May 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight requirements, including timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation. The revised P&P was finalized/published on July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised policy.

SSA again revised the SDM P&P in March 2015, specifying the requirement for supervisors to approve all Safety Assessments within seven days. Social workers remain required to seek supervisory approval of Safety Plans before leaving the family's home or, if unsuccessful, within 24 business hours.

All ER/DR managers and supervisors were trained on the new version of Safe Measures by August 2014. They began utilizing Safe Measures at a minimum of once per month to track/monitor SDM information, including timely and accurate completion/approval.

SSA developed an ER audit tool to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight. The Quality Support Team (QST) completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014). A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR manager and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool in January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency revised its policy to require supervisors to promptly review SDM assessments. In addition, it implemented a review tool for its managers to use to verify that supervisors are approving the SDM assessments as required.


Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Structured Decision Making (SDM) requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number D-0311 and California SDM Manual with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

Orange County SSA has fine-tuned its system to document supervisory oversight of SDM assessments. A new section was added to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight requirements, including timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation. These requirements were reviewed with staff on June 5, 2014. The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P during the months of August and September 2014.

All ER managers and supervisors were trained on the new version of Safe Measures in July 2014. The DR manager and all supervisors were trained in August 2014. Effective August 31, 2014, ER/DR managers and supervisors began utilizing Safe Measures at a minimum of once per month to review SDM information, including timely and accurate completion/approval.

SSA has developed an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST).

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Structured Decision Making (SDM) requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) and California SDM Manual with supervisors and social workers at an ER all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

Orange County SSA has fine-tuned its system to document supervisory oversight of SDM assessments. A new section was added to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

Orange County SSA consulted with the California Research Center regarding tracking mechanisms in Safe Measures that may assist with timely supervisor approvals of SDM assessments. It was determined that Safe Measures has an "alert notification" feature available to remind supervisors when referrals require closure. SSA is determining how/if these alerts will be utilized.

ER managers and supervisors will be trained on the new version of Safe Measures by July 31, 2014. ER managers and supervisors will utilize Safe Measures at minimum of once per month to review SDM information. This practice will be implemented by August 2014.

Orange County SSA is developing an ER audit tool that will monitor accuracy and timely approval of SDM tools. This will be used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST). It is anticipated that the tool will be fully developed by July 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #16 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To improve the timeliness and accuracy of SDM assessments, the San Francisco County CWS agency should ensure that its supervisors are promptly reviewing assessments.

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.

To ensure that supervisors are reviewing assessments in a timely manner, each SDM Assessment Tool section contains the timeframes for the supervisor to review and approve each tool.

Additionally, the new SDM Policy mandates that Program Directors utilize the Safe Measures application to monitor the completion, supervisory approval and overrides of tools, as well as fidelity to the tools. The Intake Director conducts systematic reviews, to ensure that the supervisors are reviewing for accuracy.

- 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*

Please see response #13.

Additionally, once the policy, desk guides and staff training is completed, CQI will conduct ongoing reviews to ensure that supervisors are reviewing assessments in a thorough and timely manner.

  • 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


Recommendation #17 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To improve the timeliness of its supervisors reviews, the Butte County CWS agency should develop time frames for supervisors review and approval of assessments and monitor supervisors compliance with those time frames.

Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with supervisors and social work staff. Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines regarding which assessments are required in different situations. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 were submitted as part of the six-month review.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with all supervisors.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), effective September 25, 2014, to provide clear guidelines and time frames for supervisors review and approval of assessments and monitor supervisors" compliance with those time frames. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 is attached.

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Audit results were reviewed with all supervisors. Next steps will be development of policy and procedures, and guidelines for oversight of supervisors compliance.

Butte County has identified an interim team consisting of a Program Manager, two Administrative Analysts and the staff trainer to update policies and procedures, pending new staff to be hired for this function, anticipated to be hired by September 2014. This will include one Administrative Analyst position that will be responsible for the oversight, development and review of all Policies and Procedures for Child Welfare.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #18 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To improve the timeliness of its supervisors reviews, the San Francisco County CWS agency should develop time frames for supervisors review and approval of assessments and monitor supervisors compliance with those time frames.

Agency Response*

Policy: Timeframes for supervisors' review and approval of assessments are being written into policy as well as the expectation that Program Directors will in turn, systematically monitor their supervisor's compliance with the established timeframes. The timeliness for review and approval of assessments by supervisors are in line with those recommended by the Children's Research Center (CRC).

The SDM And Safety Plans Section of the ER Desk Guide provides specific timeframes for when a supervisor must review and approve the different SDM Assessment tools. These timeframes are also detailed in the ER/After Hours and the Hotline Intake Policies & Desk Guides. Specifically they state that the Supervisor must:

1. Review and approve the SDM Safety Assessment Tool within 24 hours of a PSW's request for approval online,

2. Review and approve the SDM Risk Assessment Tool within 48 hours of a PSW's request for approval online, and

3. The SDM Safety Plan must be reviewed and approved within 24 hours of a PSW's request for approval.

CQI: Once the CQI unit is firmly established and trained, they will supplement their ongoing CFSR Case Review with targeted reviews to ensure supervisory compliance with the new FCS polices.

- 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*

Please see response #2.

The Supervisory Oversight Workgroup will work closely with the Policy and CQI units to develop timeframes, guidelines, and a monitoring process to ensure that supervisors are reviewing and approving assessments within the newly established agency timeframes.

  • 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 policies and guidelines for the accurate use and review of SDM, as well as develop supervisory tools delineating required timeframes for review and approval of SDM assessments. Once in place, Q.A. will develop a monitoring system to ensure that supervisors are reviewing and approving assessments within the required timeframes.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #19 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To improve the timeliness of its supervisors reviews, the Orange County CWS agency should more closely monitor supervisors compliance with its existing policy setting a 30-day time frame for review and approval of assessments.

Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (P&P) and California SDM Manual with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting, June 5, 2014.

Social Services Agency (SSA) added a section to the existing Investigation Narrative tool, May 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight requirements, including timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation, July 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised policy.

SSA again revised the SDM P&P in March 2015, specifying the requirement for supervisors to approve all Safety Assessments within seven days. Social workers remain required to seek supervisory approval of Safety Plans before leaving the family's home. The consultation involves a review of the Safety Assessment and development of the Safety Plan. Supervisors are now required to sign the hard copy Safety Plan within seven days of completion.

All ER/DR managers and supervisors were trained on the new version of Safe Measures by August 2014. They began utilizing Safe Measures at a minimum of once per month to track SDM information, including timely completion/approvals.

SSA developed an ER audit tool to monitor timely supervisor reviews and approvals of Safety Assessments/Plans. The Quality Support Team (QST) completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014). A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR manager and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool, January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation. The agency revised its existing policy to outline additional supervisory oversight requirements. Also, the agency created and implemented a review tool to monitor timely supervisor reviews and approvals of assessments.


Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Structured Decision Making (SDM) requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number D-0311 and California SDM Manual with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

Orange County SSA has fine-tuned its system to document supervisory oversight of SDM assessments. A new section was added to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight requirements, including timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation. These requirements were reviewed with staff on June 5, 2014. The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P during the months of August and September 2014.

All ER managers and supervisors were trained on the new version of Safe Measures in July 2014. The DR manager and all supervisors were trained in August 2014. Effective August 31, 2014, ER/DR managers and supervisors began utilizing Safe Measures at a minimum of once per month to review SDM information, including timely and accurate completion/approval.

SSA has developed an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST).

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Structured Decision Making (SDM) requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) and California SDM Manual with supervisors and social workers at an ER all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

Orange County SSA has fine-tuned its system to document supervisory oversight of SDM assessments. A new section was added to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations with supervisors, including dates.

Orange County SSA consulted with the California Research Center regarding tracking mechanisms in Safe Measures that may assist with timely supervisor approvals of SDM assessments. It was determined that Safe Measures has an "alert notification" feature available to remind supervisors when referrals require closure. SSA is determining how/if these alerts will be utilized.

ER managers and supervisors will be trained on the new version of Safe Measures by July 31, 2014. ER managers and supervisors will utilize Safe Measures at minimum of once per month to review SDM information. This practice will be implemented by August 2014.

Orange County SSA is developing an ER audit tool that will monitor accuracy and timely approval of SDM tools. This will be used by supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team (QST). It is anticipated that the tool will be fully developed by July 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #20 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To improve the quality of the investigative information available to social workers, the Butte County CWS agency should expand on its investigative narrative templates to include fields such as relevant criminal history, substance abuse, or mental health concerns.

Agency Response*

Butte County revised the Investigative Narrative template to include relevant criminal history, substance abuse and mental health history as part of the document. The Butte County - Investigative Narrative template, revised 5-27-14, has been submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #21 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To improve the quality of the investigative information available to social workers the San Francisco County CWS agency should expand on its investigative narrative templates to include fields such as relevant criminal history, substance abuse, or mental health concerns.

Agency Response*

Policy: The new Investigative Narrative (IN) has been completed and approved by the FCS Deputy Director on March 17, 2015. As recommended, we have revised the IN, expanded the IN templates, and added fields such as relevant criminal history, substance abuse and mental health. In addition to new drop down menus, we have added hidden text that guides/prompts the PSWs in thoroughly completing the tool. An Investigative Narrative Cheat Sheet, has also been created to assist PSWs when they are out in the field.

Policy Staff provided training for ER staff on how to document using the new IN on 3/31/2015. All FCS case carrying staff has been scheduled for training throughout the month of April.

Relevant Policies and DGs have also been developed to provide staff with detailed instructions for how the new IN is to be completed.

- See Supporting Documentation

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Currently the Program Director over the Hotline and Emergency Response (ER) is working with ER supervisors, and the Training Coordinator to revise and refine the agency investigative narrative template. The new investigative narrative will expand on the narrative portion of the template and will prompt staff to provide critical and detailed information. The template will require that relevant criminal history, substance abuse, and mental health concerns be addressed. The group expects to have a final draft of the new investigative narrative by November, 2014.

Once completed, staff will be provided with desk guides and training on the new template.

CQI will monitor that the narratives are being completed thoroughly, accurately and timely.

  • 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 policy unit is established it will revise the current investigative narrative template to allow for more thorough and complete documentation of assessments. The new narrative will include the recommended fields.

Once the narrative template is finalized, the Training Coordinator will provide training for staff in the proper use and completion of the narrative. The policy unit will also establish clear policies and expectations for its use.

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 conduct periodic reviews to ensure that quality narratives are being completed.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #22 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that required safety plans are created, the Butte 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.

Agency Response*

The Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet was revised 5-27-2014 and was submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), and the Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20), to provide clear guidelines regarding safety assessments and the development of Safety Plans. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting and the supporting documents were submitted as part of the six-month review.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet was revised 5-27-14 and was submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), and the Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20) to provide clear guidance regarding safety assessments and the development of Safety Plans. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedures were provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda, and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 and the revised Investigations Policy and Procedure No. No. CSD-14-20 are attached.

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

The Butte County Safety Plan Field Sheet, revised 5-27-14, was updated to include the supervisor review and signature line. Next step is to incorporate the changed form and new expectation into policy regarding safety assessments.

The revised Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet has been submitted as part of this report.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #23 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To ensure that required safety plans are created, the Orange 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.

Agency Response*

Social Services Agency (SSA) provided training to social workers and supervisors on Safety Plans, October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Safety Plan requirements included in the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (P&P) with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting June 5, 2014.

SSA modified the current Safety Plan form in May 2014. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight of Safety Plans, including required consultations with social workers. The revised P&P was finalized and published July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P.

SSA again revised the SDM P&P in March 2015, specifically outlining the requirement for supervisors to approve all Safety Assessments within seven days. Social workers are still required to seek supervisory approval of Safety Plans before leaving the family's home or, if unsuccessful, within 24 business hours. The consultation involves a review of the Safety Assessment and the development of the Safety Plan. Supervisors are now required to sign the hard copy Safety Plan within seven days of completion.

SSA developed an ER audit tool which is used to monitor timely supervisor reviews and approvals of Safety Assessments/Plans. The Quality Support Team (QST) completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014). A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR manager and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool, January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation. The agency's policy requires supervisors to review all safety assessments in a timely manner. Further, it implemented a review tool that supervisors, managers, and the Quality Support Team use to monitor whether safety threats were identified on the safety assessments and, if so, were safety plans created.


Agency Response*

Orange County SSA provided training to social workers and supervisors on safety plans in October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the safety plan requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

SSA modified the current safety plan form. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates. This modification went into effect on May 28, 2014, and was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

SSA added a section to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations regarding safety plans with supervisors, including dates. This addition was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to further outline supervisory oversight of safety plans, including timely review by supervisors to ensure proper completion of safety plans (i.e. a plan was completed when indicated, effectively targets safety threats, and has all required signatures.) The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P during the months of August and September 2014.

SSA has developed an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST).

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the use, quality, and supervisory oversight of safety plans.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

Orange County's revised policy requires supervisors to review all safety assessments within 30 calendar days of the social worker submitting the assessment for approval. We do not consider 30 calendar days to be a timely manner as a child's safety may be at stake that entire period of time.

In instances where, using the safety assessment, the social worker identifies a safety threat, yet determines that the child can remain in the home with safety interventions, Orange County's revised policy requires social workers to create a safety plan and consult with a supervisor regarding the appropriateness of the safety plan within at most one business day. This revision does not mitigate our original concern since a social worker can miss a safety threat, or identify a safety threat and not follow up with a safety plan—as we found during the audit. Supervisors should promptly review all safety assessments to ensure that required safety plans are created.


Agency Response*

Orange County provided training to social workers and supervisors on safety plans in October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the safety plan requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) with supervisors and social workers at an ER staff meeting on June 5, 2014

Orange County SSA determined that the SDM P&P required minor modifications in the area outlining supervisory oversight. Additional language, regarding timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation, has been added to this P&P. These additions were reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

Orange County SSA modified the current safety plan form. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates. This modification went into effect on May 28, 2014 and was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

Orange County SSA added a new section to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations regarding safety plans with supervisors, including dates. This addition was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

An ER audit tool is being developed. This will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST). This will include monitoring for quality safety plans and supervisory oversight. It is anticipated that the tool will be fully developed by July 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the use, quality, and supervisory oversight of safety plans.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


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.

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.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: May 8, 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*

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.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: January, 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 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.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #25 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To help strengthen safety plans to effectively mitigate safety threats, the Butte County CWS agency should ensure that supervisors are reviewing and approving all safety plans.

Agency Response*

The Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet was revised 5-27-2014, updated to include the review and signature of the supervisor, which and was submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), and the Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20), to provide clear guidelines regarding the supervisory review of 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. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedure was provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting and the supporting documents were submitted as part of the six-month review.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

See attached Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet, revised 5-27-14, updated to include the review and signature of the supervisor. Next step is to incorporate the changed form and new expectation into policy regarding safety assessments.

Butte County revised the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-05-04), and the Investigations (IR/ER) Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20) to provide clear guidance regarding the supervisory review of 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. Training regarding the new Policy and Procedures were provided to Child Welfare staff and Supervisors at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Copies of the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting agenda, and the revised SDM Policy and Procedure No. CSD-05-04 and the revised Investigations Policy and Procedure No. No. CSD-14-20 are attached.

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure is under development which will also address these issues. This policy will be completed by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

The Butte County Safety Plan Field Sheet, revised 5-27-14, was updated to include the supervisor review and signature line. Next step is to incorporate the changed form and new expectation into policy regarding safety assessments.

The revised Butte County - Safety Plan Field Sheet has been submitted as part of this report.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #26 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To help strengthen safety plans to effectively mitigate safety threats, the Orange County CWS agency should ensure that supervisors are reviewing and approving all safety plans.

Agency Response*

Social Services Agency (SSA) provided training to social workers and supervisors on Safety Plans in October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the Safety Plan requirements included in the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Policy and Procedure (P&P) with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting June 5, 2014.

SSA modified the current Safety Plan form in May 2014. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to outline additional supervisory oversight of Safety Plans, including required consultations with social workers. The revised P&P was finalized and published July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P.

SSA again revised the SDM P&P in March 2015, specifically outlining the requirement for supervisors to approve all Safety Assessments within seven days. Social workers remain required to seek supervisory approval of Safety Plans before leaving the family's home or, if unsuccessful, within 24 business hours. The consultation involves a review of the Safety Assessment and development of the Safety Plan. Supervisors are now required to sign the hard copy Safety Plan within seven days of completion.

SSA developed an ER audit tool which is used to monitor timely supervisor reviews and approvals of Safety Assessments/Plans. The Quality Support Team (QST) completed the first audit of ER/DR practices (October 2014). A second audit is currently being conducted. The ER/DR manager and supervisors also completed reviews using the ER audit tool in January 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation. The agency's policy requires supervisors to review all safety plans. Further, it added sections to the Safety Plans which require documentation both of a telephonic supervisor approval of the Safety Plan and a written supervisor signature. Finally, the agency implemented a review tool which managers use to check whether supervisors sign the Safety Plans.


Agency Response*

Orange County SSA provided training to social workers and supervisors on safety plans in October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the safety plan requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) with ER and Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers at an all staff meeting on June 5, 2014.

SSA modified the current safety plan form. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates. This modification went into effect on May 28, 2014, and was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

SSA added a section to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations regarding safety plans with supervisors, including dates. This addition was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

SSA revised the SDM P&P to further outline supervisory oversight of safety plans, including timely review by supervisors to ensure proper completion of safety plans (i.e. a plan was completed when indicated, effectively targets safety threats, and has all required signatures.) The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 31, 2014. All ER/DR staff was trained on the revised P&P during the months of August and September 2014.

SSA has developed an ER audit tool which will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST).

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the use, quality, and supervisory oversight of safety plans.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Orange County provided training to social workers and supervisors on safety plans in October 2013. Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the safety plan requirements included in the SDM Policy and Procedure (P&P) with supervisors and social workers at an ER staff meeting on June 5, 2014

Orange County SSA determined that the SDM P&P required minor modifications in the area outlining supervisory oversight. Additional language, regarding timely consultation with supervisors and required documentation, has been added to this P&P. These additions were reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

Orange County SSA modified the current safety plan form. A section was added requiring social workers to document telephone consultations with supervisors, including dates. This modification went into effect on May 28, 2014 and was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

Orange County SSA added a new section to the existing investigation narrative tool on May 28, 2014. This section requires social workers to document consultations regarding safety plans with supervisors, including dates. This addition was reviewed with staff at the June 5, 2014 ER program meeting.

An ER audit tool is being developed. This will be used by managers, supervisors, and the Quality Support Team (QST). This will include monitoring for quality safety plans and supervisory oversight. It is anticipated that the tool will be fully developed by July 2014.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the use, quality, and supervisory oversight of safety plans.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #27 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To help strengthen safety plans to effectively mitigate safety threats, the San Francisco County CWS agency should ensure that supervisors are reviewing and approving all safety plans.

Agency Response*

Policy: Specific instructions have been included into the appropriate Policy and Desk Guide sections of the ER, ER/AF, and the SDM manuals instructing supervisors of the expectation that they review and approve all Safety Plans, to mitigate safety threat(s). The Completing the Safety Plan Section of the SDM Desk Guide, states that the supervisor must:

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 threat(s) are being mitigated and

3. Sign the Safety Plan documenting approval.

When a Safety Assessment is required during After Hours, policy states that the After Hours supervisor:

1. Verbally approve all Safety Plans created in the field before it is finalized with the family, and

2. Sign the Safety Plan. After Hours PSWs will fax or scan and email the Safety Plan to the After Hours supervisor by the start of the following day.

Program Directors will utilize the Safe Measures application to monitor the completion, supervisory approval and overrides of tools, as well as fidelity to the tools.

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.

CQI: Once the CQI unit is firmly established and trained, they will supplement their ongoing CFSR Case Review with targeted reviews to ensure supervisory compliance with the new FCS polices.

- See Supporting Documentation.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: May 8, 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 last cohort of supervisors is currently participating in Safety Organized Practice (SOP) training. The training will help supervisors to better define and mitigate safety threats.

Once all supervisors complete SOP, and the policy and desk guides are completed, supervisors will be trained in their responsibility for ensuring that they review and approve all safety plans.

CQI will conduct ongoing reviews to ensure that supervisors are reviewing the plans and that they effectively mitigate safety threats to the child(ren).

Estimated Date of Completion: February, 2015

  • 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.

We are waiting for approval to hire 6 Q.A. staff including 1 supervisor and 5 analysts to ensure compliance with new policies. Once the policy unit is established, it will develop clear policies and procedures for the use of safety assessments and plans, Q.A. will conduct random audits to ensure that supervisors are providing thorough reviews. Additionally, Q.A. will develop tools to monitor the quality and appropriateness of safety plans in effectively mitigating safety threats.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #28 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the Butte County CWS agency should vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database.

Agency Response*

Butte County vets temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law. The Butte County - Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist was revised May 27, 2014, and submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response. Training was provided at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

The Relative//Non-Related Extended Family Member (NRFEM) Placements Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-12-08-2015) was updated effective 3-5-2015 and training of supervisory staff was completed.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. This policy and the revised NREFM Policy will be submitted as part of this annual report update.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Butte County vets temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law.

The Butte County - Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist, was revised 5-27-14, and submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response.

Training regarding the changes to the form was provided at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting and the updated Investigations Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20).

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure, and an update to the Emergency Relative Placements Policy are under development, which will also address these issues. These policies will be completed by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Butte County vets temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law. Next steps include updating the Policies and Procedures for Placements, Emergency Relative Placements and Investigations.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #29 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the Orange County CWS agency should vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database.

Agency Response*

Orange County SSA consulted with County Counsel to clarify the legally permissible background checks, which may be run on informal caregivers during the investigation of a referral.

SSA made minor modifications to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number A-0412 to clarify the use of legally permissible background checks on informal caregivers to ensure child safety and best practice. The policy includes completing a CWS/CMS search of the informal placement caregivers' child abuse and/or neglect history and obtaining background clearance information for the informal placement caregiver from the California Megan's Law Sex Offender Locator Database, the County Superior Court Criminal and Traffic Case System, and other publically available resources.

The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 15, 2014. Notification of the revised policy was sent out to all staff on the same date. All Emergency Response (ER) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in July and August 2014. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in September 2014.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The corrective action indicated does address all aspects of our recommendation. Orange County's revised policy requires social workers to vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database. However, we are unable to fully confirm the implementation of the corrective action without conducting a follow-up review.


Agency Response*

Orange County SSA consulted with County Counsel to clarify the legally permissible background checks, which may be run on informal caregivers during the investigation of a referral.

Orange County SSA made minor modifications to its current Policy and Procedure (P&P) to clarify the use of legally permissible background checks on informal caregivers to ensure child safety and best practice. The policy includes completing a CWS/CMS search of the informal placement caregivers child abuse and/or neglect history and obtaining background clearance information for the informal placement caregiver from the California Megans Law Sex Offender Locator Database, the County Superior Court Criminal and Traffic Case System, and other publically available resources.

The proposed changes in language and content have been drafted and added to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines P&P Number A-0412. This P&P is in the process of final revisions. After final revisions have been approved, the Emergency Response (ER) managers will review the P&P with supervisors and social workers within an ER all staff meeting. The anticipated completion date for this is July 22, 2014.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #30 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the San Francisco County CWS agency should vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database.

Agency Response*

Policy: The Criminal Clearance & Exemptions for Substitute Care Providers (SCP) and Informal Family Arrangements Policy and Desk Guide were completed and published to staff on 11/14/2014. The policy states that: When no dependency petition is pursued, and in the event that a family makes their own informal family arrangement, the PSW will perform a criminal/child abuse background check on the caregiver and all adults residing in the residence.

The Criminal Clearance & Exemptions for Substitute Care Providers (SCP) and Informal Family Arrangements section of the Desk Guide provides detailed instructions for vetting temporary living situations and caregivers in emergency and non emergency situations. Relevant sections in the ER/AF and ER policies provide further instructions for vetting temporary living situations and caregivers.

- See Supporting Documentation.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The policy and desk guide specifying how staff is to vet temporary living situations and caregivers, is in its final draft and should be out by the end of October, 2014.

Once completed, the new policy and desk guides will be reviewed with all staff. CQI will then monitor for worker and supervisory compliance with the new guidelines.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: November, 2014
  • 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 Policy Unit is established it will develop policies and procedures regarding requirements for ensuring child safety when making temporary living arrangements, as well as define and establish supervisory and worker expectations.

We are waiting for approval to hire 6 Q.A. staff including 1 supervisor and 5 analysts to ensure compliance with new policies. Once established, Q.A. will institute quarterly case reviews to ensure that arrangements are done in accordance with the law and perform random quarterly reviews to make certain that staff and supervisors are adhering to the policies.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #31 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the Butte County CWS agency should perform statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Agency Response*

The Butte County - Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist, revised May 27, 2014, was submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response. Training was provided at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015. The QA Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-21) has been completed and approved, effective April 1, 2015, and training of supervisory staff has been completed. Policy will be submitted.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Butte County - Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist, was revised 5-27-14, and submitted as part of the 60 Day Audit Response.

Training regarding the changes to the form was provided at the October 2, 2014 Program Meeting and the updated Investigations Policy and Procedure (No. CSD-14-20).

A new Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure, and an update to the Emergency Relative Placements Policy are under development, which will also address these issues. These policies will be completed by January 31, 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 01/31/15
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

Consistent with department policy, the Butte County Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist, was revised 5-27-14. This Checklist provides clear instruction regarding requirements for background checks and is used when a social worker is allowing a child to be placed in the home.

The revised Emergency Relative/NRFEM Placement Checklist has been submitted as part of this report.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

We agree that the updated checklist and associated policies provide clear instructions that background checks and inspections should be conducted prior to placement. The checklist for emergency placements also requires supervisor and program manager review.

The one absent aspect of assurance that this policy is being followed is for background checks and inspections to be included in the department's quality assurance reviews. The department director informed us that they will work on this and will report back in their six-month response.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #32 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the Orange County CWS agency should perform statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Agency Response*

It is, and has been, the Social Services Agency's (SSA's) policy to perform all statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the required background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P Number A-0414 with all supervisors at their supervisor meeting on June 5, 2014. Emergency Response supervisors reviewed background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P with all social workers in their June and July 2014 unit meetings. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on this P&P by October 2014.

The Quality Support Team (QST) completed two audits of placement files (September 2014 and March 2015) to ensure staff performed statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

It is, and has been, Orange County SSA's policy to perform all statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the required background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P Number A-0414 with all supervisors at their supervisor meeting on June 5, 2014. Supervisors reviewed background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P with all social workers in their June and July 2014 unit meetings. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on this P&P in September 2014.

QST began an audit of placement files in September 2014 to monitor placement practices and required background clearance. A second audit is scheduled for March 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

It is, and has been, Orange County SSAs policy to perform all statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Emergency Response (ER) managers reviewed the required background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P Number A-0414 with supervisors at their all supervisor meeting on June 3, 2014. Supervisors will review background checks outlined in the Abuse Investigations Protective Interventions P&P with social workers in their June 2014 unit meetings.

QST will complete semi-annual audits in September 2014 and March 2015 to monitor placement practices and required background clearance.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #33 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the San Francisco County CWS agency should perform statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

Agency Response*

Policy: The Criminal Clearance & Exemptions for Substitute Care Providers (SCP) and Informal Family Arrangements Policy and Desk Guide, were completed and published to staff on 11/14/2014. It provides detailed instructions for vetting temporary living situations and caregivers in emergency and non emergency situations. Furthermore, it specifies the requirements for performing statutorily required background checks and inspections required before allowing children to be placed in a home.

- See Supporting Documentation

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The policy and desk guides for ensuring that staff are performing statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home is in final draft.

This item is included in the CSFR case review tool which will be used to monitor ongoing staff compliance.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: December, 2014
  • 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 Policy Unit is established, it will develop policies and procedures to emphasize the required background checks and inspections prior to placing a child with a relative or non related extended family member.

Training Coordinator will provide child welfare staff and Licensing Unit additional training and support to ensure compliance.

We are waiting for approval to hire 6 Q.a. staff including 1 supervisor and 5 analysts to ensure compliance with new policies. Once established, Q.A. will perform random quarterly reviews to make certain that staff and supervisors are adhering to the policies.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #34 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To improve its coordination and communication with local law enforcement, the San Francisco County CWS agency should consider entering into a memorandum of understanding with the applicable law enforcement agency that delineates how the two agencies will share information and assist each other in responding to child maltreatment.

Agency Response*

In the last year we have put into place a process for a formalized agreement, and have already integrated the substance of this agreement into the new Emergency Response (ER) and After Hours (AH) Policies. Also we have begun to plan for cross training of Law Enforcement and Family & Children Services staff on the Law Enforcement Protocol.

During the initial meetings with Law Enforcement, it became evident that in order to bring about this change in practice, we needed to create detailed policy on Interagency Investigations of Child Abuse and Neglect. To this end, Directors from FCS, Law Enforcement, and the City Attorney's office have been meeting regularly to develop comprehensive policies and procedures for both agencies. Rosa Hernandez, Policy Development Supervisor, has been meeting with the group to ensure that the new agreements are in alignment with and included in FCS Policies. Much of the work accomplished by the group has already been incorporated into the attached policy manuals. I am also submitting a "Policies and Law Enforcement Agreements" document which more specifically delineates the work we have completed and areas that are in development. Included are the specific policy manuals and desk guide sections where the information is located. Through this process, we have developed a new understanding of our work with law enforcement and submit to you that we are now in compliance with California Penal Code, Section 11166.3(a).

Supportive Documentation Provided

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

HSA and San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) met and drafted a protocol delineating how the two agencies will share information and assist each other in responding to child maltreatment. The draft protocol is currently under review by SFPD's counsel. Another meeting is scheduled for 4/7/2015 for further refinement. Once agreement is reached by the agencies, training curricula will be reviewed and modified to include the protocol, and training will include cross-training for FCS and SFPD.

- See Draft of MOU

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

FCS Deputy Director, Law Enforcement and City Attorney are in the beginning stages of developing an MOU to improve coordination and communication between the two departments.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

A meeting has been scheduled with SFPD to develop an MOU delineating how the two agencies will share information and assist each other in responding to child abuse investigations.

The MOU will define the specific procedures, processes and forms necessary on how we will collaborate to respond to child abuse investigations.

HSA in conjunction with law enforcement will develop a training and implementation plan for the MOU and ensure that all child welfare workers and law enforcement officers are trained.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/2014
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #35 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To ensure that they provide clear, up-to-date guidance to its social workers, the Butte County CWS agency should designate specific personnel to stay informed of relevant statutory, regulatory, and needed practice changes and to ensure that corresponding updates are made to its policies and procedures.

Agency Response*

In September 2014 an Administrative Analyst, Senior was hired to perform the function of reviewing relevant statutory, regulatory and needed practice changes and to develop new policy and procedure or update existing policy and procedure regarding these changes. The administrative analyst position also assists in developing any needed training relating to the regulatory or policy changes.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

As part of the proposed budget for FY 2014/15, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services requested the addition of one Program Manager, one Administrative Analyst, and two additional full time equivalent (FTE) Social Worker positions.

This team, along with the existing Social Worker assigned to Quality Assurance, will comprise a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit. The FY 2014/15 Butte County budget was adopted in July 2014. The new Administrative Analyst position was hired in September 2014. The remaining positions were approved and the department is actively completing the hiring process. It is anticipated that the unit will be fully staffed by year end.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/14
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

As part of the proposed budget for FY 2014/15, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services has submitted a request to add one Program Manager, one Administrative Analyst, and two additional full time equivalent (FTE) Social Worker positions. This team, along with the existing Social Worker assigned to Quality Assurance, will comprise a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit. It is anticipated these positions will be hired in September 2014, following the adoption of the FY 2014/15 Butte County budget.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #36 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that they provide clear, up-to-date guidance to its social workers, the San Francisco County CWS agency should designate specific personnel to stay informed of relevant statutory, regulatory, and needed practice changes and to ensure that corresponding updates are made to its policies and procedures.

Agency Response*

The Policy Development Unit was established in August 2014. Staff responsibilities include: 1. Developing and updating templates used for Policies, Desk Guides, Policy Update Notices, and Service Information Alerts. 2. Responding to research requests for policies from FCS and City Attorney's Office. 3. Researching and staying abreast of statute, ACLs and ACINs. 4. Coordinating and facilitating workgroups for the development of Policies, Desk Guides, Policy Update Notices and Service Information Alert. 5. Meeting with Subject Matter Experts to develop and draft policies. FCS has developed a communication and implementation system for new policies and Policy Update Notices (PUNS), which includes systematic release of policies to management, supervisors and line staff. This includes monthly updates on policy at supervisor/management meetings, and a monthly digest to clarify policy updates.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: August 2014
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Policy Unit is currently in place and is responsible for reviewing all new statutory and regulatory changes and developing new policies, procedures and manuals. Policy staff are now included in all practice change initiatives to ensure that relevant policies and guidelines are developed. For example, as of July, 2014, policy staff began attending the monthly supervisor meetings (SAC) and they participated in the Safety, SDM and Supervisory Oversight workgroups. Recommendations from the workgroups were reviewed and discussed with the management team and turned over to the Policy unit who is now working with the Subject Matter Experts (SME) to develop manual sections and desk guides for staff. By doing this, we will be able to provide staff with up-to-date guidelines and performance expectations.

A process for policy development is also in place. It includes:

Identifying critical policies for each program

Ensuring existing federal and state laws, including ACLs and Division 31 regulations are properly referenced

Writing Policy and corresponding Best Practice Desk Guides for staff

Including SMEs throughout the process

Completing final edits and adding links to the new policy and desk guides

Obtaining necessary approvals

Dissemination to staff

Training (as needed)

The process for developing all new manuals and desk guides for staff is an ongoing process which will take at least a year to complete. In the meantime, all new statutory and regulatory changes are now automatically reviewed by the policy unit and through the dissemination of Policy Update Notices and Service Information Alerts staff is notified of relevant statutory, regulatory, and needed practice changes.

Examples of these will be sent via email.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


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 for the Policy unit. We expect to have them on board by July 21, 2014.

Once the Policy Unit is established, it will review and analyze relevant, statutory, and regulatory laws and practice changes that are issued by CDSS in the form of All County Letters, All County Information Notices and All County Fiscal Letters.

The Policy Unit will update existing policies and develop relevant guidelines for staff.

Policy will work with the FCS Training Coordinator to conduct mandatory training on the new policy and practice expectations.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #37 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that its social workers and supervisors are performing required activities in a timely and effective manner, the San Francisco County CWS agency should follow through on its plans to develop a quality assurance unit. The unit should regularly review and report to management on the degree of compliance with, and effectiveness of, the agencys policies and procedures.

Agency Response*

The Continuous Quality Improvement Unit (CQI) was fully staffed in 12/2014. The Unit has completed the CFSR Case Review training and we expect that they will be certified later this month. Once the CQI unit is firmly established and trained, they will supplement the monthly CFSR Case Reviews with targeted reviews to ensure supervisory compliance with the new FCS polices. The CQI unit reports to the CQI & Policy Manager, who provides the Management Team with ongoing updates.

Status: Completed

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: January 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

Please see response #2 on current status of CQI. Once CQI begins reviewing cases as part of the CSFR Pilot, reports on the degree of compliance with, and effectiveness of the agency's policies and procedures will be provided to the management team for feedback and further planning.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

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 Q.A. is established, it will conduct random quarterly reviews and will monitor child welfare staff and supervisors for quality, accuracy and timeliness of assessments, visits, CWS/CMS input, supervisory oversight and other key areas of service delivery in accordance with FCS policies and procedures.

Q.A. will provide ongoing reports to the management team addressing degree of staff compliance with policies and procedures. Q.A. will also provide recommendations for ongoing improvement.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/2014
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #38 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

To promote the consistent application of agency policies and procedures, and to provide a consistent framework for its reviews, the quality assurance unit that monitors the Orange County CWS agency should complete its plans to develop and regularly use tools for examining the quality of investigative and ongoing casework.

Agency Response*

The Quality Support Team (QST) has developed audit tools for Continuing Court programs, the Child Abuse Registry (CAR) Hotline, and Emergency Response (ER).

In order to examine the quality of investigative and ongoing casework the following audits are complete/in progress:

QST completed audits in August 2014 and February 2015, to monitor CAR Hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

QST completed audits in August 2014 and February 2015, to monitor the accuracy and completion of intake documents.

QST completed audits in September 2014 and March 2015, to ensure staff performed statutorily required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

QST completed an audit in October 2014 and is in the progress of completing a second audit to monitor compliance with follow up visit attempt requirements.

QST completed an audit in October 2014, and is in the progress of completing a second audit to monitor usage of the Structured Decision Making (SDM) tools and supervisory oversight.

QST completed an audit in October 2014, and is in the progress of completing a second audit to monitor the quality of Safety Plans and supervisory oversight.

QST conducted audits in August 2014 and February 2015, of the Continuing Court programs to monitor quality practice and adherence to the policies and procedures.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The Orange County CWS agency (agency) fully implemented this recommendation. The agency's quality assurance unit developed and is now using review tools to regularly examine the quality of investigations and ongoing casework.


Agency Response*

The Quality Support Team (QST) has developed audit tools for Continuing Court programs, Child Abuse Registry (CAR) hotline, and Emergency Response (ER).

In order to examine the quality of investigative and ongoing casework the following audits are in progress/scheduled:

QST will complete audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor CAR hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

QST will complete audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor the accuracy and completion of intake documents.

QST will complete audits in September 2014 and March 2015 to ensure staff performed statutorily-required background checks and inspections before allowing children to be placed in a home.

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor compliance with follow up attempt requirements.

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the quality of safety plans and supervisory oversight.

QST will conduct audits in August 2014 and February 2015 of the Continuing Court programs to monitor quality practice and adherence to the policies and procedures.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

The Quality Support Team (QST) has developed an audit tool for Continuing Court programs. QST has developed a Child Abuse Registry (CAR) hotline audit tool that is close to being finalized. It is anticipated that it will be ready for use by the end of June 2014. QST is currently developing an audit tool for Emergency Response (ER) and its anticipated completion date is July 2014.

In order to examine the quality of investigative and ongoing casework the following audits are scheduled:

QST will complete audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor CAR hotline tool usage and supervisory oversight.

QST will complete audits in August 2014 and February 2015 to monitor the accuracy and completion of intake documents.

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor compliance with follow up attempt requirements,

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor usage of the SDM tools and supervisory oversight.

QST will complete audits in October 2014 and April 2015 to monitor the quality of safety plans and supervisory oversight.

QST will conduct audits in August 2014 and February 2015 of the Continuing Court programs to monitor quality practice and adherence to the policies and procedures.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #39 To: Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services

To be able to review regularly more referrals and cases, the Butte County CWS agency should consider adding additional staff to its quality assurance function.

Agency Response*

As part of the proposed budget for FY 2014/15, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services requested the addition of one Program Manager, one Administrative Analyst and two additional full time social worker positions to provide Quality Assurance (QA) functions, as part of the new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit. The Administrative Analyst was hired in September 2014 and the Program Manager was hired in February 2015. This allowed Butte County to be selected as one of the five pilot counties for the new Children and Families Services Review (CFSR) process, which will be rolled out statewide in August 2015.

Due to new state requirements regarding the CFSR Review Process (implemented following the Audit), Butte County adjusted staffing requirements for the new CQI Unit. Two new QA Staff positions (supervisory level) were authorized by the Butte County Board of Supervisors on March 23, 2015, and the hiring process has been initiated. It is anticipated that full staffing for the CQI Unit will be in place by June 15, 2015.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

As part of the proposed budget for FY 2014/15, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services requested the addition of one Program Manager, one Administrative Analyst, and two additional full time equivalent (FTE) Social Worker positions.

This team, along with the existing Social Worker assigned to Quality Assurance, will comprise a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit. The FY 2014/15 Butte County budget was adopted in July 2014. The new Administrative Analyst position was hired in September 2014.

The remaining positions were approved, and the department is actively completing the hiring process. It is anticipated that the unit will be fully staffed by year end.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/14
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

As part of the proposed budget for FY 2014/15, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services has submitted a request to add one Program Manager, one Administrative Analyst, and two additional full time equivalent (FTE) Social Worker positions. This team, along with the existing Social Worker assigned to Quality Assurance, will comprise a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Unit. It is anticipated these positions will be hired in September 2014, following the adoption of the FY 2014/15 Butte County budget.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #40 To: Social Services, Department of

To promote continued improvement in the CWS system, Social Services should encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures, to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures, and to designate personnel to perform regular quality assurance reviews.

Agency Response*

During the regular updating of the CDSS California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR) manuals, the Department will recommend that a county staff person be designated to update policies and procedures.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: November 2016

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


Agency Response*

All County Letters (ACLs) 14-84 and 15-34 were issued on 11/20/14 and 3/16/15 respectively (see following links).

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwihgOjJiZPIAhWElYgKHcB-B7k&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dss.cahwnet.gov%2Flettersnotices%2FEntRes%2Fgetinfo%2Facl%2F2014%2F14-84.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFbujU-qAO-euRtBjOI-EQRvvleeg&bvm=bv.103627116,bs.2,d.cGU

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwjg-4PqipPIAhWGOYgKHf9KAhI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dss.cahwnet.gov%2Flettersnotices%2FEntRes%2Fgetinfo%2Facl%2F2015%2F15-34.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFFywe7mpup5i1DpriraAAvClE6sA&bvm=bv.103388427,d.cGU

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

Although Social Services has issued a letter encouraging county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process, the letters referenced by Social Services in their response do not encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures as we recommended. Further, the letters do not encourage each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Agency Response*

As stated previously, the Department continuously monitors county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness, and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

Between July 2014 and January 2015, the Department held workgroup meeting with county child welfare, probation, and training partners to develop a qualitative case review system. On November 20, 2014, the Department issued the first All County Letter (ACL) 14-84 to provide counties instruction and information regarding the pilot phase of the statewide qualitative case review processes. On March 15, 2015, the Department issued ACL 15-34 to provide counties implementation instructions for conducting case reviews in each county. Included in this ACL was a request that counties provide the Department their plans to begin implementation of case reviews prior to August 2015. Beginning in March 2015, the Department has sponsored regional trainings to certify county and state staff as case reviewers. This training will be completed in June 2015.

A procedures manual is under development and is expected to be released by July 2015 that expands on information already provided in the previously listed ACLs.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

The referenced Social Services All County Information Notices (notices) require county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process; however, they do not encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures as we recommended. Further, the notices do not speak at all to encouraging each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.


Agency Response*

Partially Implemented/Anticipated Implementation Date: July 2015

The Department issued All County Information Notice (ACIN) I-40-14 on July 15, 2014 that encourages counties to conduct regular qualitative case reviews.

The Department continues to monitor county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance. The Department also continues to monitor county performance on recurrence of maltreatment or re-entry into foster care. This activity is completed on a continuous basis as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

The Department is also developing a statewide case review process and beginning to conduct pilot reviews in five counties in order to meet the goal of implementation by July 2015. Additionally, the C-CFSR process guides will be updated according to the final protocol established for the case reviews.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: September 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

While the Social Services All County Information Notice I-40-14 (notice) does encourage county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process, it does not clearly encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures. Further, the notice does not speak at all to encouraging each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.


Agency Response*

Partially Implemented/Anticipated Implementation Date: July 2015

The Department continues to monitor county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance. The Department also continues to monitor county performance on recurrence of maltreatment or re-entry into foster care. This activity is completed on a continuous basis as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

The Department agreed to issue an ACIN to remind counties of the benefits of conducting qualitative reviews of their programs. This ACIN currently is being reviewed, and the Department is on-track to meet our July 2014 commitment.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Recommendation #41 To: Social Services, Department of

To promote continued improvement in the CWS system, Social Services should ask each county CWS agency to report to Social Services on the status of these efforts within 60 days, six months, and one year from the publication of this audit report.

Agency Response*

This reporting was not present when child welfare programs were realigned, therefore, we disagree with the recommendation and will not implement. The cost of county staff time to do this level of reporting to the Department would create an unfunded mandate. The passage of Proposition 30 in 2012 requires that "...administrative directives, implemented after October 9, 2011, that are not necessary to implement the 2011 Realignment Legislation, and that have an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation, shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that the State provides annual funding for the cost increase."

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: November 2016

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

We disagree that asking county CWS agencies whether they have a quality assurance unit, a policy unit, and what they have done to strengthen supervisory reviews, would create an unfunded state mandate. Our recommendation does not require that county CWS agencies undertake these actions but rather that Social Services encourage these practices and follow up with county CWS agencies to see if they are adopting them. This feedback would be part of the ongoing dialogue Social Services has with county CWS agencies regarding improvements to the CWS system. Social Services is refusing to seek feedback on whether these important practices are being adopted and is blaming this lack of action on the spurious notion that asking for such feedback would create an unfunded mandate.


Agency Response*

CDSS is asking for renewed implementation plans (the originals were required via the ACL 15-34 released on 3/16/15).

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 11/30/15
  • Response Date: September 2015

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


Agency Response*

Please see the response to the previous recommendation.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: No Action Taken

Based on the response to the previous recommendation and the All County Letters referenced in that response, it does not appear that Social Services has taken any action to implement this recommendation.


Agency Response*

Please see the response to the previous recommendation.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: September 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: No Action Taken

Based on the response to the previous recommendation and the "All County Information Notice" referenced in that response, it does not appear that Social Services has done anything to implement this recommendation.


Agency Response*

Partially Implemented/Anticipated Implementation Date: July 2015

The Department continues to monitor county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance. The Department also continues to monitor county performance on recurrence of maltreatment or re-entry into foster care. This activity is completed on a continuous basis as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

The Department agreed to issue an ACIN to remind counties of the benefits of conducting qualitative reviews of their programs. This ACIN currently is being reviewed, and the Department is on-track to meet our July 2014 commitment.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • 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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