Report 2015-502 Recommendation 1 Responses

Report 2015-502: Follow-Up—California Department of Social Services: Although Making Progress, It Could Do More to Ensure the Protection and Appropriate Placement of Foster Children (Release Date: July 2015)

Recommendation #1 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that all address matches of registered sex offenders who potentially reside or work at a licensed facility or foster home are reviewed, Social Services should improve its current mechanism to track and monitor the outcome of each address match it identifies. This tracking mechanism should allow Social Services to actively reconcile the number of address matches identified through its address comparison process with the number of completed reviews to ensure that it appropriately reviewed each match. Further, this mechanism should allow Social Services to actively monitor and report on any overdue investigations.

Agency Response*

The Department is applying a model of continuous quality assurance of the dissemination, receipt and tracking of registrant matches. As a result, CDSS has reduced the number of redundant matches received resulting in improved tracking. Additionally, the Department continues to enhance the tracking process. One of the key improvements in this tracking system is the elimination of manually accounting for addresses, reducing the potential for human error. The Department now has unique identifiers associated with matches from the time they are received, and maintained throughout the dissemination and tracking process.

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

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

As we noted in our 6-month assessment, the Community Care Licensing Division has fully implemented this recommendation. Although the Children and Family Services Division asserted that this recommendation is fully implemented, we were unable to substantiate its claim because of scheduling conflicts. Furthermore, the Children and Family Services Division previously stated in its 6-month and 1-year responses that it had fully implemented the recommendation. However, the Children and Family Services Division could not substantiate its claims because it was still in the process of developing a better tracking mechanism.


Agency Response*

The Children's and Family Services Division (CFSD) is applying a model of continuous quality assurance of the dissemination, receipt and tracking of registrant matches. As a result, CFSD has worked closely to reduce the number of redundant matches received resulting in improved tracking. Additionally, the Department continues to enhance the tracking process and expects to have a comprehensive tracking system in place in July 2016. One of the key improvements in this tracking system is the elimination of manually accounting for addresses, reducing the potential for human error.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2016
  • Response Date: June 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

As stated in our 6-month response, the Children and Family Services Division still needs to develop a tracking mechanism that allows it to actively reconcile the number of address matches identified through its address comparison process with the number of completed reviews to ensure that it appropriately reviewed each match.


Agency Response*

The Department has updated its process to track and monitor the outcome of each address match. The updated tracking process allows the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) to complete a full reconciliation of address matches with the number of completed reviews, thereby assuring each match is accounted for. The CCLD has established and implemented one methodology for tracking of all address matches for the three CCLD datasets. A master tracking log is populated monthly with all the CCLD address matches. The Investigations Branch then conducts preliminary investigatory steps and documents outcomes, where appropriate, for Children's Residential and Child Care county data sets. The CCLD county liaison staff follow-up with counties to implement additional investigation required to resolve remaining address matches. The Department communicates to counties the need for additional investigation via encrypted email. Upon receipt of disposition from counties, the Department documents disposition in the master tracking log. Children and Family Services Division has modified tracking procedures to account for the disposition of all addresses that have been received by the division. On a master list, information indicating that a match has been filtered, sent to the county, and received is collected ensuring the ability to account for all matches. This is reflected in the revised procedures (see Recommendation 2).

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Completion Date: November 2015
  • Response Date: December 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

The Community Care Licensing Division has fully implemented this recommendation, however the Children and Family Services Division is still in the process of developing a better tracking mechanism. Although Social Services indicated in its response that the Children and Family Services Division has modified its procedures and developed a master tracking list, it was unable to demonstrate this to us. Specifically, based on our review, the Children and Family Services Division has yet to develop a tracking mechanism that allows it to actively reconcile the number of address matches identified through its address comparison process with the number of completed reviews to ensure that it appropriately reviewed each match.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Agency Response*

The Department has updated its process to track and monitor the outcome of each address match. The updated tracking process allows the Department to complete a full reconciliation of address matches with the number of completed reviews, thereby ensuring each match is accounted for.

The updated process was used to complete the reconciliation of those address matches that were outstanding at the completion of the audit. Through this reconciliation of the remaining matches, the Department confirmed that there were no children at risk. The reconciliation included homes approved by county child welfare agencies, county licensed child care programs and county licensed foster family homes. Additionally, the Department has reconciled registered sex offender addresses matched with all other licensed facility types. The reconciliation and investigative outcomes of the 24,897 matched addresses can be found in the attached table (Attachment 2).

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services' updated process lacks two elements necessary to implement our recommendation: 1) the Children and Family Services Division still needs to develop a mechanism for identifying the disposition for each address match; and 2) the Children and Family Services Division and the Community Care Licensing Division need to document the updates that they made to their reconciliation process.


All Recommendations in 2015-502

†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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