Report 2016-126 Recommendation 13 Responses

Report 2016-126: California Department of Social Services: Its Caregiver Background Check Bureau Lacks Criminal History Information It Needs to Protect Vulnerable Populations in Licensed Care Facilities (Release Date: March 2017)

Recommendation #13 To: Social Services, Department of

To comply with state law and better protect vulnerable populations in California's licensed care facilities, Social Services should immediately change its policy to require that its exemption analysts evaluate all infraction convictions, other than minor traffic violations, before granting exemptions to individuals. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should report to the Legislature by June 2017 how it ensures that vulnerable populations are not at risk and should request that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department's current process focuses on evaluating more serious risks, such as misdemeanor conviction, felony convictions, and serious arrests as more serious than an infraction, and the Department believes that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of thousands of additional infractions.

  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

As we discussed at both the 60-day and six-month response period, Social Services states its belief that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of infraction convictions. As we indicate in our report, infraction convictions are a type of conviction that state law requires Social Services to review unless the conviction is for a minor traffic violation. We also identify in our report that infraction convictions can sometimes be for crimes such as theft, selling liquor to a minor, and leaving a child under six years of age in a vehicle without supervision. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should follow our recommendation and issue a report to the Legislature describing how it ensures vulnerable populations are not at risk and requesting that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.


6-Month Agency Response

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. The Department's current process focuses on evaluating more serious risks posed by criminal offenders, and the Department believes that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of thousands of additional infractions.

  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As we discussed at the 60-day response period, Social Services states its belief that its process focuses on evaluating more serious risks and that it is not feasible nor effective to review infraction convictions. As we indicated in our report, infraction convictions are a type of conviction that state law requires Social Services to review unless the conviction is for a minor traffic violation. We also reported that infraction convictions can sometimes be for crimes such as theft, selling liquor to a minor, and leaving a child under six years of age in a vehicle without supervision. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should follow our recommendation and issue a report to the Legislature describing how it ensures vulnerable populations are not at risk and requesting that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.


60-Day Agency Response

The Department's current process focuses on evaluating more serious risks posed by criminal offenders, and the Department believes that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of thousands of additional infractions.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

Social Services states its belief that its process focuses on evaluating more serious risks and that it is not feasible nor effective to review infraction convictions. As we indicated in our report, infraction convictions are a type of conviction that state law requires Social Services to review unless the conviction is for a minor traffic violation. We also reported that infraction convictions can sometimes be for crimes such as theft, selling liquor to a minor, and leaving a child under six years of age in a vehicle without supervision. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should follow our recommendation and issue a report to the Legislature describing how it ensures vulnerable populations are not at risk and requesting that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.


All Recommendations in 2016-126

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.