Report 2016-126 Recommendation 21 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 #21 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that Social Services processes criminal history reviews as quickly as possible so that delays do not impede individuals whose presence in a licensed facility would pose no risk, by July 2017 the department should establish formal time frames and monitor the stages of the exemption process. At a minimum, Social Services should establish time frames for notifying individuals and facilities that a criminal history exemption is required, evaluating information it receives, and making decisions on exemptions. As part of monitoring, Social Services should identify when cases become backlogged and work to swiftly conclude those exemption reviews. In addition, if it determines that its staffing levels are insufficient to meet its time frames, it should seek additional resources.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has developed timeframes for each step of the exemption process (Attachment E) that are monitored by their managers (Attachment G). This process has resulted in a reduction of the previously backlogged cases, reduced current processing timeframes and provides "triggers" for managers and analysts of cases approaching the 120 days. Additionally, the Department is developing an electronic dashboard to be used by the CBCB managers to monitor case progress.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services provided evidence that it has monitored case processing times. Although at the time of its 60-day response the department had identified backlogged cases and mentions in this response that the backlog has been reduced, it provided no documentation showing the reduced backlog. We look forward to reviewing such documentation when the department provides its one-year response to this recommendation.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed timeframes for each step of the exemption process. A Caregiver Background Check Bureau All Staff Memo has been issued and an all-staff meeting was held on April 28, 2017 to provide the training to Bureau staff. The exemption analysts are required to send exemption letters to the individuals and licensees within ten days from the date of receipt of the criminal history information from the Department of Justice. Upon receipt of all exemption information, the analyst will make a determination and obtain necessary management and Legal review within 20 days. The Department has completed the identification of cases open over 120 days and is currently working to alleviate the backlog by December 2017. CBCB managers are monitoring workflow to ensure cases nearing 120 days are processed timely. Additionally, the Department is developing a dashboard to be used by the CBCB managers to monitor case progress. (See Attachment 3.)

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services has established time frames for the steps in its exemption process. It has also identified cases that have been open for more than 120 days and has made final conclusions about some of those cases. We look forward to assessing the effect that Social Services' ongoing monitoring of exemption case time frames has on its backlogged cases as part of its six-month response.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

All Recommendations in 2016-126

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.