To ensure that rates paid to foster family agencies are appropriate, Social Services should analyze the rates and provide reasonable support for each component, especially the 40 percent administrative fee it currently pays these agencies.
CDSS has issued All County Letter (ACL) 16-79, dated September 22, 2016, which describes the phased-in implementation of the new Home-Based Family Care (HBFC) rate structure for foster family agencies (FFAs). Two components have been added to capture the new activities: Resource Family Approval and Services and Supports. The administrative component remains the same. Cost reports will be modified to track the new costs. The new HBFC rate structure will now standardize the rates paid to all resource families regardless of the HBFC setting; i.e., placed in a county resource family approved home or in an FFA. The child/youth's need for services will no longer be limited to the placement types. Additionally, FFAs will now expand their scope of services and supports to relatives and non-FFA homes.
CDSS continues its efforts to change state statutes and regulations, and to revise and establish a new foster family agency rate methodology to be implemented as part of Continuum of Care Reform (CCR). These ongoing reform efforts also will establish a process to make placement decisions based on the needs of a child or youth and not on the placement type. Moreover, CDSS continues its work with stakeholders, counties, and foster care providers to revise the rate structure, so that it is relevant and comprehensive and aligned with the requirements of CCR and Assembly Bill 403.
Partially Corrected. CDSS has reviewed the foster family agencies (FFA) rate structure through the Continuum of Care Reform efforts. The framework and revised FFA rate structure will be discussed in the Legislative Report due for release in October 2014.
Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: October 2014. Under the Continuum of Care effort, the FFA rate is being analyzed to determine what aspects can be better defined and restructured. As a result, the existing FFA rate structure is likely to evolve. The workgroup efforts are ongoing in order to meet the statutory October 2014 deadline.
Social Services continues to assert that it will examine this recommendation in conjunction with its existing efforts on congregate care reform. Social Services projected that implementation of this recommendation would not occur until October 2014. Similar to our statement on page 89 of the audit report, we continue to be concerned that Social Services does not fully appreciate that establishing support for foster family agency rates—a portion of which is federally reimbursed—should be a high priority task that should be accomplished regardless of the timeline of any other reform effort.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.