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.
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.
The policy referenced above became effective on April 27, 2015. As a result, this recommendation is fully implemented.
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.
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.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.