Report 2013-110 Recommendation 29 Responses

Report 2013-110: Child Welfare Services: The County Child Welfare Services Agencies We Reviewed Must Provide Better Protection for Abused and Neglected Children (Release Date: April 2014)

Recommendation #29 To: Orange County Social Services Agency

As part of its responsibility to help children remain safe at all points during the investigation of a referral, the Orange County CWS agency should vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database.

6-Month Agency Response

Orange County SSA consulted with County Counsel to clarify the legally permissible background checks, which may be run on informal caregivers during the investigation of a referral.

SSA made minor modifications to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines Policy and Procedure (P&P) Number A-0412 to clarify the use of legally permissible background checks on informal caregivers to ensure child safety and best practice. The policy includes completing a CWS/CMS search of the informal placement caregivers' child abuse and/or neglect history and obtaining background clearance information for the informal placement caregiver from the California Megan's Law Sex Offender Locator Database, the County Superior Court Criminal and Traffic Case System, and other publically available resources.

The revised P&P was finalized and published on July 15, 2014. Notification of the revised policy was sent out to all staff on the same date. All Emergency Response (ER) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in July and August 2014. All Differential Response (DR) supervisors and social workers were trained on the revised P&P in September 2014.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

The corrective action indicated does address all aspects of our recommendation. Orange County's revised policy requires social workers to vet temporary living situations and caregivers to the extent allowable under the law, including a review of information contained within the statewide CWS database. However, we are unable to fully confirm the implementation of the corrective action without conducting a follow-up review.


60-Day Agency Response

Orange County SSA consulted with County Counsel to clarify the legally permissible background checks, which may be run on informal caregivers during the investigation of a referral.

Orange County SSA made minor modifications to its current Policy and Procedure (P&P) to clarify the use of legally permissible background checks on informal caregivers to ensure child safety and best practice. The policy includes completing a CWS/CMS search of the informal placement caregivers child abuse and/or neglect history and obtaining background clearance information for the informal placement caregiver from the California Megans Law Sex Offender Locator Database, the County Superior Court Criminal and Traffic Case System, and other publically available resources.

The proposed changes in language and content have been drafted and added to the Abuse Investigations: Practice Guidelines P&P Number A-0412. This P&P is in the process of final revisions. After final revisions have been approved, the Emergency Response (ER) managers will review the P&P with supervisors and social workers within an ER all staff meeting. The anticipated completion date for this is July 22, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: August 2014
  • Response Date: June 2014

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


All Recommendations in 2013-110

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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