Report 2013-110 Recommendation 40 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 #40 To: Social Services, Department of

To promote continued improvement in the CWS system, Social Services should encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures, to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures, and to designate personnel to perform regular quality assurance reviews.

Agency Response*

During the regular updating of the CDSS California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR) manuals, the Department will recommend that a county staff person be designated to update policies and procedures.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: November 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

All County Letters (ACLs) 14-84 and 15-34 were issued on 11/20/14 and 3/16/15 respectively (see following links).

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwihgOjJiZPIAhWElYgKHcB-B7k&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dss.cahwnet.gov%2Flettersnotices%2FEntRes%2Fgetinfo%2Facl%2F2014%2F14-84.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFbujU-qAO-euRtBjOI-EQRvvleeg&bvm=bv.103627116,bs.2,d.cGU

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwjg-4PqipPIAhWGOYgKHf9KAhI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dss.cahwnet.gov%2Flettersnotices%2FEntRes%2Fgetinfo%2Facl%2F2015%2F15-34.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFFywe7mpup5i1DpriraAAvClE6sA&bvm=bv.103388427,d.cGU

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

Although Social Services has issued a letter encouraging county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process, the letters referenced by Social Services in their response do not encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures as we recommended. Further, the letters do not encourage each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Agency Response*

As stated previously, the Department continuously monitors county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness, and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

Between July 2014 and January 2015, the Department held workgroup meeting with county child welfare, probation, and training partners to develop a qualitative case review system. On November 20, 2014, the Department issued the first All County Letter (ACL) 14-84 to provide counties instruction and information regarding the pilot phase of the statewide qualitative case review processes. On March 15, 2015, the Department issued ACL 15-34 to provide counties implementation instructions for conducting case reviews in each county. Included in this ACL was a request that counties provide the Department their plans to begin implementation of case reviews prior to August 2015. Beginning in March 2015, the Department has sponsored regional trainings to certify county and state staff as case reviewers. This training will be completed in June 2015.

A procedures manual is under development and is expected to be released by July 2015 that expands on information already provided in the previously listed ACLs.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

The referenced Social Services All County Information Notices (notices) require county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process; however, they do not encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures as we recommended. Further, the notices do not speak at all to encouraging each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.


Agency Response*

Partially Implemented/Anticipated Implementation Date: July 2015

The Department issued All County Information Notice (ACIN) I-40-14 on July 15, 2014 that encourages counties to conduct regular qualitative case reviews.

The Department continues to monitor county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance. The Department also continues to monitor county performance on recurrence of maltreatment or re-entry into foster care. This activity is completed on a continuous basis as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

The Department is also developing a statewide case review process and beginning to conduct pilot reviews in five counties in order to meet the goal of implementation by July 2015. Additionally, the C-CFSR process guides will be updated according to the final protocol established for the case reviews.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: September 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

While the Social Services All County Information Notice I-40-14 (notice) does encourage county CWS agencies to designate staff members responsible for the quality assurance process, it does not clearly encourage each county CWS agency to designate personnel to update regularly their policies and procedures. Further, the notice does not speak at all to encouraging each county CWS agency to include a detailed description of the need for ongoing supervisory reviews of key aspects of their respective service processes and incorporate that description into their policies and procedures.


Agency Response*

Partially Implemented/Anticipated Implementation Date: July 2015

The Department continues to monitor county data, specific to emergency response, investigation timeliness and abuse determinations and dispositions, to identify trends that support further review and technical assistance. The Department also continues to monitor county performance on recurrence of maltreatment or re-entry into foster care. This activity is completed on a continuous basis as part of the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR).

The Department agreed to issue an ACIN to remind counties of the benefits of conducting qualitative reviews of their programs. This ACIN currently is being reviewed, and the Department is on-track to meet our July 2014 commitment.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2013-110

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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