Report 2013-110 Recommendation 8 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 #8 To: San Francisco Human Services Agency, City and County of

To ensure that social workers are making reasonable and timely efforts to make in-person contact with children who are allegedly being maltreated, the San Francisco County CWS agency should develop clear policies for how frequently social workers must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contact are unsuccessful.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Policy - The Emergency Response (ER) Policy and Desk Guide (DG) were completed and distributed to all staff on 7/29/2015. Initial training and review was conducted with the Front End staff during the summer. Based on the feedback received, formalized training sessions are scheduled for all staff on the new policies beginning in October 2015.

The new ER Policy Manual includes a section directing how frequently PSWs must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful. It states that "when an initial attempt to see a child is unsuccessful, and the investigating PSW is unable to locate the child within the assigned referral response time, subsequent attempts will occur as soon as possible and no more than every five business days until contact is made. Subsequent attempts to contact a child will be made at varying times (e.g., morning, afternoon and evening) and locations."

This guideline applies to each child with an allegation, regardless of the allegation type, with the exception of a sibling identified as: "at risk, sibling abused." The ER DG General IR Referral Protocol Section provides specific time frames for the PSW to respond to referrals and meet with all children living in the allegation household.

See Supporting Documentation

  • Completion Date: August 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Policy: The Emergency Response (ER) Policy will be completed by 4/10/2015, and the Desk Guides by 4/14/2015. We expect to publish the ER Policy and DG to all staff by the end of April, 2015. Initial training is being provided by Policy staff and will be formalized in the training plan currently being developed by the new Training Coordinator and Manager.

The new ER Policy Manual includes a section directing how frequently PSWs must follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful. It states that "when an initial attempt to see a child is unsuccessful, and the investigating PSW is unable to locate the child within the assigned referral response time, subsequent attempts will occur as soon as possible and no more than every five business days until contact is made. Subsequent attempts to contact a child will be made at varying times (e.g., morning, afternoon and evening) and locations."

This guideline applies to each child with an allegation, regardless of the allegation type, with an exception of a sibling identified as: "at risk, sibling abused." The ER DG General IR Referral Protocol Section, provides specific time frames for the PSW to respond to referrals and meet with all children living in the allegation household.

We anticipate final approval and publication of the policies and desk guides by the end of this month.

- See Supporting Documentation

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 30, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

The policy referenced above is still in draft, once its final, this recommendation will be fully implemented.


6-Month Agency Response

Please refer to response #2 regarding the policy.

Additionally, new policy and desk guides will be developed and provided to staff regarding how frequently social workers will follow up with alleged victims in the event that initial attempts at contacts are unsuccessful.

  • Estimated Completion Date: February, 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

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 it will develop and implement clear policies and procedures regarding agency expectations for reasonable and timely efforts for in-person contacts with children.

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 hired, Q.A. will work with the Training Coordinator to conduct mandatory training in the new policy and practice expectations. Q.A. will conduct quarterly reviews to ensure adherence with the new policies.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • 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.


Report type

Report type
















© 2013, California State Auditor | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Download Adobe PDF Reader