Human Services Agency:

Family and Children’s Services Does Not Have a Structured Program to Attain and Sustain Full Compliance with Laws and Regulations

The Controller's Office released an audit report today on the Human Services Agency Family and Children’s Services Division (FCS).  The audit findings point to management’s lack of compliance with federal and state laws and regulations relating to relative caregivers and the timeliness of face-to-face contacts with foster children.  The audit report includes nine recommendations for management to attain and sustain 100 percent compliance with these requirements.  

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We conducted this audit to determine whether health and safety standards for relative caregivers and face-to-face contacts between child welfare workers and foster children were in compliance with state laws and Department policies.  The audit findings reflect management’s overall lack of commitment to attain 100 percent compliance with laws and regulations, and the absence of a structured compliance program for FCS as a whole.  Management has not fully used the resources available (internal Quality Assurance unit, clerical staff, or monitoring software tools), nor has it adopted new technologies to use the time and efforts of social workers more efficiently. As a result, compliance rates with laws and regulations have not exceeded 50 percent over the prior 12-month period.  Further, FCS has used ‘crisis management’ techniques to meet the immediate short-term goals of face-to-face contact documentation.

We recommend that Department management adopt a commitment and structured approach to attain and sustain 100 percent compliance with the laws and regulations relating to relative caregiver cases and the timeliness of face-to-face contacts with foster children.  This attitude and focus must be included in a strong, clear message from upper management and incorporated into all aspects of the work functions at FCS. 

February 1, 2006

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