Report 2015-115 Recommendation 9 Responses

Report 2015-115: Dually Involved Youth: The State Cannot Determine the Effectiveness of Efforts to Serve Youth Who Are Involved in Both the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems (Release Date: February 2016)

Recommendation #9 To: Alameda County

Alameda County probation department should update its existing procedures to ensure that its staff are accurately recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2020

ALAMEDA COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT

Alameda County Probation Department should update its existing procedures to ensure that its staff are accurately recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system.

Alameda County Probation recognizes the importance of family connections for the youth which we serve. While at times it may be necessary for the youth to be removed from the home, our primary focus continues to remain on reunification with the family. All staff who work with youth that have been removed from their home have been trained on permanency planning and regularly incorporate these efforts into their daily work duties. Staff utilize a host of family-centered techniques which include engagement, maintaining connections, regular visits, and referrals to services in the community.

Our department prides itself on providing supportive services to encourage reunification. The extension of our efforts is clearly articulated and documented in the youth's case plan and this information is provided to the court on a regular and ongoing basis. We recognize that while we have identified reunification as a top priority, we must not limit documentation of these efforts to a case plan, and that a record of these services should be included in the statewide case management system. Alameda County Probation is currently in the process of updating the policy as it pertains to out-of-home youth, and we anticipate that this process should be concluded by the end of the 2020 calendar year. Once our new policy has been approved, staff will begin their documentation as included in the recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: end of 2020 calendar year

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

Per Alameda County's response, it will not fully implement this recommendation until the end of the 2020 calendar year.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2018

Alameda County did not provide an updated response to this recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: No Action Taken

Alameda County did not provide an updated response to this recommendation.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The Alameda County Probation Department (ACPD) intends to comply with the recommendation regarding accurately recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system. The Probation Department is continually learning and addressing its internal capacity to comply with CWS/CMS regulations. ACPD is in the process of writing policy and intends to add a robust section related to foster care responsibilities - which was absent from the Department's previous policy manual. In an effort to increase our learning capacities, ACPD is participating on the state collaborative team from Child Welfare Digital Services that is developing the interface specifications for county juvenile probation systems for the Child Welfare Services - New System (CWS-NS).

The Probation Department is in the process of procuring new laptops for all staff that will enable staff to access CWS-NS directly, without the need for a token for access. The requirement of token access has prevented some Department employees from accessing the system, because the Department has a limited number of tokens. An implementation plan for the new token-less system has not yet been developed, nor has the policy. In the interim, on or before December 1, 2017, staff will receive written instructions for how to record family reunification service efforts in CWS/CMS. Once CWS-NS becomes fully operational, the Department will develop a policy to outline all documentation requirements for probation foster care youth.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/01/2017

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

Per Alameda County's response, its implementation of this recommendation is currently pending.


1-Year Agency Response

Alameda County stated that it will not provide any responses to the audit.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

We stand by our recommendation to Alameda County probation department that it should update its existing procedures for recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system. As we noted on page 26 of our report, its staff did not record family reunifications into the statewide case management system accurately. It is essential for county staff to accurately record and update the youth's case plan goal in the statewide case management system so that information on goals and outcomes can be compared across counties.


6-Month Agency Response

Alameda County stated that it will not provide any responses to the audit.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: December 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

We stand by our recommendation to Alameda County probation department that it should update its existing procedures for recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system. As we noted on page 26 of our report, its staff did not record family reunifications into the statewide case management system accurately. It is essential for county staff to accurately record and update the youth's case plan goal in the statewide case management system so that information on goals and outcomes can be compared across counties.


60-Day Agency Response

Alameda County stated that it will not provide any responses to the audit.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: May 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

We stand by our recommendation to Alameda County probation department that it should update its existing procedures for recording family reunification service components within the statewide case management system. As we noted on page 26 of our report, its staff did not record family reunifications into the statewide case management system accurately. It is essential for county staff to accurately record and update the youth's case plan goal in the statewide case management system so that information on goals and outcomes can be compared across counties.


All Recommendations in 2015-115

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.