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1 Milwaukee County Child Welfare Legislative Audit Bureau September 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Milwaukee County Child Welfare Legislative Audit Bureau September 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Milwaukee County Child Welfare Legislative Audit Bureau September 2007

2 2 Audit Overview u DHFS began administering the program in January 1998, following a class-action lawsuit. u LAB released two reports in February 2006: –program issues (report 06-1); and –finances and staffing (report 06-2). u The Joint Legislative Audit Committee has held two prior hearings on Milwaukee County Child Welfare in March 2006 and March u DHFS reported to the Audit Committee on March 1, 2006, October 2, 2006, and February 1, 2007.

3 3 Key Facts and Findings u From January 2001 through June 2005, program expenditures totaled $493.7 million. u In June 2005: –services were provided to 3,188 children who had been removed from their homes to ensure their safety; and –266 families received safety services without having a child removed. u From January 2004 through June 2005, 30.9 percent of investigations of abuse and neglect exceeded a 60-day statutory time limit. u Early in 2005, only 27.4 percent of court-ordered services for families were provided in a timely manner.

4 4 Key Facts and Findings u In 25 of 48 cases in which children were removed from their homes, we found problems in achieving permanent placements. u 20.1 percent of children reunified with their parents reentered out-of-home care within 24 months. u Coordination of service delivery between child welfare, Medical Assistance, and other support programs needed improvement. u We found $677,694 in unallowable and questioned costs charged to the program by six contractors.

5 5 Audit Recommendations u Improve the timeliness of investigations and the delivery of court-ordered services. u Reduce the time children spend in out-of-home care. u Ensure the adequacy of safety services. u Improve service coordination with Medical Assistance, W-2, and other social services providers.

6 6 Audit Recommendations u Monitor families who return for additional safety services. u Monitor families who have children placed in out-of-home care in the 12 months following receipt of safety services. u Ensure that all children in out-of-home care receive annual medical and dental examinations.

7 7 Audit Recommendations u Continue to work to improve the retention of child welfare staff. u Appropriately calculate compliance with performance standards specified in the settlement agreement. u Collect and analyze information on services that contractors provide to families.

8 8 Audit Recommendations u Monitor and assess La Causa’s financial condition and debt. u Require contractors to repay unallowable costs and either repay or provide additional documentation for questioned costs. u Ensure that new staff complete pre-service training before managing cases.

9 9 Milwaukee County Child Welfare Legislative Audit Bureau September 2007


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