Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Performance Audit of the Childrens Foster Care Program, Department of Human Services THOMAS H. McTAVISH, C.P.A. AUDITOR GENERAL.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Performance Audit of the Childrens Foster Care Program, Department of Human Services THOMAS H. McTAVISH, C.P.A. AUDITOR GENERAL."— Presentation transcript:

1 Performance Audit of the Childrens Foster Care Program, Department of Human Services THOMAS H. McTAVISH, C.P.A. AUDITOR GENERAL

2 Scope and Potential for Significant Impact The audit dealt with some of Michigans most vulnerable citizens – foster children. Foster childrens well-being often depends entirely on the critical services and oversight provided by state government. Significant media attention, interest of the legislature. Foster Care Services in Michigan are provided through a partnership between DHS and contracted service providers.

3 Audit Objectives 1.To evaluate DHSs and the contracted service providers compliance with State laws and regulations related to the delivery of Program services. 2.To assess DHSs effectiveness and efficiency in monitoring the delivery of services by Program contracted service providers. 3.To assess the effectiveness of the Program in meeting its outcome goals. We reported adverse conclusions for all three objectives. The report contained 10 findings and 12 corresponding recommendations. We classified 5 of the 10 findings as material.

4 Innovation We entered into an agreement with the Michigan Department of State Police that allowed them to provide us with criminal history background information regarding Michigan foster parents and other adult household members. We coordinated fieldwork with DHS central office, local county offices, and contracted agencies. We tailored our sample of foster care cases to include cases from large and small local county offices and private contracted agencies geographically dispersed across the state to help ensure the recommendations in our audit report would be persuasive on a statewide basis. We selected 107 case files to review.

5 Innovation, cont. This was a unique opportunity for staff from the Michigan OAG to meet with contracted agency staff providing foster care services. Site visits to review foster care records sometimes took place in private agency offices. This demanded the utmost use of due professional care to ensure a positive and successful interaction with many individuals who had never had this type of experience.

6 Focus of the Recommendations on Effective and Efficient Government The audits first objective addressed compliance with material provisions of State laws and regulations related to the delivery of Program services. The significant error rates cited in the report demonstrated that DHS and the contracted service providers had not provided Program services in an effective manner. (5 findings, 3 material) The second audit objective dealt directly with DHSs effectiveness and efficiency in monitoring the delivery of services by Program contracted service providers. (3 findings – 1 material) The audits third objective dealt with the effectiveness of the Program in meeting its outcome goals (2 findings – 1 material)

7 Clarity and Conciseness of Communication Style The audit report contained complex issues, summarized under a difficult set of circumstances: We performed foster care case reads in local offices and contracted agencies in five different counties. Each local office and contracted agency had unique nuances and circumstances in the errors and exceptions we identified. Our report needed to clearly and concisely communicate our overall conclusions and recommendations in a useful manner to prompt reforms statewide.

8 Material Findings Criminal History Background Checks Required Visits Interstate Foster Care Services Contract Monitoring Child Welfare Outcomes

9 DHS not performing criminal history background checks No evidence of background checks for 12 of 16 providers reviewed who had criminal convictions including drug possession, assault, domestic violence. 5 adult household members with disqualifying convictions after original background checks. Convictions included criminal sexual conduct (2) and domestic violence (3). DHS responded that it would implement an automated periodic criminal history background check procedure. Legislators discussed the need to introduce legislation requiring periodic background checks during several hearings regarding the audit.

10 Required Visits Our review of required visits included 77 local office and 29 contracted agency foster care case files. We found insufficient evidence that DHS made all required visits in 96 (91%) of 106 case files tested. There was no evidence to support that caseworkers had performed required visits in 718 (33%) of the 2,205 tested.

11 DHS not visiting foster children, their parents, or their foster parents.

12 Material Findings Criminal History Background Checks Required Visits Interstate Foster Care Services Contract Monitoring Child Welfare Outcomes

13 Persuasiveness of Conclusions The audit report resulted in considerable public reaction: a.The audit report prompted legislative hearings concerning the audit. The Michigan OAG presented the audit report before the Senate Standing Committee on Families and Human Services and the House Standing Committee on Family and Children Services.

14 Persuasiveness of Conclusions, cont. b.After we had issued the report, the Director of DHS testified in legislative hearings that DHS agreed with all of the audits findings and had initiated corrective action to address the findings. c. The audit report received a significant amount of media coverage from several Michigan television stations and newspapers. The coverage included the initial reporting of the audits findings and subsequent additional reporting regarding the corrective action initiated by DHS.

15 Usefulness to Customer This report is useful to vulnerable foster children, who may never read the report or be aware of its existence, but will realize a higher level of accountability and oversight for their well-being. State Legislators called on DHS to quickly address Program deficiencies identified in the audit. Legislators vowed to introduce legislation if necessary to ensure DHS implements certain Program improvements. Representatives from the Michigan Office of Childrens Ombudsman and a private child advocacy group, Michigans Children, testified in legislative hearings in support of our audit recommendations.

16 Action Produced DHS indicated that, since the audit, Program improvements have included implementation of a process to automate periodic criminal history background checks for foster care providers and other adult household members; and enhancement of its Services Worker Support System to better identify when visits with foster children do not occur. DHS indicated also that it has sought additional funding from the legislature to increase staffing levels to meet minimum requirements for performing visits with foster children, to improve case file documentation of services provided to foster children, and to improve its oversight of contracted service providers.

17 For Further Information Report # available online at: Contacts: Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General Mark Freeman, Audit Division Administrator


Download ppt "Performance Audit of the Childrens Foster Care Program, Department of Human Services THOMAS H. McTAVISH, C.P.A. AUDITOR GENERAL."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google