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Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 1Presentation to NSAA Certain Aspects of the Child Welfare System Performance Audit Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 1Presentation to NSAA Certain Aspects of the Child Welfare System Performance Audit Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 1Presentation to NSAA Certain Aspects of the Child Welfare System Performance Audit Presentation to National State Auditors Association Tom Barnickel June 8, 2006

2 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 2Presentation to NSAA Child Welfare Audit Requested by Legislative leadership Requested by Legislative leadership Scope and objectives were developed after obtaining input from stakeholders Scope and objectives were developed after obtaining input from stakeholders Requested to issue audit report prior to legislative session Requested to issue audit report prior to legislative session

3 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 3Presentation to NSAA Objectives Four audit objectives covering certain aspects of the child welfare activities in Maryland Four audit objectives covering certain aspects of the child welfare activities in Maryland Two basic areas: Two basic areas: Reliability of staffing & performance data Reliability of staffing & performance data Delivery of services in accordance with State law Delivery of services in accordance with State law

4 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 4Presentation to NSAA Objectives - Reliability of Data Foster Care Staffing Report for entire State Foster Care Staffing Report for entire State Court-mandated performance report of foster care in Baltimore City Court-mandated performance report of foster care in Baltimore City

5 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 5Presentation to NSAA Objectives - Service Delivery Investigations of reported child abuse and neglect (Child Protective Services) Investigations of reported child abuse and neglect (Child Protective Services) State monitoring of foster care children State monitoring of foster care children - Assignment of cases - Regular contact

6 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 6Presentation to NSAA Data Reliability Agency reported full staffing of caseworkers – but…. Were the CWLA standards correctly applied? Were the staffing data reliable? Were all counted positions performing foster care services?

7 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 7Presentation to NSAA Data Reliability February 2005 Staffing Statistics Required Number - CWLA Standards Case- workers Supervisors Agency1, Auditor1, Difference (under) (130)(26)

8 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 8Presentation to NSAA Governors Press Release – 2/06 Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today announced … a package of initiatives to continue the Administrations efforts to strengthen Maryland families and protect the states most vulnerable children. …including the addition of 130 child welfare caseworkers throughout Maryland.

9 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 9Presentation to NSAA Data Reliability Court-ordered performance data for Baltimore City Selected 20 of 146 measures, such as visitations, health care & school placement. Tested supporting data for reliability

10 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 10Presentation to NSAA Data Reliability ReliableUnreliable New Cases 55 Continuing Cases 36 No support for one measure Another (timely transfer of cases) was never reported

11 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 11Presentation to NSAA Child Protective Services (CPS) Specialized social service for children who are believed to be abused or neglected FY 05 CPS Investigations Monthly Averages Anne Arundel247 Baltimore City543 Prince Georges287 Other (21)1,548 State Total2,625

12 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 12Presentation to NSAA CPS – Investigative Decisions Questionable Determination – Auditors question the decision not to open a formal investigation Cases Tested Questionable Determination No Approvals 90558

13 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 13Presentation to NSAA CPS – Timeliness of Investigations Seven cases closed without making required contact with the child or parent Cases Tested Initiated Untimely Completed Untimely

14 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 14Presentation to NSAA Foster Care Monitoring No automated process to track worker caseload assignments Case records frequently lacked evidence of monthly face-to-face meetings with children

15 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 15Presentation to NSAA Foster Care – Monthly Visits Cases Tested Cases Missing Monthly Visits Longest Period of No Visit Anne Arundel37163 months Baltimore City37105 months Prince Georges months Totals11154

16 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 16Presentation to NSAA Child Welfare Audit Impact Extensive media coverage Legislative hearing New legislation

17 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 17Presentation to NSAA Child Welfare Audit Impact State of Disarray Baltimore Sun Editorial – 1/11/06 …damning indictment of the [States] ability to properly monitor and protect the states most vulnerable children…

18 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 18Presentation to NSAA New Legislation – April 2006 Child Welfare Accountability Act of Mandate - Develop and implement a specified system of accountability to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of specified child welfare services

19 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 19Presentation to NSAA New Legislation – April 2006 Outcome-based measurement system - Safety - Permanence - Well-being Assessment of Casework Quality Methodology to Calculate Caseload Ratios

20 Office of Legislative Audits Department of Legislative Services 20Presentation to NSAA Questions? Audit report is available at:


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