California’s Child and Family Services Review

County Self-Assessment Cover Sheet

County:

SAN MATEO

Responsible County Child Welfare Agency:

Children and Family Services

Period of Assessment:

2007 – 2009

Period of Outcome Data:

July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008

Date Submitted:

 

County Contact Person for County Self-Assessment

Name & title:

Elaine Azzopardi, Human Services Manager

Address:

400 Harbor Blvd., Bldg B, Belmont, CA 94022

Phone:

(650)802-5142

Fax:

(650)592-3056

E-mail:

EAzzopardi@co.sanmateo.ca.us

CAPIT Liaison

Name & title:

Rebecca Arredondo, Human Services Manager

Address:

2500 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone:

(650)363-4482

Fax:

(650)364-5684

E-mail:

Rarredondo@co.sanmateo.ca.us

CBCAP Liaison

Name & title:

Rebecca Arredondo, Human Services Manager

Address:

2500 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone:

(650)363-4482

Fax:

(650)364-5684

E-mail:

RArredondo@co.sanmateo.ca.us

County PSSF Liaison

Name & title:

Rebecca Arredondo, Human Services Manager

Address:

2500 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone:

(650)363-4482

California’s Child and Family Services Review

County Self-Assessment Cover Sheet (continued)

Fax:

(650)364-5684

E-mail:

RArredondo@co.sanmateo.ca.us

Submitted by each agency for the children under its care

Submitted by:

County Child Welfare Agency Director (Lead Agency)

Name:

Gary Beasley

Signature:

 

Submitted by:

County Chief Probation Officer

Name:

Stuart Forrest

Signature:

 

In Collaboration with:

County & Community Partners

Name(s)

Signature

Board of Supervisors Designated Public Agency to Administer CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF Funds

Beverly Beasley Johnson

Human Services Agency Director

 

County Child Abuse Prevention Council

Jane Smithson, CCAT Representative

 

Parent Representative

Cindy Famero

 

As Applicable

Name(s)

California Youth Connection

Jane Smithson, CYC Representative

County Adoption Agency (or CDSS Adoptions District Office)

Pravin Patel, Human Services Manager

Local Tribes

 

Local Education Agency

 

Board of Supervisors (BOS) Approval

BOS Approval Date:

 

Name:

 

Signature:

 

A. CSA Coversheet………………………………………………………………………………………….

1

B. County Self-Assessment Composition…………………………………………………………………

4

C. Demographic Profile……………………………………………………………………………………..

9

1. Demographics of General Population………………………………………………………………

9

2. CWS Participation Rates……………………………………………………………………………

13

D. Public Agency Characteristics………………………………………………………………………….

15

1. Size and Structure of Agencies……………………………………………………………………..

15

a. County Operated Shelter…………………………………………………………………………

15

b. County Licensing………………………………………………………………………………….

15

c. County Adoptions………………………………………………………………………………….

16

2. County Government Structure………………………………………………………………………

16

a. Staffing Characteristics…………………………………………………………………………..

20

- Turnover Ratio…………………………………………………………………………………...

20

- Private Contractors……………………………………………………………………………...

21

- Worker Caseload Size by Program……………………………………………………………

22

- Disproportionality………………………………………………………………………………..

22

b. Bargaining Unit Issues……………………………………………………………………………

23

c. Financial/Material Resources…………………………………………………………………….

23

d. Political Jurisdictions……………………………………………………………………………...

24

E. Peer Quality Case Review Summary…………………………………………………………………..

28

F. Outcomes………………………………………………………………………………………………….

29

G. Systemic Factors…………………………………………………………………………………………

44

1. Relevant Management Information Systems (MIS)……………………………………………….

44

2. Case Review System…………………………………………………………………………………

45

    a. Court Structure/Relationship……………………………………………………………………..

45

    b. Process for Timely Notification of Hearings…………………………………………………….

49

    c. Process for Parent-Child-Youth Participation in Case Planning……………………………...

50

    d. General Case Planning and Review…………………………………………………………….

51

3. Foster/Adoptive Parent Licensing, Recruitment and Retention………………………………….

54

a. General Licensing, Recruitment, and Retention………………………………………………

54

b. Placement Resources…………………………………………………………………………..

56

4. Quality Assurance System…………………………………………………………………………..

57

    a. CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF……………………………………………………………………………..

57

b. Probation……………….…………………………………………………………………………..

57

c. Child Welfare………………………………………………………………………………………

58

5. Service Array………………………………………………………………………………………….

60

6. Staff/Provider Training………………………………………………………………………………..

66

7. Agency Collaborations……………………………………………………………………………….

68

8. Local Systemic Factors………………………………………………………………………………

72

H. Summary Assessment…………………………………………………………………………………..

74

1. System Strengths and Areas Needing Improvements……………………………………………

74

2. Strategies for the Future……………………………………………………………………………..

76

I. Attachments……………………………………………………………………………………………….

83

Strategic Plan

San Mateo County Human Services Agency (HSA) recently completed a strategic planning process which focused on the quality and responsiveness of its service delivery systems. This resulted in the 2008-2013 strategic plan, entitled Call to Action: A Culture of Excellence that Fosters Community Connections and Greater Well Being for All.

 

The strategic planning process involved the development of new vision, mission and values statements; the setting of strategic goals (including Child & Family Well-Being); and the identification of strategic change areas (including Child Safety, Permanency & Well-Being Outcomes). More than 100 stakeholders participated in nine community discussions, scheduled during evening hours to encourage attendance and located at sites within targeted communities. The Agency asked for and received an honest and constructive assessment from the community of the challenges that exist for San Mateo County residents who need to access our safety net of services. Feedback obtained from these discussions was used as the foundation for this County Self Assessment (CSA).

A CSA Steering Committee, which included the CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF Liaison who also sits on the Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) Oversight Committee, was convened to provide guidance, support and oversight to the Core CSA Workgroup, which was tasked with drafting the CSA. Feedback and recommendations from both the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan and the 2009 Peer Quality Case Review (PQCR) were incorporated, as were recommendations made by the Agency’s Data Analysis and Reporting Team (DART), based on ongoing analysis of Children and Family Services’ (CFS) performance against the California Child and Family Services Review (C-CFSR) measures. Additional stakeholder feedback was also solicited through the use of focus groups and interviews.

County Self-Assessment Steering Committee

NAME

JOB TITLE

AGENCY/DEPT

PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENT

 

Larry Silver

Manager

Juvenile Probation

Core requirement

 

Linda Simonsen

Manager

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Recovery

(Mental Health)

Core requirement

 

Toni Demarco

Manager

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Recovery

(Mental Health)

Core requirement

 

Elaine Azzopardi

Manager

Human Services Agency

Children & Family Services

Core requirement

 

Jane Smithson

Community stakeholder

Member and Former Co-Chair, Children’s Collaborative Action Team (CCAT) (child abuse prevention council)

May be consulted/ represented

 

Rebecca Arredondo

Manager

Human Services Agency Prevention/Early Intervention

CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF Liaison and member of CAPC Oversight Committee*

Core requirement

 

Core County Self- Assessment Workgroup

NAME

JOB TITLE

AGENCY/DEPT

PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENT

 

Larry Silver

Manager

Juvenile Probation

Core requirement

 

Anessa Farber

Management Analyst

Juvenile Probation

Core requirement

 

William Harven

Management Analyst

Human Services Agency Planning & Evaluation

No requirement

 

Barbara Joos

Management Analyst

Human Services Agency CFS

Core requirement

 

Marissa Saludes

Human Services Analyst

Human Services,

CFS

Core requirement

 

Lusette Okada

Human Services Supervisor

Human Services Agency Accreditation & Quality Improvement

No requirement

 

Additional

Contributors

NAME

JOB TITLE

AGENCY/DEPT

PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENT

 

Steve Kaplan

Director

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Recovery

Must be consulted/ represented

 

Eliseo

Amezcua

Supervisor

Behavioral Health and

Substance Abuse Recovery

Must be consulted/ represented

 

Judge Marta Diaz

Judge

California Juvenile Court

Must be consulted/ represented

 

Michael Otte

Sergeant

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

Must be consulted/ represented

 

Ron Harrison

Detective

Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Division Daly City Police Department

Must be consulted/ represented

 

Cindy Famero

Parent/

Consumer

 

Core requirement

*San Mateo County’s CAPC is the designated County Children’s Trust Fund Commission and

PSSF Collaborative.

Human Services Agency Strategic Plan (2008-2013)

PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLANNING PROCESS

Members of Community Advisory Group

Maya Altman, Health Plan of San Mateo

Susy Castoria, Commission on Disabilities

Joanna Caywood, Lucille Packard Foundation

Lilia Cruz-Garcia, Foster Youth

Beverly Dekker-Davidson, Human Services Agency

Falope Fatunmise, Edgewood San Mateo

Anne Hipskind, Cunha Intermediate School

Chip Huggins, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Jim Kenney, Veterans Services

Mavis Knox, East Palo Alto Resident

Sharon McAleavey, AFSCME

Cindy McCown, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Patricia Miljanich, San Mateo CASA

Allan Moltzen, Veterans Services

Pastor Larry Moody, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

Sylvia Nunez, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Chester Palesoo, Pacific Islander Community Center

Srija Srinivasan, San Mateo Health Department, San Mateo County Manager’s Office

Dr. Doughlas Styles, PsyD, Youth and Family Enrichment Services

Alejandro Vilchez, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Sharon Williams, Job Train

Community Partners and Their Staff

One East Palo Alto:

Dr. Faye C. McNair-Knox

Jacqueline Greely

Kava Tulua

Julio Garcia

Ysedra Mustiful

Jeanne Tatum

N. Tito

Sharifa Wilson, College Track

Clients and other Stakeholders in East Palo Alto

Puente de la Costa Sur:

Kerry Lobel

Rita Mancera

Lorena V. de Mendez

Belinda Arriaga

Veronica Ortega

July Ugas

Isamael Flores

Clients and other Stakeholders in La Honda and Pescadero

North Peninsula Neighborhood Services Center:

Yvonne Fields

Jennifer Chancay

Angela Bernal-Silva

Karla Molina

Angela Picado

Stella Miranda

Martina Wilson

Zenaida Monteanos

Clients and other Stakeholders in South San Francisco

Human Services Agency Directors, Managers and Staff

Rex Andrea, Shelter Services

Elaine Azzopardi, child Welfare Services

Pali Basi, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Gary Beasley, Children and Family Services

Beverly Beasley Johnson, Agency Director

Ellen Bucci, Children and Family Services

Jackie Coombs, Quality Assurance

Elsa Dawson, Economic Self Sufficiency

Bill Dean, Human Resources Development

Roberta Deis, Southern Region

Beverly Dekker-Davidson, Adolescent Services

April Dunham, Domestic Violence Program

Lenita Ellis, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Patrick Enriquez, Business Systems Group

David Erickson, Human Resources Development

Sharif Etman, Financial Services

Sue Ferren, Children and Family Services

Betty Fisher, Graphics and Publications

Marnita Garcia-Fulle, Financial Services

Wendy Goldberg, Center on Homelessness

Sofia Gomez, Financial Services

Lorena Gonzalez, Health Insurance TeleCenter

Dr. Alexis Halley, Planning and WEvaluation

Nicole Hamilton, Planning and Evaluation

William Harven, Planning and Evaluation

Linda Holman, Integrated Services

Ann Johnson, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Ann Jones, Peninsula Works

Barb Joos, Children and Family Services

John Joy, Program Support

Amy Kaiser, Business Systems Group

Amanda Kim, Accreditation and Quality Improvement

Marissa King, Human Resources Development

Eduardo Kiryczun, Health Insurance TeleCenter

Jerry Lindner, Children and Family Services

Patty Lockman, Administrative Services

Jennie Hwang Loft, Public Information Officer

George Lumm, Fiscal Services

Bobbi MacLean, Administrative Services, Fair Hearings

Robert Manchia, Financial Services

Karyn McElroy, Receiving Home

John Meermans, Financial Services

Jessica Morales, Prevention/Early Intervention

Darla Munson, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Susan Naylor, Southern Region

Carmen O’Keefe, Vocational Rehabilitatimon Services

Pravin Patel, Children and Family Services

Stephanie Perrier, Office of the Agency Director

Carolyn Rogers, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Clarisa Simon-Soriano, Business Systems Group

Mark Skubik, Financial Services

Fred Slone, Workforce Development (WIA)

Renee Smylie, Children and Family Services

Shannon Speak, Economic Self-Sufficiency

Desi Tafoya, Accreditation and Quality Improvement

Al Teglia, Children’s Fund

Jenell Thompson, Human Resources Development

Deborah Torres, Prevention/Early Intervention

Selina Toy-Lee, Accreditation and Quality Improvement

Carine Verdusco, Program Support

Michael Volis, Peninsula Works

Shannon Werner, Administrative Services, Facilities

Donna Wocher, Human Resources Development

Maggie Wong, Financial Services

Art Yoshihara, Financial Services

Keith Young, Workforce Development (WIA)

1. Demographics

of General Population1

San Mateo County

California

Population

    Total population, 2008

739,469

38,049,464

    Total child population, 2008 projection

163,565

10,003,896

Age (Child population in 2008)

    0-2 years

17.1%

16.3%

    3-5 years

17.7%

16.4%

    6-10 years

27.9%

26.5%

    11-13 years

15.5%

16.8%

    14-17 years

21.7%

24.1%

Ethnicity (Child population by ethnicity in 2008)

    African American

2.9%

5.9%

    Asian

21.5%

9.7%

    Caucasian

34%

31%

    Hispanic

33.5%

48.9%

    Native American

.2%

.5%

    Pacific Islander

1.9%

.4%

    Multiracial

6.1%

3.7%

Tribes

Total number of tribes that have Federal

Recognition

0

1082

Housing

    First Time Buyer Housing Affordability Index, 2008 (average quarterly percentage of households that can afford to purchase an entry-level home)

28%

51%

    First Time Buyer Housing Affordability Index, 2004

31%

37%

    Median price of homes, 2007

$935,000

488,6403

Median price of homes, 2004

$755,000

$450,9904

Households and Household Income

    Median Household Income, 2007

$82,913

$59,928

    Median Household Income, 2003

$69,219

$50,220

    Households with and without children, 2007

    Households with children

34.6%

38.2%

    Households without children

65.4%

61.8%

    Households with Children, by Type of Household, 2007

    Married couple with children

77.6%

68.2%

    Single father with children

6.6%

8.5%

    Single mother with children

14.8%

22.5%

Children in child care waiting list (SMC data

as of 6/09, CA data for 2008)

3,854

204,0635

Poverty and Economic Indicators

    Children in Poverty, ages 0-17, 2006

8.8%

18.1%

    Children in Poverty by Ethnicity, 2006

    African American

32.1%

27.8%

    Asian

4.5%

10.8%

    Caucasian

3.8%

8.2%

    Hispanic

17.4%

24.6%

Unemployment, 2008

4.7%

7.2%

Unemployment, 2004

4.9%

6.2%

Free/Reduced Cost School Meals, 2008

32.9%

50.9%

Free/Reduced Cost School Meals, 2004

29.5%

49%

CalWORKs

    CalWORKs cases per 1,000 persons, 2008

4.97

Not available

    CalWORKs cases per 1,000 persons, 2007

4.84

Not available

    CalWORKs cases per 1,000 persons, 2006

5.22

Not available

Prenatal Care (Infants whose mothers received prenatal care in the first trimester), 2004

89.8%

85.6%

Health Insurance (children 0-17)

Employment Based Insurance, 2007

77.8%

56.2%

    Medi-Cal/Healthy Families, 2007

13%

32.6%

    Uninsured

LNE

5.7%

    Privately Purchased

7.7%

4.5%

Dental Care (% of children with dental

insurance)

    Has dental insurance, 2005

76.9%

73.1%

    Does not have dental insurance, 2005

LNE

26.9%

    Has dental insurance, 2003

84.7%

82.3%

    Does not have dental insurance, 2003

15.3%

17.7%

Juvenile Felony Drug and Alcohol Arrest Rate per 1,000, 2007

1.1

1.2

Infants Born at Low Birth weight, 2007

7.0%

6.9%

Children with All Required Immunizations, 2007

82.3%

75.7%

Number of births per 1,000 young women ages 15-19, 2007

21.8

37.1

Education System Profile

San Mateo County public school system is made up of 110 elementary, 31 middle and 30 high schools. Six continuation schools, mostly high school level, serve students with alternative approaches to better meet their needs. Total system enrollment is 88,974 students, and has experienced a 1% growth since 2006.6 Average class size is 24.8 which falls under the state average class size of 25.2. 7

The socio-economic make up of students mirrors the diversity of the general population.

The trend in ethnic composition has changed over the last decade. The percentage of Caucasian students has declined, whereas Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander (PI) students make up larger proportions of the population. 8

Nearly one quarter of students are English language learners. The trend for the past 10 years demonstrates modest growth in comparison to the rate of enrollment.

97-98

02-03

07-08

10 -Year Trend

Total Enrollment

92,763

88,991

88,974

-4.1%

Spanish speaking

15.8%

17.9%

17.6%

1.8%

Tagalog speaking

1.0%

0.9%

1.7%

0.7%

All Other

4.7%

4.7%

4.4%

-0.3%

Total English Learners

21.5%

23.5%

23.7%

2.2%

Although San Mateo County has a median income of $83,109 in 2008, the growth of poverty is evidenced by the increased participation in reduced price/free school lunch program. The rate of growth in the lunch programs surpasses the overall growth rate in California. In 2008, participation in San Mateo County was 32.9%. 9

Pre-school Enrollment

San Mateo County enrolls 68% of its 3- and 4-year olds in preschool, although the number of publicly subsidized slots has not kept up with the number of low-income preschool aged children. The last comprehensive analysis conducted in 2006 indicated that 4,895 students were eligible, but only 3,264 slots were available. 10

Special Education Classes

Of all children enrolled in San Mateo County schools, 9,422 students ages 5-18 received instruction through special education. The three most prevalent categories of disability were Specific Learning Disability (41%), Speech or Language Impairment (35%), and Autism (10%). 11

Academic Performance

in Federal Guidelines (Adequate Yearly Progress)

Among all schools, 58% met their Adequate Yearly Progress for 2007-08, which includes proficiency criteria for English/Language Arts and Math. Twenty-eight schools remain in Program Improvement (PI) while three schools have exited PI.

English language proficiency varies by ethnic subgroup, which also underscores the weak results by English learners. School performance on English-Language Arts and Math testing remains very high across all grade levels, however.12 13

English/Language Arts

Math

Asian

76%

74%

Caucasian

74%

64%

Filipino

55%

50%

African American

33%

26%

Hispanic/ Latino

32%

32%

Pacific Islander

31%

31%

English/Language Arts

Math

Elementary

88.2%

95.5%

Intermediate

87.1%

83.9%

High School

94.4%

94.4%

Graduation Rates

Longitudinal student-level data was incorporated into the graduation rate calculation in 2007, and the new data reveals higher numbers of drop outs before High School graduation. Transfers were often not tracked to enrollment in another public school, which gave the appearance that completion of studies had occurred. Until a full four years of data is collected, a baseline for graduation and drop out rates is not available and should not be compared to previous years.14 15

Graduation Rate

2007

2008

California

80.6%

79.7%

San Mateo County

87.6%

89.7%

Drop Out Rate by Ethnicity in 2007

San Mateo County

4.5%

African American

11.5%

Asian

1.6%

Filipino

2.7%

Hispanic / Latino

6.8%

Pacific Islander

7.1%

Caucasian

3.0%

2. CWS Participation Rates

County Data Report

    County Data Report: California Child Welfare Services Outcome & Accountability County Data Report San Mateo County (January – December 2007)

    Child Welfare Services Participation Rates

    This section provides data on the number of children, and number per 1,000 children in the county/state, for key child welfare indicators. It is intended as background information and was developed by the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).

    (1) Number of children less than age 18 in population

Population projections

Number of children less than 18 in population

2008

163,565

2004

163,465

    (2) Number and rate of children with referrals

Unduplicated count of child clients less than age 18 in referrals, per 1,000 children less than age 18 in population.

Number and rate of children with referrals

2008

4,438

27.1

2004

4,218

25.8

    (3) Number and rate of children with substantiated referrals

Unduplicated count of child clients less than age 18 in referrals in 2007 that had substantiated allegations, per 1,000 children less than age 18 in population.

Number and rate of children with substantiated referrals

2008

560

3.4

2004

749

4.6

    (4) Number and rate of first entries

Unduplicated count of children less than age 18 entering child welfare supervised placement episode, see UCB definition.

Number and rate of first entries

2008

118

0.7

2004

197

1.2

    (5) Number and rate of children in care

Number of children less than age 19 in child welfare supervised foster care, per 1,000 children less than age 19 in population.

Number and rate of children in care

July 1, 2008

389

2.4

July 1, 2004

463

2.8

There were 100 fewer children in SMC in 2008 compared to 2004. Asian/PI and Hispanic populations went up by 8% and 4%, respectively. African American’s representation went down by 6% and Caucasian’s representation decreased by 7%. Referrals increased by 5% and referral incidence per 1,000 followed the same pattern as child population, decreasing for African American and Caucasian children and increasing for Asian/PI and Hispanic children. Substantiations in 2008 were down by 25% from 2004 and substantiation incidence per 1,000 was down for all ethnicities. Entries were down by 38% and entry incidence per 1,000 went down for all ethnicities, except Asian/PI which remained unchanged. First Entry decreased by 40% in the four years, decreasing for all ethnicities except Asian/PI which remained the same. The In Care rate decreased by 16.0%, with the rate dropping for all ethnicities.

 

1. Size and Structure of Agencies

a. County

Operated

Shelter

Children and Family Services (CFS) provides emergency shelter care services to children who are removed from their home by the Agency due to abuse or neglect. Emergency shelter services are provided from a centralized unit located at a new, state-of-the-art Children’s Receiving Home which opened in March 2009.

A 12-bed, State licensed facility, the Receiving Home houses adolescents aged 12-18 for whom no emergency foster/shelter home can be identified. The Receiving Home has multi-disciplinary 24/7 staff that provide for the emergency needs of the youth, in close concert with the social worker. The average length of stay is 35 days. The Receiving Home is designed to provide:

    A warm homelike setting for children 12-18 years of age, for whom no emergency foster home is available

    Appropriate physical, mental health, social, emotional and psychiatric examinations and treatment

    A safe environment

    Attention to academic needs

    An opportunity to participate in appropriate vocational, educational, social and cultural activities

All youth that come into the Receiving Home receive a mental health assessment, provided crisis counseling, and when needed, psychiatric services by clinical staff from Behavioral health and Recovery Services (BHRS), and are seen within 2-3 days (unless there is a more specific need, in which case youth are seen more quickly by a physician, public health nurse, and/or crisis counselor). Referral and follow-up are provided for dental, orthodontic and optometry services, and youth may receive educational tutoring, school enrollment assistance or special education referrals.

The facility contains a well-stocked library, and participation in cultural activities is fostered. There is also an onsite game room and fitness center, and recreational sports and fitness activities are planned and/or encouraged. Youth may attend religious services of their choice. The Receiving Home is ADA accessible.

b. County

Licensing

HSA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to operate as a foster care licensing agency. During FY07/08, San Mateo County provided support to 121 licensed foster homes. In addition, HSA is a licensed foster family agency, providing foster care for 15 to 20 children in therapeutic foster homes.

The CFS Home Finding Unit conducts a variety of recruitment, training, foster care licensing, adoptive home study, and placement support services. Seven social work staff, one supervisor and one program manager are assigned to the unit. Four social workers are primarily responsible for completing foster home licensing and adoptive home study activities. The other three social workers provide the following specialized functions:

    Relative Assessment Workers - complete a process similar to foster home licensing for prospective relative and unrelated caregivers

    Recruitment Specialist - coordinates a wide variety of community focused media campaigns and conducts informational meetings and orientation training for prospective licensees and adoptive families throughout the County; coordinates the Resource Parent Training program

c. County

Adoptions

The San Mateo County (SMC) State Licensed Adoptions Program is an accredited program dedicated to the protection and welfare of children. The fost-adopt program is based on the practice of concurrent planning, parallel case management and teamwork.

Adoptions staff work to facilitate a healthy transition and adjustment and to maintain support services and supervision for each child until his or her adoption becomes finalized. To be eligible for Adoptions services, the child or family must reside in San Mateo County. The child must be newborn to 18 years old and alleged to be the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and have been voluntarily relinquished or have been made a dependent of the court. The Adoptions Program is funded through Federal, State and County funding allocations.

Pre-adoption services include:

    Counseling services for voluntarily relinquishing parents

    Emergency shelter foster care for abandoned or relinquished children

    Search for and placement of children in fost-adopt homes

    Counseling, medical, behavioral, cultural and other needed services for children during the permanency process

    Referrals for home studies

    Adoptability assessments

    Compilation of natural parent study

    Prospective fost-adopt family training and other support services (mentoring program, monthly Foster Parent Association meetings, bi-monthly Adoptions Support and Education Group meetings, ongoing education, recognition events, information and referral)

Adoptions Program social workers team with many community agencies in providing services to children, biological families and adoptive families. Some of these agencies are: the SMC Health Department, BHRS, hospitals, law enforcement, County Counsel and the Courts, the Bay Area Special Adoptions Program, California Kids Connection and Help One Child.

Post adoption services include:

    General counseling about program services

    Release of non-identifying information

    Exchanges between birth and adoptive families or adoptee

    Assistance with contacts between adoptee and birth family, including counseling

    Information on birth siblings in accordance with regulations

    Financial assistance

    Assistance in placing adoptee in residential care

    Referrals to other agencies for additional services

    Monthly support group and monthly education group

 

2. County Government Structure

 

San Mateo County is an ethnically diverse community located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Geographically, the County covers 531 square miles and includes urban centers, isolated rural communities, coastal ranges and 54 miles of coastline. The County’s 2009-2010 $1.73 billion budget helps provide social services, health care, law enforcement, environmental protection, and a host of other public services. The County government is made up of 5,860 employees.

The Human Services Agency (HSA) and the Juvenile Probation Department are two of approximately 17 departments in the County government structure. The departments are governed by directors appointed by the County Manager. The County Manager is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and is responsible for the proper and efficient administration of the County government.

According to a 2006 San Mateo County Organizational Review, the County government has “developed a culture of collaboration and innovation that enables it to excel even during budget reductions and increasing demands. This did not occur by happenstance; it is a culture that has been fostered by the Board of Supervisors, County Manager, and senior management team16.” The County continually evaluates its departments and functions to enhance a culture of excellence and to be more effective, efficient, innovative and streamlined.

HSA

SMC HSA provides integrated services to an estimated 100,000 clients annually, through CFS, Employment and Financial Assistance, Housing, and Health Insurance Assistance. Regional offices are located in the Southern, Central and Northern regions of the County. Regional Directors are responsible for the operational management of offices within their regions and also maintain program area responsibility.

An integrated service model allows clients served by CFS greater access to services that support family self-sufficiency and stability. Additionally, regional offices provide services that address the specific needs of the community in which they are located, including operation of Family Self-Sufficiency Teams (FSST), multidisciplinary teams that provide a coordinated case management approach for families being served by CFS, CalWORKs, or both.

Juvenile Probation

While there are several units in the SMC Juvenile Probation Division that perform functions in the CFS program area, the majority are performed by the Placement Unit, which is comprised of one Probation Services Manager, six Deputy Probation Officers and one Legal Office Specialist. Clinical case management services for these youth are provided by a PSW (Psychiatric Social Worker)/MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) and a Mental Health Worker from BHRS.

The Probation Department’s Placement Unit assesses the individual needs of each youth ordered into out-of-home placement by the Juvenile Court. Based on the treatment needs, the unit identifies a placement that will provide appropriate treatment and supervision. On average, the unit manages approximately 70 cases at any given time in various stages of placement. These stages include pre-placement, placement and aftercare.

State standards are used to determine approval of all placements. Placement unit standards also adhere to Federal Title IV-E regulations.

 

Juvenile Probation Org Chart

 

a. Staffing Characteristics

The total number of CFS staff positions is 225, of which 117 are social worker positions. Currently, 203 of the 225 positions are filled, of which 104 are Social Worker II/III positions. Of the 104 filled social worker positions, 58% are case carrying staff. The remaining 42% are non-case carrying staff. Non-case carrying staff includes screeners, post adoption workers, court officers, receiving home staff, Team Decision Making (TDM) facilitators, home finding workers and several other individual staff with unique functions.

The breakout by program component is as follows:

SOCIAL WORKER STAFFING

By Program Component

Case Carrying Staff

Non-Case Carrying Staff

TOTAL

Emergency Response

Intake

31

Investigations

8

Continuing

FM/FR/PP<14

16

Adolescent Services

PP> 14

5.5

TOTAL

60.5

43.5

104

CFS has historically been generously staffed using a combination of State allocation and County general fund dollars, which has supported more staff than is justified using either the State or the SB 2030 minimum/maximum caseload standards. However, changes in the economy due to the economic crisis will not allow for continued staffing at the same level. Six vacant line social worker positions remain unfilled, as do seven trainee positions, and there are no plans at the current time to fill these existing vacancies.

Turnover Ratio

During calendar year 2008, 26 permanent staff ended their employment with San Mateo County CFS. Of these terminations, 42% were due to retirement. The breakdown by job classification is:

 

Job Class

#

Terminations

# of Terminations

Due to Retirement

Children & Family Services Director

1

-

Human Services Manager II

1

1

Human Services Manager I

2

1

Management Analyst

1

1

Social Work Supervisor

3

3

Social Worker

11

4

Transportation Officer

1

-

Shelter Care Counselor I

1

-

Community Worker II

2

-

Office Specialist

1

1

Office Assistant II

2

1

 

The overall turnover rate for permanent positions in CFS for 2008 was 12%. Excluding retirements, the ratio was 7%.

The San Francisco Bay Area is nationally renowned for its high cost of living, which may have a negative impact on staff recruitment and retention. The median home price within San Mateo County, prior to the current economic downturn, averaged over $700,000.

Retaining qualified staff is a high priority. Examples of County strategies developed to promote staff retention include:

    Employee Development Programs

    Alternative Work Hours

    County Child Care Center

    Elder Care Assistance

    Employee Assistance Program

    Voluntary Time Off Program

    Deferred Compensation

    Dependent Care Program

    Health Care Flexible Spending Account

Private Contractors

CFS contracts with providers to ensure that services are available and accessible to children and families in their own communities. Contracts are developed with the intent of supporting the System Improvement Plan (SIP) priorities of Safety, Permanence and Well-Being, and are tracked by a CFS Contracts Analyst according to the SIP area with which they are aligned.

SIP Priority Area

Contract Type

#

of Contracts

Contract(s)

Amount

Safety

Differential Response

3

$4,307,136.00

Mandated Reporter Training

1

$30,000.00

Medical Evaluations

1

$90,000.00

Shaken Baby Campaign

1

$9,000.00

Sex Offender Treatment

2

$50,000.00

Visitation and Interpretive Services

1

$477,405.00

Safety/

Permanence

Psychiatric Evaluations

17

$823,500.00

Social Worker Training

3

$924,498.00

Foster Parent Education & Support

7

$155,848.00

Interpretive Services

1

$10,000.00

Wellbeing

Adolescent Services

4

$591,717.00

Administrative

Facilitation/ Consultation/IT Support

3

$92,997.00

Total Amount

$11,001,572.00

Worker Caseload by Service Program

The table below shows average caseload sizes compared to State and SB 2030 standards for

the period 09/01/07 – 10/31/07:

# of Cases/ Referrals

 (Average

Per month)

# of

FTE

 

Actual

Caseload

Per worker

 

Standard

 HSA

 2030 Minimum

 2030

Optimum

 State

Intake

Referrals/

ER

169.1

26

6.50

13

13.03

9.88

15.8

Voluntary

49.5

5

9.90

25

no standard

no std

no std

Investigations

38.14

8

4.77

6

no standard

no std

no std

Continuing Cases

FM/FR/PP

( PP<14)

306.35

16

19.15

25

FM - 14.18 FR - 15.58 PP - 23.69

FM -10.15 FR - 11.94 PP - 16.42

FM - 34.97 FR - 27.0 PP - 54.0

Adolescent Services Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perm Placement (>14)

124.71

5.5

22.67

25

23.69

16.42

54

 

The grid below shows the number of children in care using point in time data in San Mateo County over the past ten years:

 
 

As of July 1st :

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

547

509

517

479

448

487

463

442

461

443

388

 

Needell, B., Webster, D., Armijo, M., Lee, S., Dawson, W., Magruder, J., Exel, M., Glasser, T., Williams, D., Zimmerman, K., Simon, V., Putnam-Hornstein, E., Frerer, K., Cuccaro-Alamin, S., Winn, A., Lou, C., Peng, C. & Holmes, A. (2009). Child Welfare Services Reports for California. Retrieved 7/13/2009, from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Services Research website. URL: <http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare>

Disproportionality

Although African American children make up less than 3% of the total County child population, approximately 30% of children in care are African American. African American children are overrepresented beginning at the point of referral and continuing through substantiation, entry, and out-of-home care. Approximately 30% of the County’s African American children live in poverty.

The disproportionality that exists for this ethnicity is also apparent in San Mateo County’s performance against the AB636 standards. Over a ten year period, compared to other ethnicities, African American children experienced “the worst outcomes in 13 of the 17 measures with federal standards, such as the highest recurrence of maltreatment rate, lowest reunification rate, longest median time to reunification, highest re-entry rate, lowest adoption rates, and lowest permanency rates.”17

San Mateo County is one of twelve counties participating in the California Disproportionality Project. County leaders, in concert with our Agency, have sent a strong message to employees regarding the importance of addressing this issue, and multiple efforts are currently underway to promote equity for children of color.

b. Bargaining

Unit

Issues

CFS social workers and supervisors are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). In order to foster open communication between AFSCME and Management, monthly Labor/Management meetings are held. In these meetings, staff members and/or union representatives have the opportunity to raise issues and express concerns directly to CFS Managers. This forum allows for open discussion to take place and expedites Management’s ability to address issues.

Relationship Between Social Workers and the Court

Please see G. Systemic Factors, 2. Case Review System, a. Court Structure/Relationship.

Hours and Pay

Another issue currently being considered is that of on-call pay. There appears to be some inconsistency in the way staff and supervisors claim hours worked while on call. Management is in the process of reviewing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) related to this issue and will ensure that staff is informed of the correct procedures.

Weekend/Evening Hours

The provision of adequate staffing during evening and weekend hours is an ongoing issue.

c. Financial/

Material

Resources

 

HSA/CFS

CFS is funded by a wide variety of allocations and revenue streams. These include the allocations for Adoptions; AFDC Foster Care; CalWORKs; Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment (CAPIT); Child Welfare Services; Foster Home Recruitment and Licensing; Independent Living Skills Program; Kinship Support Services; Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF); Realignment; Targeted Case Management; Work Force Investment Act and Wrap Around Services (SB163).

In addition to the required County match in the CFS program, San Mateo County makes a significant contribution of County funds. These County funds are used to the fullest extent possible to draw down Federal Title IV-E funds. The Agency secures grants that include funds from First Five San Mateo. Also, the Agency operates its own Foster Family Agency that funds the provision of enhanced services to a limited number of children. Partnership agreements with some city and school districts help to fund prevention and early intervention services provided by community-based Family Resource Centers.

While the Agency, in collaboration with its partners, has developed a weave of funding sources to support an extensive network of collaborative and integrated services, two specific financial issues negatively impact funding and the agency’s ability to achieve positive outcomes for children. First, traditional federal and state funding sources may only be used in a very limited way for the provision of prevention and early intervention services. Secondly, many allocations do not account for the differing cost of doing business between counties. Such allocations distribute a statewide budget appropriation as if a dollar of allocation would buy the same amount of services in each county, when in a high cost of living county like San Mateo each dollar purchases considerably less.

In addition to CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF, SMC blends the Children’s Trust Fund and Kid’s Plate revenue to fund prevention/early intervention services. These funds promote safety and stability with services that range from information and referral to counseling. CCAT also seeks other funding opportunities and collaborations to fund special projects. One example was the successful Shaken Baby Syndrome campaign in partnership with the Lucille Packard Foundation, Health Department, Fatherhood Collaborative, and HSA. CCAT received financial and staff support from the collaborative partners. CCAT distributed thousands of marketing and educational materials such as ‘onesies’, bilingual flyers and magnets to hospitals and various agencies. CCAT has also partnered with HSA in providing Mandated Reporter Training to child care providers, teachers, law enforcement, etc. CCAT is also a member of Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Council which pays for training on child abuse that CCAT members are interested in attending.

Juvenile

Probation

The Juvenile Probation Department receives general funds to support the Placement Unit. Although the procedures of that unit are governed by Division 31, Juvenile Probation does not receive the same level of reimbursement for services, such as family reunification and family maintenance when other agencies are reimbursed for like services. Lack of reimbursements for service funded activities under Division 31-315.4 results in an inability to meet certain goals, such as regular parental facility visits. When a child leaves the welfare arena and enters the juvenile justice system, welfare services are reduced or eliminated. During the last fiscal year, there were approximately 100 youth under the supervision of the Probation Placement Unit, which includes Aftercare, while they transition back to the family home.

Human Services Agency/ CFS

Challenges

The non profit organizations are suffering and the services are decreasing. HSA is losing partnerships and collaborations in the community because of the economy and, in turn, families and children suffer. The current economy also impacts the availability of services and resources and the number of families able to be served by the current system.

d. Political

Jurisdictions

 

School

Districts/

Local

Education

Agencies

HSA/CFS

HSA has developed strong partnerships with several school districts in San Mateo County, for example:

    Family Development Credential – This interagency collaboration between HSA, the Community College Foundation and the College of San Mateo helps staff gain the skills and competencies needed to assist families in identifying and reaching their goals. The program operates from a strengths-based model, moving away from crisis-oriented and fragmented services toward empowerment and family support.

    Family Resource Centers (FRC) – FRCs are HSA-supported partnerships with several school districts, County and City governments, and local non-profit agencies and foundations. These school-based centers offer a range of prevention and early intervention social services at multiple school and community sites. The primary goal of these centers is to increase parent involvement in their children’s education, with the objectives of improving the health, safety, academic, social and emotional success of children.

    HSA has a MOU with Canada College to co-teach the 14-week parenting class for birth parents based on the Strengthening Families Program (SFP). Canada provides two early childhood instructors while CFS provides social workers and family care workers as co-instructors. The parenting classes are provided in the evening at a church and at HSA sites in the different regional areas of the County, in order to make the classes more accessible to families.

Juvenile Probation Department

Probation has identified continued issues regarding placement youth with special educational needs where appropriate designation has not been assigned by the school district prior to placement.

Law Enforcement Agencies

HSA signs MOU’s with SMC’s law enforcement agencies, including local police departments and the County Coroner. The MOU’s outline jurisdiction, proper investigation protocols, reporting procedures and documentation, and information sharing. The MOU’s outline general duties and responsibilities such as:

Maintaining a 24-hour social service response system that includes Law Enforcement’s evaluation of reported abuse and department appropriate actions;

24-hour emergency services that provide protection to children; and

Assistance on potentially dangerous situations.

The Agency also has a Drug Endangered Children MOU/Protocol with law enforcement. This MOU defines the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement, CFS, medical personnel and the District Attorney’s Office in working together to establish and maintain response teams to improve San Mateo County’s response to drug endangered children.

CFS and Juvenile Probation have a current 241.1 W.I.C. protocol and have conducted joint training regarding the management of these in-common cases. The protocol addresses time frames, social worker and probation officer responsibilities, investigative and court reports, case management for dual status minors, out of county cases, Joint Planning Meetings and Joint Planning Reports, report distribution, notices of hearings, pre-trial conferences and the Joint Planning and Review Committee (JPRC).

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Challenges

Challenges that law enforcement currently faces due to budget cuts could have an impact on CFS. In some cases, police officers who were assigned to schools have gone back on patrol, and community outreach and diversion programs have been significantly cut. Another factor that could impact the number and complexity of CPS cases is the possibility of releasing prisoners who were jailed for drug abuse, alcohol abuse and low level domestic violence (DV). These are social factors that can contribute to occurrences of child abuse and neglect.

In terms of level of awareness about HSA and community-provided services, law enforcement’s knowledge is limited to basic services such as food and shelter and DV services.

Areas of

Improvement

The level of collaboration varies from one area of the County to another. In one area of North County where CFS and police department have developed a collaborative relationship, police officers have a better understanding of what CFS does and value what social workers do for the family and the community. In a South County area where law enforcement does not work as often and as closely with CFS, there is no clarity about the social workers’ role or when to involve CFS. There is a perception that social workers take over a case as opposed to working in partnership with the police officers. Some police officers were not aware of the Child Abuse Hotline.

CFS also needs to respect and understand the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement. This understanding will prevent social workers from ‘crossing the line’ and interfering with potential criminal investigations.

Recommendations

Greater collaboration between CFS and law enforcement will benefit families and the community. Given the difference in the level of collaboration between CFS and the two police departments, outreach and communication are clearly needed. CFS needs to assess its relationship with each police department and determine a way to bridge the information gap and form partnerships. One way to do this is to conduct Mandated Reporter Training (MRT) to educate police officers on how child abuse is defined and when to file a report. One suggestion provided was to include MRT with an existing police department training rather than conducting a separate training. Another suggestion was for CFS to provide tools such as a list of managers’ phone numbers for emergencies, visuals such as a wallet sized laminated hand-out with the hotline phone number, a quick guide on when to call CFS, and a list of expectations, which they can have with them when they are in the field.

Tribes

CFS follows detailed procedures in order to assure the safety, stability and security of Native American children and families. The specific standards that must be met before a Native American child may be removed from his or her family or placed in an adoptive or foster care placement are clearly outlined in the Agency’s Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) policy. SMC’s Native American population is very small at approximately .17% of the total population.

Staff is instructed to inform the supervisor if they have identified a case where ICWA may or does apply. The supervisor then informs the program manager and the designated ICWA representative. All staff is trained on related policy and the designated representative acts as the subject matter expert.

The Agency policy clearly defines terms and emphasizes the need to consider the prevailing social and cultural conditions and way of life of the child’s tribe. Duty to inquire at screening, intake and ongoing is outlined, and forms are explained. Documentation requirements are listed as are noticing requirements, including who must be noticed, how often notice must be given, and procedures for noticing. A section on case planning discusses active efforts in providing services designed to prevent the breakup of Native American families.

Probation is currently planning division-wide training on ICWA-related policies and casework.

Cities

Peninsula Partnership

HSA collaborates with SMC’s cities through the Peninsula Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. The Partnership is a public/private interdisciplinary effort designed to improve the well-being of young children from birth to age eight. It is prevention focused with an emphasis on preparing children for kindergarten, insuring that children are academically successful by third grade, and building the capacity of local communities to meet the needs of vulnerable children and their families. The collaborative work of the Partnership primarily targets low-income children, children who are English language learners, children without a preschool experience, and families who may be at-risk for child abuse and neglect. In addition to representatives from education, health, community based organizations, and the County Board of Supervisors, the Council includes representatives from HSA, Juvenile Probation, the San Mateo County Council of Cities, and the City Managers Association.

Redwood City 2020

Redwood City 2020 (RWC 2020) is a community partnership, designed to support the success of youth and families and to engage and strengthen the community. This collaboration is comprised of the City of Redwood City, the Redwood City Elementary School District, the Sequoia Union High School District, San Mateo County, Stanford University / John W. Gardner Center, Wells Fargo Bank, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and Kaiser Permanente.

The RWC 2020 partnership has established a network of schools co-located with FRCs. Services expand and broaden the school day with social, emotional and educational resources for youth. Family services include adult education, health screening, benefits determination, and leadership and community organization. As youth transition to high school, RWC 2020 provides early intervention and crisis management of medical services through the Teen Resource Center.

The RWC 2020 partnership contributes to improved outcomes for children and families by co-locating services in their school communities, allowing easy access and therefore yielding greater participation and response to service needs. The partnership is a recognized best practice of neighborhood services in that this method of service integration is generally culturally sensitive to the community and better able to respond to the needs of the individual and the family.

Daly City Collaborative

The Daly City Collaborative was formed in 1995 to promote joint efforts in the provision of health, education and social services to the Daly City community. Representatives from over 60 agencies, businesses and institutions meet on a bi-monthly basis to share information about available services and to develop joint programs. Working collaboratively helps to reduce duplication of services and maximizes available resources.

Collaborative subcommittees have developed multiple programs and services to meet the needs of the community. Our Second Home, an early childhood family support center, provides health services, educational support, and activities for families and caregivers with children five years of age and younger. Elementary school-aged programs include literacy tutoring, homework assistance, enrichment classes and kindergarten readiness programs at all 16 public elementary schools in Daly City. Adolescents are assisted in their transition from middle school to high school through a Collaborative program, and programs for senior adults have been established.

 

In February 2009, CFS and Probation’s Juvenile Division partnered to study the rate of re-entry into the foster care system within 12 months of reunification. The same measure was the focus area of the 2006 PQCR and, although progress has been made since that time, both agencies continue to strive for improvement in this area. CFS’ goal is to achieve consistent compliance with the federal standard for this measure.

The PQCR report provides findings in the areas of family characteristics, social work practice, probation officer practice and broader systems issues for both agencies. Based on these findings, recommendations were made and prioritized, and CFS will incorporate the PQCR findings and recommendations, the findings and recommendations found in this County Self Assessment, and ongoing performance data to develop its next three year System Improvement Plan.

In addition to gathering input from social workers, probation officers, youth, supervisors, and managers, community partners and caregivers were included as collaborative partners in the PQCR process.

CFS

PQCR

Recommendations

    Generate more in-depth alcohol and drug, mental health and developmental assessments done by the Agency and partners.

    Begin implementing case plans focused on behaviorally specific objectives for families and outline individualized services.

    Institute cross-training and skill building between mental health and social workers.

    Convene case conferences which are inclusive of all parties working with the family.

    Offer Team Decision Making (TDM) skill building training to educate TDM participants.

    Consider a risk and safety tool that is helpful to social worker decision-making.

    Develop more collaborative relationships with the Court and attorneys, including County Counsel representation at hearings.

    Assess for parental ambivalence early on and provide strategies and practices to move families toward positive change. Train social workers and interagency partners to work effectively with parental ambivalence.

    Implement effective mentoring and coaching strategies which may include a Parent Mentoring Program and Parent Orientation Program.

Juvenile

Probation

Recommendations

    Hire a bilingual Probation Officer and a full-time Mental Health Counselor.

    Develop more availability of wrap-around services.

    Provide more support for children with severe mental health/behavior problems.

    Develop a process for youth to receive psychotropic medication evaluations when out of county.

I. Safety 1

Children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect.

S1.1

No recurrence of maltreatment - Federal standard: ≥ 94.6%

Of all children who were victims of a substantiated maltreatment allegation during the first 6 months of the year, what percent were not victims of another substantiated allegation within the next 6-month period?

Trend Comparison

In Q2 2008, CFS’s no recurrence rate was 95.8% or 293 out of 306 children were not victims of another substantiated allegation. This exceeded the federal standard of 94.6% and the State’s performance (92.7%) for the same time period.

The absence of recurrence of maltreatment has been trending up since July 2006. The improvement coincides with the implementation of Differential Response (DR), a program piloted in Daly City and Redwood City in 2005 and implemented county-wide in 2006 which increased the preventive and support services for families with low to moderate safety risk factors. Through DR, families who had substantiated allegations but whose risks did not warrant a Child Protective Services intervention were referred to community partners for case management services. The DR case management and linkages to locally-based services may have had an effect on improving the no recurrence of maltreatment rate. One of the DR providers partners with an FRC which happens to be a PSSF fund recipient. DR families referred to FRC staff are connected to information and referral services, parent education, individual and group counseling, and assistance with filling out applications for Medi-CAL, food stamp and CalWORKs. Out-stationing DR staff at the FRC facilitates an easier and faster referral process to prevention and early intervention services and ensures continuum of care after case closure.

Ethnicity

CFS met the no recurrence of maltreatment standard for all ethnicities in Q2 2008. Based on CWS/CMS data from July 1998 to Dec 2008, Asian/PI children had the highest no recurrence rate at 95.5%, followed by Hispanic children at 93.3%, Caucasian at 92.5%, and African American at 89.6% with San Mateo County’s overall 10-year average at 93.2%.

Barriers

Intake and Assessment

Inconsistent investigation conclusions by CFS staff

Advanced training needed on neglect cases (mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence) and on how to conduct assessments and case planning

Need for increased staff knowledge around available services within communities that match needs of families

Access and Availability of Quality Services

Lack of staff follow up on whether services were obtained

Lack of early intervention, resulting in referrals being made when families are already in crisis

Wait lists/capacity issues for substance abuse services

Lack of adequate mental health services

Lack of child care slots

Inequity in availability of services by geographic area

Quality/capacity of contracted services

Inability of families to advocate for themselves once CFS is no longer involved

Data Issues

Underutilization of data for accountability

Agency Steps

Beginning in FY 2008-09, San Mateo County made significant changes to the DR Program. An evidence-based home visiting program was required from contract providers, the length of case management changed from three months to six months, allowing case managers to work closely with families for a longer period of time, and the target population shifted from all Path One and Two families to providing intensive case management to targeted Path Two (when assessment of the case is such that there is low to moderate risk of harm to children 0-5 years of age and/or an allegation of abuse or neglect has been substantiated and CFS will not open a case for services). Information and referral is provided to Path One families, where the assessment of the case is such that there is low risk of harm to child, but the child appears to be safe. Based on the FY 2008-09 mid-year report from contractors, Path One families’ engagement rate was 61% in the second quarter in the North County and 77% in the Central and South County for the same reporting period. Engagement rate for Path Two families was 81% in the North in the second quarter and 69% in the Central and South.

In FY 2008-09, CFS partnered with the County Medical Center and Keller Center to develop an integrated system for child abuse assessments. An MOU has been completed and policy has been updated.

To ensure availability of services in the community, CFS regularly reviews the CFS contract list to ensure contracted providers have capacity to serve, can meet client needs in a culturally appropriate manner, are in high need communities through regionalization of service delivery, can engage families, and can conduct quality assessments. Contract monitoring includes review of reports and site visits.

CFS updated the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) referral form and clarified the referral process in the online handbook to ensure clients are being referred in a timely manner and receive the services they need.

To maximize usage of PSW’s at FRCs, the PSW supervisor comes to Policy Team, Continuing and Intake bi-monthly meetings, and unit meetings to enhance collaboration.

CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF funded programs provide intervention services to families who are involved in the Child Welfare System and prevention services to preclude families from coming into Child Welfare in the first place. Services include parent education, individual and group counseling, parent involvement program, support groups for adolescents and crisis intervention for students, teachers and principals, and information and referral. These services are provided at FRCs which are located at school sites to make it easier for families to access the services.

S2.1

No maltreatment in foster care - Federal Standard: ≥ 99.68%

Of all children served in foster care during the year, what percent were not victims of a substantiated maltreatment allegation by a foster parent or facility staff member?

Trend Comparison

In Q2 2008, SMC met the standard, with no reported case of maltreatment in foster care for the second consecutive quarter. San Mateo County met this standard in all but two reporting periods (Q4 2005 & Q1 2006 with 99.5%).

Ethnicity

For the period Jan-Dec 1998-2007, one case was African American, one Caucasian, four Hispanic and there were no cases of maltreatment in foster care for Asian/PI.

Barriers

Need for full assessment of child and holistic evaluation of caregivers, including parenting style and cultural competence, in order to achieve best placement match

Need for increase in number, skills, diversity and cultural competence of foster parents

Inadequate supports and training for foster and kin providers

Lack of forums to resolve caregiver complaints/issues

Need for better relationships/communication between social workers and caregivers

Lack of oversight over individual foster homes of Foster Family Agencies (FFA)

Inadequate licensing assessments

    Agency Steps

Reviewed policies for reporting maltreatment in out-of-home care, including social worker reports to hotline and reports to Community Care Licensing (CCL). CFS ensures full implementation of revised policy

Continued use of TDMs where in addition to addressing the needs of the child, caregivers’ needs and concerns are addressed as well

Implemented a policy where social workers will conduct licensing visits to Licensed Foster Homes at least twice per year

Developed and implemented policy that every relative/Non-Relative Extended Family Member (NREFM) placement is referred for kinship services

Beginning at placement, included permanency planning in discussions between social workers and caregivers

Developed an on-going mentoring program for caregivers

Continue to provide respite care for caregivers

Increased support services for new caregivers for up to one year (e.g., foster parent mentors)

Provided foster parent training, caregiver support groups (medically fragile, emergency shelter FFA, Adolescent Services Unit, Group Home Forum, Monthly FFA meeting) and quarterly celebrations

Continue to provide emergency shelter, special programs for medically fragile children and for adolescents, Foster Parent Liaison, foster parent newsletter, Fostering the Future, and On-call psychiatrist

Contracted with Edgewood and Youth & Family Enrichment Services (YFES) for mental health treatment for foster parents as collaterals to the child

Continue to support the Children’s Collaborative Action Team (CCAT)’s 24/7 parent support “warm line”

II. Safety 2

Children are maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate.

2B

Timely Response, Immediate response compliance - State Standard: ≥ 95%

Of all referrals requiring an immediate response, what percentage were responded to within 2 hours?

Trend Comparison

SMC continues to exceed the state goal of 95%. SMC’s April-June timely response for immediate referrals was 98.5% compared to the State’s 96.6%. Timely response (Immediate) has markedly improved beginning in 2004. Since July 2004, the average timely response rate was 97.8% (vs. 91.7% from Jan 1998–Jun 2004). This may be due to the identification of data entry errors in the County Self Assessment in 2004 and the subsequent remedial actions taken by the Department which included continually monitoring the data and assigning the data entry task to three regional office specialists.

Ethnicity

In the April - June 2008 period, 100% of African American and Caucasian children received timely responses (immediate), and Hispanic and Asian/PI each had one case that did not, resulting in a timely response rate of 98.3% and 94.4% respectively.

Barriers

Need for improved referral assignment processes/workflow processes (e.g., frequency, weekend assignments, upgrading/downgrading paths)

Need for clear and consistent written supervisory expectations as well as supervisory coverage expectations

Slow and inaccurate data entry including timeliness of referral and case closings

Need for translation services

Difficulty in scheduling joint visits with DR contract staff

Agency Steps

SMC has taken additional steps to ensure compliance with this standard. CFS staff was introduced to Safe Measures as a case management tool. In early FY 07-08, supervisors and management received training on Safe Measures that allows them to obtain information from region to case level and track the compliance rate. Social Workers were trained on the “My Caseload” feature of Safe Measures that allows them to view their cases and plan their work load accordingly to ensure they meet the State regulated timelines.

Other steps taken by the Agency to continue to meet and exceed the 2C standards:

Conducted review of the AB636 and Business Systems Group (BSG) reports

Developed effective hotline policies

Maintained an excellent team of Emergency Response (ER) supervisors

Conducted regular ER Integrity Meetings where up-to-date information is shared with supervisory staff

Evaluated ER evening/ weekend coverage requirements

Implemented supervisor checklist by program for items to be covered in supervisor/social worker conferences

Tracked performance by manager, supervisor, and social worker via management compliance reports

2B

Timely Response, 10-day response compliance - State Standard: ≥ 95%

Of all referrals requiring a 10-day response, what percentage were responded to within the 10-day timeframe?

Trend Comparison

In Q2 2008, SMC met the 10-Day State standard for the third consecutive quarter. SMC’s April-June timely response for 10-Day referrals was 95.9% compared to the State’s 93.8% compliance rate. The 10-Day response began trending up in January 2005. Like the Immediate Response standard, the increasing rate can be attributed to improvements in data entry.

Ethnicity

For the April-June 2008 time period, SMC met the 95% State standard for Caucasian children (96.1%) and Hispanic children (95.6%), but not for African American and Asian/PI children, at 94.7% and 93.5% respectively.

2C

Timely Social Worker Visits with Child - State Standard: ≥ 90%

Of all children in foster care, excluding those for whom waivers are appropriate, what percentage were visited within the report month?

Trend Comparison

Children continue to receive timely visits from their social workers. SMC consistently meets the Timely Social Worker Visit requirement, at over 95% compliance since July 2005.

Barriers

Distance/travel time needed in order to conduct out-of-county visits

Social worker organization, data entry and time management skills

Language/translation needs

Transfer of cases – inadequate information being shared and policy not being followed regarding who should conduct face-to-face visit

Staff turnover, which leaves cases uncovered or requires a coverage plan

Agency Steps

CFS continues to update social worker contact policy and ensures policy is incorporated into practice. Policy includes the number of face-to-face attempts, letters sent, time of month visit should take place, visit is done by the transferring worker in the month of transfer, discussion with supervisor in advance if contact requirements may not be met so supervisor can help staff prioritize workload, and documentation entry.

In addition, staff are trained to use technology (Safe Measures, GroupWise) to plan/track visits, supervisors track performance in supervisory conferences, CFS maintains a workable supervisor to staff ratio, and Central Support staff and interns continue to provide support.

III. Permanency 1

Children have permanency and stability in their living situations without increasing reentry into foster care.

8A

Children transitioning to Self-Sufficient Adulthood

Not available.

Permanency Composite 1

Reunification Measures

C1.1

Reunification within 12 months (exit cohort) - Federal Standard: ≥ 75.2%

Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in foster care for 8 days or longer, what percent were reunified in less than 12 months from the date of the latest removal from home?

Trend Comparison

In Q2 2008, SMC fell below the federal standard for reunification within 12 months (exit cohort) (73.6% vs. standard of ≥ 75.2%) but was significantly higher than the State’s 63.8%. The reunification rate has been trending up beginning in Q2 2006 where the average to date was 74.2% compared to the average from Q2 03 to Q1 06 of 68.2%. The 10-year average was 71.3%.

Ethnicity

Based on the July 1998-June 2008 data, the reunification rate for African American children was 58.6%, Caucasian children 71.9%, Hispanic children 72.6%, and Asian/PI children 80.5%. African American children had the lowest reunification rate in seven of the ten years.

Barriers

Court Related

Number, quality, type of services ordered by the Court

Court continuances

Difference between statutory and treatment recovery time lines

Difference between Court orders versus social worker recommendation

Difference between Court and Agency philosophies on mandated services

Adversarial Court environment

Practice Related

Lack of evidence-based practices

Lack of competency in case planning and family engagement

Need for family assessment at placement to determine what family needs to be successful

Lack of housing and economic stability for families

Underutilization of TDM process

Lack of expertise in assessment and placement to ensure placement stability

Service Related

Parents who need to undergo addiction recovery with young children, lack residential facilities or the ability for treatment services to be done during the day while child is in child care

Lack of comprehensive and cohesive mental health treatment continuum

Limited definition and scope of wraparound services

Lack of adequate sexual abuse treatment services

Limited parenting classes (schedule, language, location); lack of clearly defined parenting standards

Limited/lack of immediate access to substance abuse treatment services and appropriate modalities; need for medical detox program

Philosophical differences between Domestic Violence, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), formerly known as Mental Health, and Health Services

Lack of cultural awareness/availability of resources in needed languages

Systems Issues

Lack of quality and methodology around visitation

Lack of cultural awareness

Lack of sound, evidence-informed practices

Agency Steps

Utilization of the Strengthening Families Program, an evidence-based parenting curriculum

Use TDMs for case planning at time of reunification to facilitate case closure. Having family members and other stakeholders involved in the case planning process allows them to voice their opinion and to be part of developing solutions for their child/ren. In FY 08-09, CFS designated a supervisor to the TDM unit to ensure full utilization of TDMs and track its effectiveness.

Initiation of drug testing, availability of AOD assessors

Provision of Central Support Services

Provision of a wide array of prevention, early intervention services through contracted services

Refining the scope of work of the MOU with BHRS to improve mental health collaborative services

Piloting the family finding project in FY 2008-09 to search for and evaluate family members who can serve as the concurrent placement plan

Auditing court reports and ensure that they reflect appropriate concurrent plans

Train staff to effectively deliver concurrent planning message to parents and caregivers

Revision of the Visitation Policy to include a graduated visitation plan. The length of visits will increase depending on the parents’ progress and increased ability to care for and provide a safe, stable environment for their child/ren

Assessment of the visitation contract for quality, productivity, availability of service at evenings/weekends to meet client need, cultural awareness and availability

Educating staff on contracted visitation services

C1.2

Median time to reunification (exit cohort) - Federal Standard: ≤ 5.4 months

Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in foster care for 8 days or longer, what was the median length of stay (in months) from the date of latest removal from home until the date of discharge to reunification?

Trend Comparison

SMC’s median time to reunification rate in Q2 2008 (7.7 months) failed to meet the

Federal standard but was lower than the State’s 8.1 months. SMC’s median time to reunification started to improve in Q4 2005, posting the lowest median time in Q3 2007 at 2.2 months. Based on the ten-year average, San Mateo County met the standard with an average of 5.2 months.

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, Hispanic children had the shortest median time with 4.3 months, followed by Caucasian children with 5.4 months, Asian/PI with 5.8 and African American children with 9.1 months.

C1.3

Reunification within 12 months (entry cohort) - Federal Standard: ≥ 48.4%

Of all children entering foster care for the first time in the 6-month period who remained in foster care for 8 days or longer, what percent were discharged from foster care to reunification in less than 12 months from the data of latest removal from home?

Trend Comparison

SMC’s reunification rate for the entry cohort has fluctuated, going from as low as 29% in Q4 2005 to as high as 59.8% in Q3 2004. Since Q4 2006, the average reunification rate has been 47.2% vs. the ≥48.4% standard. Although SMC’s performance in Q2 2008 (47.6%) was below the standard, it exceeded the statewide performance of 44%. Based on the ten-year average, SMC met the standard with 50.1%.

Ethnicity

SMC met the standard in Q2 2008 for all ethnicities except for African American children. Based on the ten-year average, SMC had the highest reunification rate for Asian/PI children (54.5%), followed by Caucasian children (53.2%), Hispanic children (51.1%), and African American (37.6%).

C1.4

Reentry following reunification (exit cohort) - Federal Standard: ≤ 9.9%

Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year, what percent reentered foster care in less than 12 months from the date of discharge?

Trend Comparison

Although re-entry continues to be a challenge for SMC, the re-entry rate has been steadily improving beginning in Q2 2007, with an average of 15.1% through Q2 2008 compared to the 20.4% re-entry rate from Q3 05 to Q1 07. Q2 2008’s 12.1% re-entry rate is close to the State rate of 12%. Based on placement types’ nine-year average, Guardian had the lowest re-entry rate with 9.5%, Group Home 10.3%, Kin 15.6%, Foster 15.7%, Shelter 16.7% and FFA 17.2%.

Based on the SMC data, an association can be inferred between reunification and re-entry rates. The higher reunification rate gets, the higher re-entry rate is. Median time to reunification follows an inverse pattern, the shorter the median time is, the higher the re-entry rate.

Ethnicity

Based on the nine-year average (July 1998 – June 2007), African American children experienced the highest re-entry rate at 20.0%, Caucasian children at 16.9%, Hispanic children at 13.9%, and Asian/PI children at 10.8%.

Barriers

Long-term mental health and substance abuse issues coupled with a lack of substance abuse treatment after care and wraparound services

Increased rate of reunification

Families not connected to community resources when their case is closed

Contracted services end at reunification

DR does not do case closing aftercare

Lack of community resources, limited partners; lack of involvement with faith

communities

TDM not used at time of closure

Court-ordered reunification earlier than recommended by social worker

Difference in the quality of services based on the age of the children in the families. Children under five are treated by County services under partners for Safe and Healthy Children; children 6-18 years are treated by external services providers that do not have the same interdepartmental environment

Agency Steps

CFS’s focus area at the recently concluded PQCR was re-entry. To continue the exploration of high re-entry in SMC, CFS is in the process of developing a quarterly re-entry report that includes demographics and factors, to closely monitor this standard and guide policy makers in determining what strategies to implement to improve this outcome.

Other strategies employed to improve this outcome include increased concurrent planning efforts; increased use of TDM including hand-off to community-based organizations, Prevention/Early Intervention and Self-Sufficiency staff, faith-based community; use of other team-based case planning strategies; development of community partnerships in order to increase community capacity in FRCs, FSSTs and seven core agencies; use of standardized safety and risk assessment (Comprehensive Assessment Tool [CAT] and transition to Structured Decision Making [SDM]); full use of the 18-month court timeline; and continually arranging for mental health follow up during initial reunification period.

In the area of services, CFS is part of a Bay Area Consortium which will implement the Residentially-Based Services (RBS) Program. RBS seeks to transform the way group homes traditionally provide residential services by requiring group homes to provide: short term intensive treatment, linkages to locally-provided services to help parents or other caregivers to maintain or develop connections with the child and prepare for the child’s return, services to support the stability of the child and family following reunification or transition to family based care, and improvements in the service delivery decision-making pathway and better integration of residentially-based services within a county’s continuum of care.

CFS recognizes that quality of services is a re-entry factor and continues to review current contracts for relevance to current strategic plan, productivity, quality and cultural competence.

Permanency Composite 2

Adoption Measures

C2.1

Adoption within 24 months (exit cohort) - Federal Standard: ≥ 36.6%

Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what percent were discharged in less than 24 months from the date of the latest removal from home?

Trend Comparison

CFS met the federal standard in July 2007 – June 2008 (Q2 2008) with 48.1%, an improvement of 17% from the previous quarter. In 22 reporting periods since 1998, SMC failed to meet the standard in only three reporting periods, with one quarter only missing by a fraction of a percentage point (36.2%)

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, SMC met the standard for Asian/PI (66.0%), Caucasian (48.5%) and Hispanic (42.4%) children. African American children’s ten-year adoption rate was below the federal standard at 34.4%.

Barriers

Lack of local and national targeted recruitments for all possible adoptive families;

need for better recruitment strategies for older children and those with special needs

Need to improve use of permanency protocols and coordination; inconsistent practice in use of concurrent planning, including failure to address in court reports and failure to include foster parents and the child in permanency planning process

Agency orientation to emergency response (reactive and crisis-driven) and need to look at the long term

Issues of bias:

    o That older children are not adoptable

    o Ageism toward grandparents

    o Assumption that some children are more easily adoptable, with Federal

    incentives to prioritize ‘easy’ adoptions

    o Pro-reunification staff who are uncomfortable about adoption

Lack of supervisor training, awareness, oversight and control; supervisors should set tone by asking “What is your concurrent plan?”

Need to improve communication/understanding between Family Maintenance/Family Reunification staff and Adoptions staff

More continued hearings/continuances causing delay in adoption finalizations

Agency Steps

SMC’s performance can be attributed to the Agency’s push to promote adoption as a permanent option and its philosophy that all children are adoptable. In FY 2007-08, 55 adoptions were finalized compared to 43 in FY 06-07 and 36 in FY 05-06. Recently, CFS has had success in finding adoptive homes for older children. This can be attributed to the practice of the Adoptions Unit working closely with the Adolescent Unit in identifying adoptive placements for adolescents. Monthly permanence meetings are held with the FR and PP units. In addition, SMC continues to promote the consistent practice of concurrent planning. Children are referred to Adoptions Services at the Investigations Unit level which encourages team effort between social workers and Adoptions workers. A Concurrent Planning brochure was developed by the Adoptions Unit and disseminated to supervisors and social workers in FY 2008-09. An Adoptions social worker is present at all TDM meetings. CFS also strives to increase the number of appropriate concurrent planning homes (homes that have an approved foster home license and have a current approved adoption home study).

Other strategies include:

Examining the need for training to address staff and foster parent biases regarding adoption

Maintaining an on-going discussion with each child regarding potential for adoption

Improving up-front resolution of paternity issues

Creating quality assurance controls for long-term permanent plan designations; create a

    check and balance system before any child can be recommended for a permanent plan

of Another Permanent Planned Living Arrangement (APPLA)

Providing regular reports from Adoption Services to Regional Managers

Developing a broader range of housing options post emancipation

CFS recently developed a Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention Strategic Plan 2008 - 2014. Part of that plan is to conduct foster and adoption family recruitment as one concerted effort. According to the Casey Foundation, in nearly all states, 60-85% of families who adopt children from the public child welfare system are already foster parents. The plan also calls for targeted recruitment for children of color, sibling groups and older children and recruitment efforts in faith-based organizations. Prior adoption campaigns include a campaign for children with special needs and Bay Area Home for Kids. Other strategies include continuous involvement of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Permanence Initiative (CPYP), Family Finding pilot for all kids with a permanent plan of APPLA, and a designated ICWA specialist(s).

C2.2

Median time to adoption (exit cohort) - Federal Standard: ≤ 27.3 months

Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what was the median length of stay (in months) from the date of latest removal from home until the date of discharge to adoption?

Trend Comparison

SMC’s median time to adoption for Q2 2008 was 24 months, lower than the federal standard of ≤ 27.3 months and the statewide performance of 30.4 months for the same time period. Based on the ten-year average, SMC met the standard with 24.8 months.

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year data, SMC met the standard for Asian/PI (21.9 months) and Caucasian (24 months) children, but not for Hispanic (29.4 months) and African American (31.4 months) children.

It is widely accepted that finding adoptive homes for older children is inherently more challenging. SMC has a high 13 and older caseload. Based on the July 1 point- in-time data, since 2002, the 13 & older group represented at least 40% of the caseload. On July 1, 2008, the caseload percentage was 47%; the ten-year average was 38%. Despite having older children as a majority of the caseload, CFS has had success overall in meeting this standard.

C2.3

Adoption within 12 months (17 months in care) - Federal Standard: ≥ 22.7%

Of all children in foster care for 17 continuous months or longer on the first day of the year, what percent were discharged to a finalized adoption by the last day of the year?

Trend Comparison

SMC has performed below the standard. Q2 2008’s 17.3% was slightly lower than the statewide performance of 18.2%, both below the ≥22.7% standard. SMC’s ten-year average was 10.4%

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, SMC’s rate for Asian/PI was 16.8%, followed by Caucasian children with 15.8%, Hispanic children 12.9% and African American children 5.6%.

C2.4

Legally free within 6 months (17 months in care) - Federal Standard: ≥ 10.9%

Of all children in foster care for 17 continuous months or longer and not legally free for adoption on the first day of the year, what percent became legally free within the next 6 months?

Trend Comparison

SMC has continued to perform below the federal standard largely because of CFS’s philosophy of not terminating parental rights until an adoptive family has been identified. SMC’s Q2 2008 rate was 2.1%, below the statewide performance of 6.6% and well below the 10.9% standard.

Ethnicity

Based on the 10-year average, SMC’s overall rate for legally free within six months was 2.4%, 5.9% for Asian/PI, 2.6% for Caucasian, 2.5% for Hispanic 2.5% and 2.0% for African American children.

C2.5

Adoption within 12 months (legally free) - Federal Standard: ≥ 53.7%

Of all children in foster care who became legally free for adoption during the year, what percent were then discharged to a finalized adoption in less than 12 months?

Trend Comparison

SMC exceeded the federal standard with 65.7% in Q2 2008 and 64.5% based on the ten-year data. Since 1998, SMC failed to meet this standard in all but four reporting periods.

Ethnicity

In Q2 2008, SMC met the standard for all ethnicities. Based on the 10-year average, SMC had the highest adoption rate for Caucasian children with 70.0%, followed by Asian/PI with 63.8%, Hispanic with 55.8% and African American children with 47.3%.

Permanency 3

Long Term Measures

C3.1

Exits to permanency (24 months in care) - Federal Standard: ≥ 29.1%

Of all children in foster care for 24 months or longer on the first day of the year, what percent were discharged to a permanent home by the end of the year and prior to turning 18?

Trend Comparison

Although SMC’s performance was below the 29.1% standard, the County’s performance is trending up. Q2 2008’s exit to permanency rate of 22% improved by 10% from last quarter and by 23% from a year ago and is a fraction of a percentage point shy of the statewide performance (22.4%).

Ethnicity

SMC had the highest exit to permanency rate based on the ten-year average for Asian/PI children with 20.4%, followed by Caucasian 17.5%, Hispanic 17.1 and African American 11.1%.

Barriers

Lack of services, decrease in meaningful services

Long term foster care “drift”

Inadequate relative searches

Investment in proving case rather than finding solutions

Philosophical barriers to using TDM

Too many placement moves

Older children don’t exit as they get older

Social worker complacency

Use of group homes rather than using TDMs to locate community members

Lack of wraparound services

Difficult when children are placed out of County

Need to provide ongoing placement assessment in an effort to keep children in lowest level of care

Lack of gender-specific substance abuse treatment for teens

Improve and revisit protocol for permanency planning assessment every 18 months

Need better preparation for foster parents to work with teens

AWOL behavior and runaways

Lack of educational services; timely, quality Individual Education Plans (IEP)

Lack of sufficient capacity for residential treatment of girls in the County -group homes are the only alternative and cannot provide in-depth treatment

Agency Steps

CFS already has several strategies in place to improve this outcome, among them,

Partner with the CASA Program

Employ concurrent planning strategies and update policies as it relates to best practice

Participate in emancipation conferences

Provide after care services

Increase the use of TDM

Use of a Permanence Social Worker

Partner with Economic Self-Sufficiency staff

Partner with Housing Advocate

Use of our comprehensive Independent Living Program (ILP)

Continue the development and implementation of NREFM policy

Use of Central Support (centralized community workers and family care workers) who assist in the service delivery to families

Support, collaboration, and partnership with the Kin-Gap Program

Ensure macro court report recommendations are current

Conduct Regional Administrative Reviews

In addition, CFS has implemented the following improvements in practice and services in FY 2008-09:

Participated in the RBS group home reform pilot that allows additional wraparound slots and the ability to “step down” children

Reviewed the current Mental Health Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and contracts and ensure that they meet our needs

Required 14-day notice for Licensed Foster Homes (LFHs), Licensed Group Homes (LGHs), group homes and FFA’s, in order to conduct a TDM meeting before allowing a change of placement

Conducted a Family Finding pilot for all children that are in APPLA. Over 40 children were part of the pilot project

Reviewed long-term placements and all APPLA cases in supervisory conferences on a regular basis and assess for permanency

Provided staff training on cultural and legal differences when choosing permanent plans (APPLA, guardianship and adoption)

C3.2

Exits to permanency (legally free at exit) - Federal Standard: ≥98%

Of all children discharged from foster care during the year who were legally free for adoption, what percent were discharged to a permanent home prior to turning 18?

Trend Comparison

SMC’s Q2 2008 performance was at the federal standard of 98%, slightly better than the state’s 96.9%. SMC’s ten-year average was 98.3%.

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, SMC met the standard for Asian/PI (100%) and Caucasian (98.5%) children and was close to meeting the standard for African American and Hispanic children (both 97.8%).

C3.3

In care 3 years or longer (emancipated or age 18 in care) - Federal Standard: ≤ 37.5%

Of all children in foster care during the year who were either discharged to emancipation or turned 18 while still in care, what percent had been in foster care for 3 years or longer?

Trend Comparison

SMC has failed to meet the ≤ 37.5% standard in Q2 2008. SMC’s rate for the quarter was 55.6% (n=20), better than the statewide rate of 61%. Based on the ten-year data, SMC’s average was 58.5% and has yet to meet this standard.

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, African American children had the highest in-care for three years or longer rate with 77.6%, followed by Caucasian with 50%, Hispanic with 45.7% and Asian/PI children with 44.4%.

Permanency Composite 4

Placement Stability Measures

C4.1

Placement stability - Federal Standard: ≥ 86%

Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in foster care for at least 8 days but less than 12 months, what percent had two or fewer placement settings?

Trend Comparison

SMC did not meet the placement stability standard of ≥ 86% in Q2 2008. Only 70.5% of all children had two or fewer placement settings and SMC’s performance is trending down. The county performance was below the statewide rate of 82.6%. The ten-year average was 78%.

Ethnicity

African American children had the highest rate in Q2 2008 at 82.8% (n= 24), Hispanic at 75.3% (n=61), Caucasian at 64.8% (n=35) and Asians/PI 58.7% (n=27). The ten-year average rates by ethnicity were: Hispanic 78.8%, Caucasian 78.5%, African American 76.4%, and Asian 75.3%.

Barriers

Increasing magnitude and seriousness of behavioral problems of children coming into care

Poor placement matches

Language and cultural barriers

Disruptions due to lack of accessibility and availability of needed services, e.g., mental health services

Inadequate supports, training and skill building for foster and kin providers

Inadequate number of foster homes, especially those that can meet cultural and language needs

Data entry: placement information are not entered timely, completely and accurately, the 14-day policy for placement is not consistently followed

Agency Steps

In FY 2008-09, CFS implemented the Placement Stability Program for Receiving Home/Tower House placed children. The program aims to ensure placement stability by having placing social worker visit child in new placement within two weeks of placement to assess placement stability. This allows the social worker to assess if the placement is a good fit for the child and to identify other unmet needs.

The RBS Program also aims to improve placement stability by providing intensive services while the child is in a group home. The goal is to place the child in a lower-level of care, stabilize the placement and avoid the constant back and forth among different levels of care because the issues that warranted a higher level of care were never fully addressed.

Other strategies include: continuation of pre-placement visits 100% of the time with all potential caregivers including FFAs; institution of a 14-day notice policy for all LFHs, FFAs and LGHs to give CFS time to conduct a TDM meeting before allowing a change of placement; support of the policy of conducting TDM meetings prior to any change of placement; recruitment of homes that meet cultural and language needs of our children; staff knowledge of caregiver information prior to placing children (e.g., CCL issues, complaints); more support for caregivers (e.g., respite, mentorship, foster parent liaison); and face-to-face contacts between social workers and children and social workers and caregivers.

Studies have shown that behavior problem is one of the factors that contribute to placement instability. Two of the several programs funded by CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF funds are designed to improve the youth’s mental state and minimize placement disruptions. One of the services is a mentorship program where youth are matched with adult volunteers who serve as friends and role models. The program aims to build self-esteem and contribute to youth’s positive development. Another service that can improve placement stability is the mindfulness-based rehabilitation program for incarcerated youth, including dual jurisdiction youth. The classes are designed to help individuals modulate stress levels and emotional imbalance, identify legitimate needs underlying their negative behaviors and taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Youth learn self awareness, self respect, and self control which can help in diffusing emotionally charged situations from escalating. These classes, in addition to counseling, can help stabilize youth’s emotions and preserve placements.

C4.2

Placement stability - Federal Standard: ≥ 65.4%

Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in foster care for at least 12 months but less than 24 months, what percent had two or fewer placement settings?

Trend Comparison

SMC’s performance was well below the standard (49.6% vs. the ≥ 65.4% standard) in Q 2 2008, but is showing an upward trend. The Q2 2008 rate was below the statewide rate of 62.5%. SMC’s ten-year average was 52.2%.

Ethnicity

Based on the Q2 2008 data, Caucasians had the highest percentage of children who experienced two or fewer placements, 60% (n=18), followed by Hispanic 54.9% (n=39), African American 35.7% (n=10) and Asian/PI 18.2% (n=2). Based on their ten-year average, Asian/PI had the highest rate at 55.5%, followed by Hispanic at 53.4%, African American at 51.1% and Caucasian at 48.9%.

C4.3

Placement stability - Federal Standard: ≥ 41.8%

Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in foster care for at least 24 months, what percent had two or fewer placement settings?

Trend Comparison

SMC did not meet the federal standard of ≥ 41.8% in Q2 2008 and the county’s performance is trending down. SMC’s 30.5% was lower than the statewide performance of 33.2% in Q2 2008. Based on the ten-year average, SMC met the standard with 46.4%.

Ethnicity

Based on the ten-year average, African American children had the highest placement stability rate at 56.5%, followed by Asian/PI children with 49%, meeting the standard for both ethnicities. Caucasian and Hispanic children were below the standard at 39.5% and 35.3%, respectively. Research has shown that better placement stability can be attributed to high kin placement. Based on the ten-year average Point-in-Time (PIT) data, 39% of African American children were placed with kin, followed by Asian/PI (36%), Hispanic (30%) and Caucasian children (28%).

IV

Permanency 2

The family relationships and connections of children served by the CWS will be preserved, as appropriate.

Well-Being 4A

Children in foster care that are placed with ALL siblings

Children in foster care that are placed with SOME or ALL siblings

Trend Comparison

SMC placed 55.8% of children with all siblings and 74.3% with some or all siblings in Q2 2008. The average for the past nine quarters (July 2006-July 2008) was 50.9% for placing children with all siblings and 67.5% for placing children with some or all siblings.

Ethnicity

In the past nine quarters, African American children had the highest rate of children placed with all siblings with 56.4%, followed by Hispanic with 50.5%, Asian/PI with 46.6%, and Caucasian with 44.6%. Asian/PI had the highest placement with some or all siblings with 75.1%, followed by African American with 70.5%, closely followed by Hispanic with 69.0% then Caucasian at 55.1%.

 

1. Relevant Management Information Systems (MIS)

CWS/CMS

CWS/CMS is the primary information system used by child welfare staff to support daily activities for case management and referral monitoring. Formal policies and procedures regarding access to CWS/CMS are still being developed for approval by CWS management. The current interim policy and procedure is to have the director of CFS review all requests for new user accounts and changes (including inactivation of) to existing user accounts. All social workers, supervisors, managers, and directors are provided with their own desktop workstation. The agency issues laptops, as needed, to Emergency Response and continuing social workers who are on call during evening and weekend hours. Supervisors, managers, and directors are also provided with laptops. For data security and confidentiality of records stored on the hard drive, GuardianEdge software is installed to encrypt the data. Support for hardware, software and application issues is currently managed by internal IT staff.

CWS/CMS Data Reporting

SMC uses County Access to Data (CAD) to generate system and ad hoc reports using CWS/CMS data. CAD requires technical skills in Business Objects, a function performed by the agency’s internal IT support unit (Business Systems Group, BSG). Data reports are requested by CWS staff through BSG. In 2008, the Child Welfare Services staff and BSG worked on a practice improvement to authorize data report requests with management oversight. This practice has yielded improvements in reducing duplicate requests, compiling an archive of commonly used reports, and reducing the backlog of requests on the limited IT resources.

In 2008, BSG installed a Business Objects InfoView web portal application. This has opened the door to allow CWS supervisors, managers, and directors to directly view the reports developed by BSG (rather then receiving them via email) thus making them a new type user group consumers to Business Objects. In the near future, CWS staff will have permission to view and generate defined reports without requiring a data request.

SMC utilizes SafeMeasures which provides online management reports and performance measures to both CWS staff and managers for monitoring County specific services delivery activities and ensuring compliance with the State and Federal requirements. SMC also utilizes Efforts to Outcome (ETO), an online database application to manage the TDM meetings. ETO has the capability do some data analysis and reporting. The challenge with ETO or using other data sources is inconsistencies with data from CWS/CMS.

Over the ten years since CWS/CMS was introduced, the system has improved data management, but still has its flaws. The most common critique is that some staff are still frustrated with how much time CWS/CMS takes away from doing social work. Another comment was that the system is not user-friendly. For example, when two users are working on the same case in CWS/CMS, the entries of the user who saves first are saved, and the other user loses everything he/she has entered. CWS/CMS is also not perceived as “adoptions-friendly.” But for all its shortcomings, CWS/CMS is an improvement compared to the manual input social workers had to do in the past.

CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF

HSA provides CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF contractors with a report template for the quarterly activity report and bi-annual narrative reports. The reports are gathered and electronic copies are stored by the Contract Monitor. A hard copy is kept in a binder. All contracts are entered in an Access database and a report is generated from the database to track when reports and invoices are due (See Attachments D, E, and F).

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Recommendations

Pop up ticklers would be helpful

It is helpful to have Statewide information

It would be helpful to have Statewide criteria on what constitutes a sensitive case

When there are data systems other than CWS/CMS, CFS should evaluate the value of maintaining multiple systems, and address data entry issues that can facilitate cross referencing of these different data sources.

Data Entry Issues

Timely, complete, and accurate data remains a challenge. Data entry issues range from lack of basic data input such as demographic information, creating multiple client records, and updating “unknown” client information, to not entering placement information/changes and entering incomplete service delivery information under contacts.

Consistency is an issue as well. Incorrect information is sometimes entered and oftentimes rectifying incorrect data entry takes longer than doing it correctly in the first place.

    Feedback

HSA/CFS

Recommendations

    Ongoing training on CWS/CMS for staff

    Specialized CWS/CMS training for supervisors to help monitor social worker compliance with data entry requirements

    Inclusion of data entry instructions with policies, when appropriate

    Consistent utilization of Office Specialists who are tasked with helping social workers with specific data entry input to ensure accurate data entry

 

2. Case Review System

a.

Court Structure/Relationship

HSA/CFS

SMC Juvenile Court is presided over by two appointed judges who hear Child Protective Services cases. The Juvenile Court has the ability to intervene in three types of circumstances:

Children under 18 years of age with dependency issues (e.g., physical harm, neglect) who need the protection of the Court (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300)

Children under 18 years of age who have committed an illegal act, which, if committed by an adult, would be considered a criminal offense, such as a felony or misdemeanor (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602)

Children under 18 years of age who persistently or habitually refuse to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of their parents, guardian, or custodian, or who are beyond the control of those persons, or who were under the age of 18 years when they violated any ordinance of any city or county of this state establishing a curfew based solely on age (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 601)

The cases of the vast majority of children seen are in relation to Sections 300 and 602. The Judges handle all dependency and juvenile criminal matters on separate calendars.

In 2002, HSA, in collaboration with the (Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC), commissioned a study entitled “Child Welfare and the Courts: An Exploratory Study of the Relationship between Two Complex Systems.” The study explored the relationships between professionals working in the juvenile dependency system, including judicial officers, attorneys, social workers and CASAs. Recommendations to Bay Area Courts and Child Welfare Services Agencies included improving training, expanding communication, addressing staffing issues, improving scheduling, adding resources, providing for public education and developing a culture of respect.

The Child Welfare System has been reviewed by the Grand Jury, a County/Court Committee, and an independent consultant, and HSA has conducted an internal assessment of Children and Family Services. As a result, the following efforts are in place to improve the working relationship between the Court and Children and Family Services:

Regular meetings between the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge and the HSA Director

Periodic meetings between the supervising Juvenile Court Judge, the Children and Family Services Director, County Counsel, the Private Defender and the heads of primary outside agencies

HSA policy ensuring that all information, as well as opposing opinions and recommendations, are provided to the Court

 

Use of Continuances

In practice, continuances are only given upon a showing of good cause provided it is not contrary to the interest of the minor. It is a goal of the Court to minimize the number of continuances.

 

Termination of Parental Rights

CFS has been effective when seeking termination of parental rights. Most recommendations of termination of parental rights by the Department are ordered by the Juvenile Court. While cases involving termination of parental rights are more likely to be contested, Juvenile Court Judges rule on these matters in a timely fashion.

Juvenile Probation

Dependency and probation matters are heard at Juvenile Court daily. In dependency cases, CFS is represented by the County Counsel’s Office, and parents and children are provided with an attorney through the Private Defender’s Panel. In Juvenile Probation cases, the Department is represented by the District Attorney’s Office and the child is provided with an attorney through the Private Defender’s Panel.

Two Superior Court judges are assigned to the Juvenile Court. They handle all dependency and criminal matters on separate calendars. Probation officers are required by law to make sentencing recommendations pertaining to termination of parental rights at every review after 12 months.

Recommendations for termination of parental rights are rare but do occur. In these instances, Juvenile Probation officers are not involved in that Court process as HSA staff file the necessary legal papers. If a Probation youth’s case results in the termination of parental rights during a Court hearing, the Defense Attorney or District Attorney would notify HSA for follow-up and the case would require a Dependency Court Hearing. Probation would benefit from clarification on availability of services (through HSA) for this population.

HSA and Probation are reaching out to strengthen their working relationship. Over the last several years, line-level and managerial team personnel from the agencies have generally worked well together. CFS and Juvenile Probation worked together to develop our joint 241.1 protocol, which included combined staff training, focus group work, and resource sharing.

HSA and Probation need to reach beyond the current MOU and work towards implementing systems that support the efficient exchange of feedback and information. These systems should also encourage the respective management teams to work together to develop systems that support the agencies’ missions and visions.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Strengths

The feedback from the birth parents was generally positive. Birth parents felt that they were fairly represented in court. One parent commented that the Judge and attorneys

were helpful and supportive.

   

Areas for Improvement

From the Court’s perspective, there is a level of distrust of the Court among management and staff. This can be rectified through training and by management having a more open view of the Court.

The Court has observed internal bureaucracy within CFS. Social workers are so hampered by supervisory oversight and approval that they are unable to make on-the-spot decisions. There are different levels of empowerment conferred on the social workers by supervisors. It is not uncommon for a social worker to request a court-ordered action to circumvent the lengthy internal vetting.

There is also dissatisfaction with the narrow scope of identifying potential supportive family members, close family members and other advocates by some CFS staff. One example is providing information on all potential relatives/caregivers. Sometimes, a relative has been identified but this information is not provided to the Court because there is the fear that the Court might place with this relative whom CFS believes is not a good fit. This type of information should be shared with the Court, which is responsible for making a placement determination in the child’s best interest, absent any safety risks.

When social workers are on the witness stand, the Court’s perception is that some are not as prepared as others to talk about their case. Part of this is social workers not being prepared by County Counsel. Unlike other counties, SMC social workers do case work and file their own petitions, and are expected to write objectively. As a result, County Counsel has no stake in the case and causes huge delays because they are not familiar with cases. County Counsel should be involved from the beginning.

Recommendations

It would help if the attorneys spent time to know the family, especially the children. This way, they will have a better understanding of where the families are coming from and not rely solely on the court report. They could also spend more time with the family explaining decisions made by the Court.

Establish more and better communication:

Improve communication and help build trust between CFS and the Court, by fostering open communication between line staff and the Judges. Resume the brown bag sessions which the Court found extremely helpful and productive. While specific case details cannot be discussed, this could be a forum to talk about issues affecting work and the CFS/Court working relationship, and could give social workers an opportunity to honestly voice their opinions. Continue the regular meetings between CFS Managers and the Judges. Both parties should not come to meetings with an agenda but be prepared to engage in open communication.

Provide training for CFS staff and County Counsel:

- Conduct mandatory training about discovery composed of two key elements: (1) the Role of Different Players (County Counsel, attorneys, etc.); and (2) Reporting Requirements. Non-compliance to discovery reporting procedures results in delays of rendering decisions.

- Conduct training on the relationships among parties in court proceedings

- Conduct training which defines who the decision maker is at each level of a case

- Conduct cultural competency training programs to understand cultural nuances, identify when child abuse warrants removal, and identify what situations require education on child abuse law and/or positive parenting techniques

Provide full disclosure:

Full disclosure of information regarding possible relatives as a permanent option allows the court to make the most informed decision. The Court should have full visibility of all potential placement options, rather than having a restricted view of whom CFS finds acceptable. This can be reiterated in trainings.

Consistency:

Improve the consistency of decisions at the supervisory level.

Better Use of Time:

Improve the use of social workers’ time. Court officers should be knowledgeable about cases so that they are able to report on them. This would avoid the need for social workers to sit in court all day waiting to present their case. This would free up their time to do social work and be out in the field.

Knowledge of Cases and Better Preparation:

When being cross examined, social workers need to know the details of their cases. Social workers need to verify that services were received prior to the review hearings. Social workers should be proactive in finding out if the family is complying, resolving issues when possible, and, above all, documenting when a family is not complying. It makes it easier for the Court to make a decision when the social workers have knowledge of what happened and why.

Working with County Counsel:

Best practice suggests that County Counsel needs to provide legal representation in Court at every proceeding. With the current system, (a) County Counsel doesn’t have a stake in the case or outcome, (b) delays in completing the hearing and case continuance impact the well-being of families, (c) the social worker is the only party without representation, (d) there is a lack of consistency in applying criteria for removal and reunification based on seeing cases with similar circumstances in isolation, rather than as part of community trends. Another possible benefit of County Counsel actively reviewing cases is that they will be able to observe trends in particular communities and have an early warning system pointing to distinct family issues; thus, a prevention strategy. One idea is to choose two or three effective attorneys from the County Counsel office, and contract with them.

Adequate and Stable Leadership (Director) and Consistent Supervision (Supervisory Level)

Some feedback regarding areas in which the Court can improve included providing information and clear expectations. Part of the judiciary’s role is to go out to the community and advocate for services. The Court’s job responsibility states that the Court “shall work to develop programs out in the community.” This is not a leadership development activity, it is a leadership obligation. When sending correspondence or announcements out to the community and requests that the community be present for an event, the Court should use Court letterhead in order to get more responses and better turnout.

Another area where changes can be made within the Court is in continuance cases. The Court and attorneys have an obligation to think of the consequences of delaying a hearing regardless of the reason. Delays affect everyone and it is a disservice to the families and children being served.

The Court recognizes that the social workers’ time is valuable. The Court can improve management of calendars to minimize the time spent in court by social workers.

HSA is not represented by County Counsel at every legal proceeding, so social workers often feel they cannot effectively support their positions in Court.

Juvenile Probation

Areas for Improvement

    Feedback from the Parents’ Focus Group, indicates that there is a perception that the Court often terminates probation services before children and families are ready.

    The Parents’ Focus Group reported that they did not initially understand the court process and did not feel that they had any power. Once they knew the process, they realized that they could hire their own counsel and have more input.

b.

Process for Timely Notification of Hearings

HSA/CFS

CFS has developed a system to assure that foster parents, tribes, pre-adoptive parents and relative caregivers of children in foster care are provided timely notification and an opportunity to be heard in reviews held with respect to the children in their care. To support timely notification of hearings, HSA has staff specifically designated to perform court noticing and court reporting functions. In addition, HSA developed a Court Noticing Database for maintaining and monitoring court noticing.

The current procedure calls for staff to send the caretaker’s address to the Court Clerk six weeks before the scheduled hearing. The Court Clerk then sends the Caregiver Information Form (JV 290) to the caretaker and a statement which the caretaker signs if he/she does not have any information regarding the child that they wish to share with the Court. The Department also created an additional form (JV 290.1sm) to document the social workers’ attempts to secure the JV290 from the caretaker if they have been unable to do so. Every court report concerning a child in out-of-home placement must have a JV290 attached, an alternative statement from the social worker, or a JV 290.1sm (See Attachment B).

Juvenile Probation

Responsible parties are notified by mail 15 court days in advance by the Court Clerk’s Office. The Court expects all minors to be physically present for court appearances.

c.

Process for Parent-Child-Youth Participation in Case Planning

Human Services Agency – TDM

The Family to Family (F2F) Initiative, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1992, was implemented in San Mateo County in 2001 and integrated into the SIP. One of F2F’s principal components, the TDM model, is used to guide placement decisions. Birth and foster parents, extended family members, youth, community partners, the assigned social worker and supervisor, and/or other significant adults in a child’s life meet to develop the best possible placement plan for the child.

In the TDM model, a strengths-based approach is utilized to focus on the families’ strengths rather than simply identifying deficits. The TDM philosophy values families’ inclusion in the decision-making process and research indicates that when families feel empowered to take an active role, more positive outcomes for children are realized.

TDMs are required at any change of placement. Recently, CFS began collecting data to compare the number of placement changes to the number of TDMs conducted. The results will be used to identify training needs and monitor staff performance in this area. During the first six months of FY08/09, approximately 380 TDMs and family conferences were conducted.

Juvenile Probation

Juvenile Probation notes that its strength is including families and youth in the case planning process.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Strengths

Birth parents participated in TDMs during different stages of their cases. Birth parents shared that they felt heard; that the Agency listened to their concerns; and that the case plan that was developed was realistic.

The PQCR Report noted multiple strengths exhibited by CFS staff. Among the strengths identified were:

    Social workers place a priority on building relationships with families and treat them with respect.

    Social workers are direct with parents about concerns.

    Social workers place a priority on visitation.

    Social workers include youth in developing transition plans.

    Social workers plan fun activities with children and families.

    Social workers are creative in their case management and accommodate parents’ work schedules.

    Emergency Response social workers help prepare families for ongoing services by engaging and empowering them.

    Social workers use a team approach to motivate parents and have a “don’t give up” attitude.

    Social workers empower parents and look for family strengths.

    Social workers attribute progress and success to families.

    Social workers assess for cultural issues.

    There is collaboration between the social worker, supervisor and all

    invited parties, including service providers and extended family members

    TDM’s conclude with a written plan which is helpful to the family

    TDM’s are helpful to discuss what the case issues are with parents

    TDM’s create accountability for the family

    TDMs are an opportunity to identify family strengths

Areas for Improvement

One comment from a strategic plan focus group was that TDM meetings can be long, can lack focus, and are not outcomes-oriented.

Juvenile Probation

Strengths

    Probation officers engage children and families in their case plans and in effective services.

    Strong transition plans thought out well in advance lead to successful reunification or return to the community.

    Probation officers plan early for youth transitioning home and give parents decision making power and responsibility to help them take back the parenting role prior to the child returning home.

    Probation officers attend and participate in meetings with partner agencies, such as TDMs.

    The BHRS Mental Health counselor working with the probation aftercare team is very effective. Parents report that the BHRS Mental Health counselor helped them transition their child home and guided them in devising a plan to keep their child away from gang-related peers.

    Youth keep the same probation officer for aftercare which maintains a key relationship for the child and family.

    Probation officers offer intensive supervision by setting structure and curfew when a child returns home.

    Probation officers are respectful of families.

    Parents feel that they are included in case planning and service delivery.

    Parents felt that their Placement Probation Officer was much more understanding, engaging and supportive. It made them feel a part of the plan and they engaged with the placement and with the after care plan as a result.

    The BHRS Mental Health Counselor helped parents transition their child home, devise a plan to prevent gang involvement, and obtain jobs.

Areas for Improvement

    A recommendation was made to empower parents by including them more fully in case management and placement decisions. It was suggested that procedures include a comprehend-comprehensive plan that is reviewed and revised six months prior to termination.

d.

General Case Planning and Review

HSA/CFS

The Case Plan is based on an assessment of the circumstances that lead to CWS involvement. The Case Plan is the foundation for the provision of services and, if it is a dependency case, follows the orders of the Juvenile Court. The Case Plan uses the strengths of the family, identifies the needs of the participants, outlines the services to be provided, assigns responsibilities, identifies the goal of the services, specifies the visiting plan for children placed out of the home, and is developed in conjunction with the family. The Assessment and Case Plan entries are completed in CWS/CMS and the documents are generated in CWS/CMS. The Case Plan must be signed by the parents and the supervisor.

A Case Plan must be completed by whichever of the following three dates comes first:

- within 30 days of the initial removal of the child

- within 30 days of the first face-to-face contact with the child

- the date of the Dispositional Hearing for the child.

If a child is 14 years of age and resides in out of home placement in SMC or if a child is 15 and resides in out of home placement outside of SMC, a Transitional Independent Plan Living (TILP) must be developed with them. The TILP is part of the Case Plan and upon completion must be attached with the Case Plan.

The Case Plan is updated:

- at a minimum of every 90 days for a voluntary FM case

- every 6 months in conjunction with the status review hearing for a court case

- when significant change/s in circumstances occur such as a child is AWOL for

more than 5 days; an absent parent is located, etc.

The Case Plan Update provides current information on the parent’s compliance with the Case Plan currently in effect and evaluates the progress in achieving the Case Plan objectives.

Case plans are attached to the jurisdictional/dispositional report and each subsequent six-month review. The Juvenile Court approves each case plan. The Department works closely with the Court to ensure that permanency hearings for children are held within required time frames. Social workers make sure that all recommendations in the court report for setting permanency hearings are also within the required timeframes. The court is very aware of these timeframes and makes every effort to schedule these hearings accordingly.

CFS utilizes Team-based Case Planning (TBCP) which provides a forum to receive input from various parties who are involved with family members in order to increase the options available for providing stability to families and children. There are eight forums designated for TBCP: TDM, PRB, Permanence Planning Committee, Youth Permanence Planning Committee, ILP Emancipation Conference, Case Conference Protocol, Inter-Agency Placement Review Committee and FSST.

Juvenile Probation

Juvenile Probation reports that all wards entering placement have a completed case plan with minor and parent participation. An automated tool is used by staff to assist in the case planning process. Case plans are modified or updated at a minimum of every six months. Once a minor is placed in a residential program, federal requirements (Title IV-E) mandate a revised case plan within 30 days and Probation is in compliance with this standard.

Juvenile Probation is at or close to 100% compliance in meeting the requirement that all permanency hearings occur within the prescribed time frame. The Court is very sensitive to this requirement and sets most hearings well in advance of the deadline date. A very high percentage of Probation wards are reunified with their parents and, consequently, staff has not placed emphasis on concurrent planning at the time of removal. However, with the addition of an automated case planning system, Agency staff is able to provide concurrent planning at the initial stage and throughout the life of the case.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Strengths

Birth parents’ experiences vary from one social worker to another. Generally, they appreciate social workers’ ability to communicate with them regularly in person or by phone. Having calls returned in a timely manner, knowing how to contact the social worker, and knowing whom to contact if social workers are not available are important.

Services arranged by social workers such as parenting classes, treatment programs, supervised visitation and transportation were identified as instrumental in ensuring successful reunification. Graduated visitation was identified as a successful strategy because it promotes bonding with the parents. One difficulty with visitation was out-of county placements. Having the social worker make transportation arrangements was helpful.

Another strategy that was helpful in ensuring successful reunification was reunifying children one at a time. This gives the children and parents time to re-adjust to the family situation and parents are not as overwhelmed and can prepare for each child’s return.

A lot of thought is put into Court-ordered services. The Court feels that the Agency has the ability to meet the Court’s expectations in terms of providing families with these services.

Areas for Improvement

Birth parents may be under multiple stresses and unable to comply with all requirements. Birth parents who were successfully reunified credit their social workers for believing that they could make the necessary changes to facilitate reunification. Support, motivation from social workers, and not labeling parents even though they have been in the system more than once, helped them focus on meeting the case plan goals and reunifying with their children.

One birth parent commented that a lot of people were involved in the case and the parent was unclear on what everyone’s roles were in the visits/meetings. Another comment from a parent was that they did not get a copy of the case plan until the day of the hearing.

In the strategic plan focus groups, comments were made about CFS’s inconsistent follow up to reports of abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters either never received a response or the call or letter arrived weeks later. Focus group members would also like to see social workers out-stationed in the communities.

Recommendations

When a case is transferred from one social worker to another, parents are unaware at times of the reasons why. It would be helpful if CFS were to explain to parents the factors that can result in having multiple social workers, either on a one-to-one basis or during a parent orientation.

During meetings or visits with parents involving other community or agency partners, each participant should discuss in simple terms what his/her role is, the purpose of the visit, how it is different than another visit (e.g., public health nurse or psychologist visit), why the visit is needed, etc.

It is recommended that the policy on providing follow up to mandated reporters be reviewed and that it is consistently followed to encourage mandated reporters to continue filing child abuse reports.

If there is a way to keep the same social worker on a case from beginning to end, this would be an opportunity to build an ongoing connection between the social worker and the family. An alternative would be a team “social working” approach where two social workers are assigned to a case. This way, they could bounce ideas off each other, enhance the delivery of services, and have coverage when a social worker is on vacation. Also, a change in therapist mid-way or when rapport has been established can set back progress in therapy.

Identify every near and non-near relative, supportive network of friends, advocates, etc., that can form a network of support for the family.

Juvenile Probation

Area for Improvement

Some parents felt that initially they were not included in their child’s treatment plan prior to out-of-home placement.

a.

General Licensing, Recruitment and Retention

 

HSA’s service philosophy for foster care and kinship care is to:

    Provide a safe, stable and nurturing temporary home

    Provide services needed by families to address the circumstances which necessitated removal, reunifying families when possible and linking families to community resources

    Provide children and caretakers with sufficient resources and supports to enable them to maintain placement, insure the cultural, medical and emotional health of children, and provide the support and resources necessary to reach their goals

    Provide a successful transition to adulthood

    Provide resources to locate permanent connections and/or a permanent home for children when reunification is not possible

During FY07/08, San Mateo County provided support to 121 licensed foster and fost-adopt homes. Seven social workers, one supervisor and one program manager are assigned to the home finding unit, which is responsible for foster home licensing, relative assessments, and adoptive home study activities. Joint recruitment efforts are conducted for foster, fost-adopt and adoptive families. CFS provides a 21-hour foster parent training that covers such topics as CFS and Juvenile Court procedures, roles and responsibilities, mandated reporting, impact of loss, stages of grieving, developing positive attachments, and importance of birth family connections. Foster parents also complete eight hours of training per year.

Having an adequate number of foster care homes located within the County for children in need of out-of-home placement as well as fost-adopt and adoptive homes when parental rights are terminated is an ongoing challenge for the Agency. Although we have 121 licensed foster and fost-adopt homes, 300 SMC children are in foster care. There has been a steady decline in the number of foster homes in San Mateo County over the past 15 years. In July 1994, the number of foster homes in San Mateo County was 345. By July 2004, that number had been slashed to 136. Our data, therefore, shows that current recruitment strategies are not as effective as they need to be to produce a net increase of available homes.

It is important to note that despite the decrease in available foster homes, the number of kinship placements has made up for some of this decline and now represents approximately 55% of placements. While kinship care is a concept that is embraced by the Agency, the need for compassionate, well trained and well supported foster parents, available for the temporary care of children, remains high.

Recruitment and Retention Efforts

Area-specific recruitment occurs at churches, school organizations, businesses, tenant organizations, child care groups and on buses and in movie theaters. Ongoing recruitment partnerships with churches involved in Help One Child have been established. Orientation and other trainings are offered in the communities. Recruitment materials, advertisements, orientation and training have been developed to engage our Spanish speaking populations. Resource parents receive a $250 award for recruiting any new foster family that completes the licensing process.

The Agency has addressed this challenge through a variety of channels including working in collaboration with the following groups on ongoing recruitment and retention efforts:

    Community groups

    Foster Family Agencies

    County Board of Supervisors

    Foster parents

In order to retain existing homes, the Agency has:

    Designated a full-time social work supervisor position specifically to act as liaison to foster parents

    Coordinated bi-annual celebrations and recognition events for foster families

    Collaborated with the Foster Parent Association to identify strategies for retaining current foster parents and recruiting new foster parents

    Conducted monthly support meetings for foster parents and group home staff

It has been suggested that economic conditions, including housing prices, may be a contributing factor when foster families discontinue their service or move out of the County.

b.

Placement Resources

F2F

The F2F strategy of “recruiting, training, and supporting resource families” is supported through social marketing, advertising, mentoring, support groups, advocacy, and financial incentives. Building community partnerships is an established strategy in San Mateo County and Regional Community Partnership Teams (RCPT) are supporting resource family recruitment and retention activities.

Kinship Care Services

HSA contracts with Edgewood Center for Children and Families to administer the Kinship Support Services Program. Kinship Support Services are provided throughout the County with offices in the Northern (South San Francisco) and Southern Regions (East Palo Alto), the areas where most of the relative caretakers reside. Relative caretakers receive services such as respite care, family outings, case management, tutoring, and health services. The Agency has assigned two social workers to conduct assessments of relatives with whom children may be placed. HSA has established a written policy, conducted several trainings to inform all staff of the regulations, and has conducted internal audits around compliance with this policy.

Challenges

Although African American children make up approximately 30% of our children in out-of-home care, only 3.3% of families in the County are African American. This reflects an extreme disproportionality for African American children in out-of-home care, and indicates that there is only a small pool of African American families from which to recruit foster homes. This emphasizes the need for cultural competency training for foster parents and staff. Additionally, the cost of living in San Mateo County, especially the cost of housing, is high, so that it is difficult for many families, regardless of ethnicity and culture, to be able to take foster children into their homes.

Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention Strategic Plan (FY 2008-2014)

CFS has developed a detailed strategic plan to strengthen and provide structure to recruitment and retention efforts. The overall goal of the plan is to increase the number of foster families to meet the specific needs of children and youth in care. The plan calls for recruitment of a network of families that are neighborhood based, culturally sensitive, and located primarily in the communities from which children come. These families will be recruited with an understanding of the need for permanency and concurrent planning.

Strategic goals have been identified, appropriate actions have been outlined and measures have been developed to evaluate progress. The eight strategic goals are:

    1. Promote a new Agency-wide recruitment mindset

    2. Inform targeted communities and the general population of the continuous need for foster homes

    3. Increase the number of African American and Latino families available to provide short term foster care by five families annually

    4. Increase the number of families available to provide short term foster care to medically fragile children by two families annually

    5. Increase the number of families available to provide short term foster care to sibling groups of two or more by five families annually

    6. Increase the number of families available to provide short term foster care to adolescents by five families annually

    7. Increase the number of families available to adopt a specific child by five families annually

8. Become a Bay Area leader in the support of foster parents

a.

CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF

 

HSA has designated a Program Manager, Contract Monitor and Fiscal Analyst to oversee the CAPIT/Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP)/PSSF contracts. The Program Manager represents HSA at Children’s Collaborative Action Team (CCAT) and CCAT Oversight Committee meetings. The Fiscal Analyst, with the Program Manager and Contract Monitor, ensures that services meet the funding sources’ requirements. The Fiscal Analyst also monitors the invoices and tracks funding utilization. The Contract Monitor’s responsibilities include providing technical assistance in developing short-term, intermediate and long-term goals, developing satisfaction surveys and evaluation tools, collecting and reviewing required quarterly activity reports, semi-annual narrative reports and results of customer surveys and evaluations, and conducting site visits with the Program Manager and CCAT’s Coordinator. Site visit includes review of program and contractor’s performance in meeting outcomes; review of policies and procedures, training manual, documentation, participant records, surveys, etc.; and participant interviews. A site visit form is used and at the end of each visit, a report is provided to the contractor stating whether the requirements were met or if corrective action is needed. For the latter, contractors are required to respond outlining a corrective action plan to address the areas that did not meet HSA standards. (See Attachments C through E). Following an agreed upon timeframe, during which the contractor must implement the corrective action plan and achieve significant improvement, a follow up site visit is conducted to determine whether the corrective action plan was implemented and improvement was realized. As a last resort, all contracts contain language which allows HSA to terminate a contract with 30 day notice.

The County Adoptions Unit provides monitoring for PSSF expended for Adoption and Reunification programming. Program success is monitored through the quarterly AB636 Report which is reviewed by CFS managers and supervisors and the HSA’s Executive Team, made up of the HSA Director and department directors.

HSA is able to determine if services are positively impacting the lives of consumers and meeting the needs of the community through surveys, evaluation, and parent testimonies. All contractors are required to develop outcomes that measure both quantitative and qualitative performance (e.g., client satisfaction, change in knowledge or behavior). All contractors report on these outcomes on a quarterly basis. Testimonies reported on mid-year and year-end reports and during site visits provide further insight into the quality of services received. Technical assistance is provided when contractors are experiencing challenges in meeting their goals and objectives.

b.

Probation

 

The Probation Department in conjunction with HSA, BHRS and the County Office of Education (COED), uses a Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) referred to as the Interagency Placement Review Committee (IPRC) to determine if a youth is appropriate for out-of-home placement. The Committee is composed of managers from the participating agencies. Each case is carefully examined with respect to educational needs, mental health issues, delinquent behavior, family issues and relationships to determine if the referring agency has made prior efforts to reduce or eliminate the need for out-of-home placement.

Once suitability is determined, IPRC will designate the level of care required to meet case needs by setting the appropriate Rate Classification Level (RCL).

The Placement Unit will then refer the case to programs suited to meet case needs.

While in the program, a Placement Officer will conduct monthly site visits to determine progress and identify any issues of concern. If issues are identified that impact case progress or relate to the safety or well being of the client, the placement officer will take steps to address the issues up to and including removing the youth from the program.

Each case is monitored by the Court according to State and Federal mandates, and the Court is kept updated on individual’s progress or lack thereof.

The Placement Unit utilizes an Aftercare MDT, which includes BHRS, which develops a comprehensive plan well in advance of discharge to meet the case needs upon the youth’s transition home. Each eligible youth is enrolled in the Independent Living Program (ILP) where they are taught specific, individually targeted skills that will assist their ability to live on their own.

Although Probation is generally able to identify programs suitable to meet the identified needs of the youth in the Placement Unit, occasionally the Agency encounters cases whose needs exceed the capacity of the programs the County uses.

As part of the Counties efforts to measure the effectiveness of Juvenile Probation’s efforts, Probation collects Outcome Based Measurements. For the Placement unit, this includes the number and percent of youth who are not removed or re-placed during the period of supervision. A second measure focuses on the number of youth who complete probation without having a subsequent petition sustained for a new law violation.

c.

Child Welfare (HSA/CFS)

HSA/CFS

 

Accreditation and Quality Improvement Unit

The Accreditation and Quality Improvement (AQI) unit provides leadership, coordination, and support to foster agency-wide continuous quality improvement in HSA. The AQI unit supports the Agency leadership in developing and implementing quality improvement processes—including accreditation and continuous quality improvement systems. Some quality improvement activities of the AQI unit include peer case record reviews, creating and implementing Employee Satisfaction Surveys, coaching Quality Improvement Teams, tabulating quality improvement data, generating meaningful reports, tracking follow-through on processes, offering suggestions for agency-wide quality improvement needs on an ongoing basis, etc. These integrated functions are designed to improve client and program outcomes and consistently deliver the highest possible level of services to the communities and clients served by HSA.

Quality Assurance Unit

The Quality Assurance program (QA) is a new Agency initiative aimed at creating avenues that will ensure a high caliber of program integrity in our Food Stamp, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, General Assistance, and CFS programs through quality control. Quality Assurance activities conducted to improve the administration of programs and the quality of services include checks and balances, quality control, second tier case record reviews, program monitoring and evaluation, conducting ‘go behind’ calls, and coordinating and preparing pre-audits and State and Federal audits.

CFS

CFS conducts an Internal Peer Case Record Review on a quarterly basis. The review is conducted by CFS managers, supervisors, social workers and Citizen Review Panel (CRP) members. A valid sample size of open and closed cases, approximately 100 cases per year, is reviewed quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative review consists of a checklist to make sure the case file has all the documents and forms (e.g., court documents, safety plan, concurrent planning, ICWA, consent, civil rights, and placement forms) from beginning (Emergency Response) to end (Case Closure). The qualitative segment of the review involves reviewing four areas: Assessment, Case Plan, Services, and Case Closure (See Attachment F through H). Upon completion of the case review, the social workers and their supervisors receive a feedback document noting corrections needing to be made as well as giving positive feedback on what was done well. Social workers will then note responses to the needed corrections and will submit, through their supervisors, the completed feedback form to show compliance of the cited deficiencies.

CFS also regularly holds Placement Review Board (PRB) meetings, where CFS staff review cases in which children are in Shelter Care to move the child quickly out of emergency shelter care, offer consultation regarding the child’s placement, and identify resources that will enable a child to be placed in the least restrictive setting that meets his/her individual needs. If the PRB meeting cannot resolve the placement issues, any party may request a Case Conference. PRB also serves as another forum to ensure concurrent planning is in place. PRB is composed of CFS staff, including:

    Placement Coordinator

    Regional Manager

    Home Finding Supervisor

    Shelter Care Coordinator

    Adoptions Supervisor

    Regional Supervisors, in rotation

    Team Decision Making staff

    BHRS representative

To monitor mental health services, CFS has assigned a Program Manager to oversee the MOU with BHRS to provide mental health treatment to CFS children. All referrals are submitted to a point person who tracks the referrals on a spreadsheet. BHSR tracks the number of admission assessments, number of sessions and client progress and submits a report every quarter. There are two committees that review the quality and efficacy of mental health services. One is the Data Committee that meets every other month and is composed of a CFS Program Manager, a BHRS Manager, BHRS fiscal and data analysts, a Nurse Manager, Business Systems Group, and the contract provider, Edgewood. The other committee is the Program Committee that meets quarterly to discuss what is working and what is not working. The committee is composed of the Data Committee members plus the Director of Maternal Child Health. In addition to receiving data on mental health, CFS is also receiving data for services provided by the nurses to ensure the needs of the children are holistically addressed. Nurses provide an array of services including nutrition education, general medical counseling, and information and referral.

CFS continually monitors SMC’s performance in meeting the C-CFSR performance measures through quarterly review of the C-CFSR (also known as AB636) Data Report. The C-CFSR Data Report is shared with the CFS Management Team, Policy Team, composed of managers and supervisors, HSA’s Executive Team, made up of the Agency Director and department directors, and the community, through CRP. The Quarterly C-CFSR highlights CFS’s achievement in the quarter, identifies areas for improvement and makes recommendations.

Network

of Services

HSA provides a network of services and resources through collaborations with community providers and other County agencies throughout the County. Funding is provided for the operation of seven Core Service Centers in San Mateo County, which can provide or locate emergency food, shelter, clothing, employment services, utility assistance funds and short-term counseling.

The Core agencies are located regionally in order to provide local access to those in need. The Daly City Community Service Center and the North Peninsula Neighborhood Service Center are located in the northern region of the County; Samaritan House provides services in central County; Fair Oaks Community Center and Bayshore Community Resource Center are in the southern region; and the Pacifica Resource Center and Coastside Opportunity Center are situated in communities along the coast.

FRCs provide prevention and early intervention social services at multiple school sites in SMC. HSA staff works in collaboration with several school districts, County and City government, and local non-profit agencies and foundations to increase parent involvement in their children's education, with the hope of improving the health, safety, and academic, social, and emotional success of children from pre-Kindergarten to third grade.

The Prevention/Early Intervention (PEI) Department of HSA is designed to integrate prevention services and focus on community capacity building. PEI oversees the FRCs and core service agencies mentioned above.

Aftercare

CFS provides ILP where foster youth learn life skills that will help them better prepare for successful emancipation. ILP has separate classes for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors to ensure classes are appropriately targeted for each group. Transcripts and college credits are available for students who qualify by virtue of their high school standing, class attendance and participation. Topics in the ILP classes include education, employment and life skills, college placement and financial aid, social skills, financial skills, money management, health/nutrition issues.

CFS administers the Transitional Housing Placement Plus Program (THP-Plus) which provides affordable housing and a wide range of supportive services, including job training, educational support, and counseling. CFS provides three housing programs under THP-Plus. The Host Family Model where the youth has an appropriate adult (ex foster parent, NREFM, mentor) that is willing to provide permanency for the youth. The youth pay a share of rent and receive a monthly stipend. The second program is the structured single site where youth typically share a house or apartment with other youth from the program, with structured rules and nighttime staff to ensure safe environment. Youth pay a share of the rent that is kept for them when they leave the program. The last model is the scattered site housing where youth reside in an apartment or on campus. Youth and THP-Plus pay a share of the rent and youth receive a monthly stipend living subsidy.

Post emancipated youth, whether enrolled in a housing program or not, are offered the following aftercare support and services: Employment Services Specialist who helps them with job preparation, interviewing skills, resume writing, matching with mentors, providing linkages, etc.; case managers who provide the fifteen State-required services (case management, utilities and rent, job readiness, food and allowances, education advocacy and support, post-high school training, individual and group therapy, family and community connections, mentoring, apartment furnishings, emancipation fund, post-program housing assistance and alumni services); and the Youth Financial Independence Program (YFI) where the County provides matching funds for youth to enable them to build financial assets, learn financial management skills and create financial goals for themselves. Two of the main objectives of the YFI Program are to help youth develop a savings pattern and support their efforts in achieving long-term, viable self-sufficiency.

CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF Funded Services

With CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF funding, HSA provides a myriad of child abuse prevention and intervention services to ensure the health and well-being of children and families. Prevention services designed to keep families from getting involved in the Child Welfare System and which enable at-risk children to remain with their families include: a mentoring program for at-risk youth; child care services allowing birth parents, foster parents and adoptive parents to attend parenting classes, support groups and training to increase their ability to care for children who have been abused or neglected; evidence-based parenting classes; Teen Outreach Workshops in high schools; a cooperative model of pre-school parent involvement and parent education classes that address multiple risk factors for children at risk of abuse and neglect; parent involvement programs to improve student learning and overall educational success; and raising awareness of the risk factors for and indicators of child abuse, legal reporting requirements, and referral procedures.

Other prevention services are individualized to meet the unique needs of children and families such as information and referral services; counseling services; and a moderated chat room and hotline to give teens a forum to discuss healthy relationships, resources, etc.

CAPIT/PSSF funds intervention services designed to help children achieve permanency such as mindfulness-based rehabilitation classes to incarcerated male and female youth, some of whom are under the dual jurisdiction of CFS and Juvenile Probation, designed to help youth reduce stress, regulate emotional states, identify legitimate needs underlying their negative behaviors and take responsibility for their actions. The program will aid in building self-awareness, self-respect and self-control necessary for youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and ensure successful re-entry into their communities, and help in stabilizing placements and preserving family connections. The mental health services that the youth receive now through the classes will hopefully end the cycle of abuse when they too become parents. In order to ensure that funding is appropriately used, the Agency’s fiscal services staff will review the budget for alternative funding streams against which to charge the cost of this program.

Availability of Child Abuse Prevention Education

CCAT, as the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Mateo County, provides education and outreach to the community such as conducting evening presentations on topics of interest to parents, providing speakers on child abuse prevention at CCAT meetings, community outreach at fairs, events, etc. CFS also has a contract with a mandated reporter training (MRT) provider who provides MRT to school personnel, child care providers, probation officers, etc. throughout the County.

Health and Well Being Resources

Health care services are provided for uninsured County residents through the Department of Health Services at the San Mateo County General Hospital and at six clinics located throughout the County, and regional HSA offices accept applications for the MediCal and Healthy Families programs. The State contracts with the Health Plan of San Mateo, a Medi-Cal countywide health system which works to improve the continuity and quality of health care by providing case management and cost-effective organization of resources.

The County’s Mental Health Services Division of BHRS provides a broad range of services to people with mental illness in the county. Priority populations include seriously mentally ill adults and children, older adults at risk of institutionalization, children in special education or at risk of out-of-home placement, and people of any age in major crisis.

The division is responsible for providing needed mental health services to all individuals who are eligible for Medi-Cal under a managed care plan called the Mental Health Plan (MHP). The division serves over 10,000 clients through outpatient service centers in Daly City, San Mateo, the Coastside, Redwood City and East Palo Alto, in school-based locations, and through a network of community agencies and independent providers. These county and community resources provide outpatient services, residential treatment, rehabilitation and other services for adults and children. The division operates the Cordilleras Mental Health Center, a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in Redwood City, through a contract with Telecare Corporation.

AOD offers a continuum of services for the prevention and treatment of drug and alcohol problems. AOD provides substance use consultation, assessment, linkages, and referrals to a variety of contracted substance abuse treatment providers. Services are available to all San Mateo County residents free of cost.

Services for At-Risk Children

CFS’ DR Program serves families when children are at risk of child abuse or neglect. When referrals are received by the Department, those where little risk to a child exists, where a previous allegation has been substantiated, and where there is a child aged five years or under, are assigned to DR community case managers. These case managers provide information and referral and connect families to resources that are meant to prevent abuse from occurring within the family. The PEI Department of HSA is designed to integrate prevention services and focus on community capacity building. PEI oversees the FRCs and core service agencies.

The Head Start, Black Infant Health Project, Prenatal to Three Initiative, and Adolescent Family Life Programs provide support services, training and education to families of young children. Domestic violence and parent crisis hotlines are operated to help families and children in crisis situations.

Services for Children with Disabilities

To serve children with special needs, CFS has a wide array of services that address physical, medical, emotional, educational, and behavioral needs of children. Among them are the services of a medical provider specializing in medically-fragile infants (MFI) who provides on-going care, identifies needs, ensures needed services are in place, monitors children’s progress, and makes placement recommendations. CFS has licensed MFI providers who are specially trained to meet the needs of MFIs and conducts a monthly support group for these providers. CFS also has therapeutic foster care Level 10 and 12 children. CFS provides Public Health Nurses who conduct a full assessment within 72 hours; educational liaisons that coordinate IEP meetings and ensure services are in place as indicated in the IEP evaluation; psychiatric evaluation for children if recommended; and medical management through BHRS.

HSA partners with Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC), which services individuals and families with developmental disabilities. GGRC also provides early intervention services to infants between birth and three years of age who are developmentally delayed or believed to be at high risk of having a developmental disability. The County’s Aging and Adult Services, the Center for Independence of the Disabled (CID), and Poplar ReCare are additional resources for disability services.

Services Available for Ethnic/

Minority Populations

San Mateo County is home to many ethnically and linguistically diverse populations. SMC is committed to identifying strategies for engaging members of these populations who may have experienced County services as being unresponsive to their needs in the past.

Multiple strategies implemented include an infusion of training, hiring of bilingual staff, expanded peer/peer-run services and hiring of consumers and parent partners as providers.

A sampling of available services targeting minority populations includes:

    Asian American Recovery Services (substance abuse treatment)

    Pacific Islander Community Center (a range of family services)

    La Raza Centro Legal (immigration services)

    Puente de la Costa Sur (a range of family services)

    El Concilio Day Worker Center

    Edgewood Center (broad range of family services provided in Spanish)

    Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (outreach, counseling, support groups and legal services for battered women are provided in Spanish)

    Black Infant Health Project

    El Centro de Libertad (bilingual and bicultural outpatient program, group and individual counseling)

    San Mateo County Reads Programs (literacy, reading skills and tutoring for

non-native and non-English speakers)

Services Available for Native American

Families

SMC provides limited resources for Native American families. In addition to an ICWA specialist, CFS provides ICWA experts as witnesses when needed. Fortunately, SMC’s neighboring counties have resources that SMC residents are referred to and can easily access. North of SMC (in San Francisco), services include the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Friendship House, an 80-bed residential substance abuse treatment facility. In the East Bay (Oakland), resources for Native American families include the American Indian Child Resources which provides social services and education (i.e., tutorial, advocacy, case management), National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, and the California Indian Legal Services.

Evidence Based Practice

CFS is committed to utilizing evidence-based models in its programs. The Department conducted a study on national evidence-based parenting classes that would help improve parents’ parenting skills to facilitate successful reunification. In FY 2007-08, CFS implemented the Strengthening Families Program (SFP). The SFP is an evidence-based life-skills training program designed to increase resilience and reduce risk factors for behavioral, academic, and social problems for children 3-16 years of age, focusing on increasing protective factors by improving family relationships and parenting skills. This program is very successful because it targets its intervention on the individual (i.e., children and parents) as well as the family system.

When DR was initially implemented, there was no requirement as to the home visiting model to be used by contractors’ case management staff. However, for the following funding cycle the Department required new contractors to incorporate evidence-based home visiting models into the program. When selecting an assessment tool for use by DR case managers, the County opted for the Family Assessment Screening Tool which was developed from the validated North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS).

CFS also emphasizes to CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF contractors the need for adopting evidence-based practice models relevant to child welfare in order to ensure that the interventions and services available to families are well tested and supported by research. Evidence-based contracted services maximize resources and help to achieve outcomes that contribute to safety, permanency and well-being.

The most recent CAPIT/CBCAP/PSSF RFP stated that “applicants must demonstrate how their program/project fits within the context of the California Evidence-Based practices model”. Applicants were directed to the California Child Welfare Clearing House website for information related to literature searches and review.

Participation in the Needs Assessment Process

In the development of the HSA Strategic Plan, focus groups were conducted in the North, Central and South parts of the county, including the coast, allowing families to give feedback on HSA and its services. These focus groups were conducted in the county and facilitated by community leaders. Questions were asked about barriers preventing families from becoming healthy, productive, contributing members of the community, and whether HSA’s services are effective in addressing those barriers and gaps in services.

At the recently concluded PQCR, foster parents and current foster youth participated in focus group discussions. Birth parents were interviewed in the development of this CSA.

CFS makes every effort to involve a wide array of stakeholders, including birth parents, in projects that require community input, and funding and technical assistance is available as needed to make it possible for parent/consumers to participate. Outreach activities that are conducted to maximize the participation of parents as well as racial and ethnic populations, children and adults with disabilities, and members of other underserved or underrepresented groups include: a CCAT resource fair located on site at a school-based FRC; recruitment of former foster youth representatives for committees such as the Disproportionality Workgroup; foster parents participating at resource parent orientations; and events, such as “Dad and Me at the Pool”, conducted in high risk communities. A new project which is currently in the planning phase will feature presentations to African American community groups to engage and recruit volunteer mentors, cultural brokers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and foster and fost-adopt families.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Strengths

Generally, the birth parents who were interviewed were very satisfied with the services they received. Providers offered flexible hours and in one instance, a provider stayed late for a client to be drug tested. Birth parents credited the parenting class in educating them on positive parenting techniques and providing them with a support group. Transportation was identified as a challenge to accessing services and complying with visitation requirements, especially when a child is placed out-of-county. Having the social worker make transportation arrangements was helpful and took the stress of finding transportation from parents.

Areas for Improvement

    Transportation resonated with the families who participated in the focus groups as part of the Agency Strategic Plan development. With a vast geographic area, including coastal areas, transportation is a hardship. There are several isolated areas not served by public transportation and when it is, buses are not the most convenient mode of transport. Transportation is also an issue when Probation children return home because they often have to cross gang lines to access services.

    Basic necessities were also identified as a major concern in the focus groups from food, health insurance and housing (i.e., subsidized housing, shelters, more affordable housing), to clean drinking water in the rural parts of the county. There is a need for medical and dental care, substance abuse treatment, anger management classes, domestic violence counseling, and mental health services including family counseling in schools. Due to budget cuts, law enforcement in the Southern Region cut their mental health services for youth.

    In the interviews and focus groups, one recurring observation was that services are not being accessed by families who need them the most. Services are provided in the community but families are unaware of these resources and how to access them. Additionally, services are not always individualized to meet a specific family’s needs or underlying issues.

    Per the PQCR Report, social workers noted that getting quicker access to services and having services available that match mitigating issues would better support successful reunification. They also felt that there is a need for culturally consistent services and how they are made available to the community.

One of the needs identified by our partners and the community is a mentorship program. In schools, the majority of issues stem from children not having good male role models; they have a hard time adjusting socially and may get involved in gangs. Other identified youth-specific services include after-school programs, job placements and college preparation programs, and programs for teen mothers.

    Affordable child care continues to be a huge service gap. This has been identified as a need by DR providers and one of the barriers that prevent parents from participating in services.

    For adults, training and job assistance were identified as a need in the focus groups. Since the focus groups were conducted before the economic downturn that began in September 2008, the need for job-related services now is even greater. From the interviews conducted with partners, parent education was identified as an essential service: parenting classes that will teach parents positive parenting techniques that are culturally-appropriate to the community and educating parents in preventing the victimization of their teens through online dating.

    Social workers reported that obtaining faster access to services and having services available to match mitigating issues would better support children and families. When services are available, they are not always individualized to meet a specific family’s needs or underlying issues.

    There is a lack of individual therapy for parents and children when children are over the age of five. Children lose their individual therapists when they turn six.

    There is a need for more culturally consistent services and improved accessibility to those services.

Provide after care services in-home or in the family’s community.

    Juvenile Probation

Areas for Improvement

    There is a need for short term respite care.

    In the area of mental health services, concerns were voiced around lack of capacity in the wrap-around program, the need for the increase to a full-time BHRS Mental Health Counselor, and the need for a way for youth to receive psychotropic medications evaluations out of custody.

    There is a lack of pro-social services, mentor programs and CASAs for probation youth.

    Housing services are not attached to any of the programs when it is time for a Probation child to return home.

    There is no case management for youth after the age of eighteen.

    Families with undocumented status fear that enrolling their child for services may result in the child’s deportation.

There is a need for a bilingual Probation Officer and a full-time BHRS Mental Health Counselor.

    HSA/CFS and Juvenile Probation

    Recommendations

    Due to funding reductions across agencies and various programs, the current budget climate calls for a more coordinated service delivery, not just mental health services, to maximize limited resources and prevent duplication. Various agencies need to collaborate and pull all the available resources to be able to serve more families.

    For effective community education and outreach, provide local community navigators who know the community and where the locally-based services are located and help families in accessing the resources including filling out application forms and explaining eligibility requirements and processes.

A successful recreation center in the South area of the county should be replicated in all regions.

Several recommendations for both CFS and Juvenile Probation were made around mental health services and focused on teaming with Mental Health at the policy level to offer more individualized services, obtaining more available wrap-around services slots, and using more experienced Mental Health practitioners for children and families with complex issues,

 

6. Staff/Provider Training

HSA/CFS

 

Overview

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) developed and revised regulations related to social worker training and staff development which became effective July 1, 2008. Per the regulations, county child welfare departments are required to provide a standardized core training program to all social workers within 12 months of hire, with additional core trainings to be completed within 24 months of hire. Additionally, all child welfare social workers and supervisors are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing training annually.

CFS contracts with the Bay Area Academy (BAA) to provide trainings, and works with BAA to continually update and improve curricula. CFS also works closely with the California Social Worker Education Committee (CalSWEC) to remain current and informed regarding any changes in regulations.

Examples of training topics include Child Maltreatment Identification, Child and Youth Development, Critical Thinking in Child Welfare Assessment, Framework for Child Welfare Practice in California, Family Engagement in Case Planning and Case Management, Child Welfare in a Multicultural Environment, Court Procedures, Mental Health and Mental Disorders, Multiethnic Placement Act, and Values and Ethics.

CFS uses Learning Management System (LMS), a web-based system for tracking and managing training information. Staff has the ability to register on-line for available training, and management is able to monitor training attendance. HSA is an accredited agency and meets the training standards set by the Council on Accreditation.

Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition (GBACAPCC)

The GBACAPCC represents eleven counties and promotes coordination of resources, advocacy for public policy, and sharing of best practices. GBACAPCC provides funding for members of San Mateo County’s child abuse prevention council, CCAT, to attend trainings, conferences and workshops that address issues related to child abuse and neglect. Examples of trainings and conferences that were attended by CCAT members include the Arizona Fathers and Families Conference, the City Match Urban Leadership Conference, Training for Trainers for Step Families, and the Integrated Approach to Helping Abused and Traumatized Children training.

Additional training is provided to CCAT members, including the CCAT Liaison, and the community through presentations at meetings or at specially scheduled trainings on topics such as gang violence, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Safe Surrender Program, etc.

Additional Training and Technical Assistance

Technical assistance is provided to contractors by CFS staff in order to assist them in developing S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) outcomes; understanding and completing logic models which identify inputs, outputs, and short, intermediate and long term outcomes; and determining the most effective evaluation methods and tools to use in evaluating their programs.

Disproportionality

CFS also provides additional cultural competency and disproportionality trainings to staff. Some of the trainings provided during the current and previous fiscal years are shown in the following table:

TRAINING NAME

TRAINER

Translating Principles of Undoing Racism into Child Welfare Service Delivery

Dr. Ruth McCroy

Cultural Resource Fair

Elaine Whitefeather

Addressing Racial Disparity and Disproportionality in Your County

Rita Valenzuela Lavelle, MSW

Children & Family Services All Staff Meeting

Rita Cameron Wedding

Transfer of Learning (T.O.L.) on ICWA for Child Welfare Supervisors

Maureen Geary

Working with gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, transgender, Questioning (GLBTQ) from the Youth Perspective

Y.O.U.T.H. Trainers

Working with GLBTQ Youth and AB458 for Foster Parents

Maryanne Rehberg

Sensitive Issues When Working with Latino Families

Elizabeth Domingos-Shephard

Immigration Training

Black Family Preservation Symposium

Dr. Ruth McCroy

Indian Child Welfare Act: Cultural Competency

Terri Witherspoon, JD

Pacific Islander Cultural Training

Chester Palesoo, MA

In addition to these trainings, the core team members of the Disproportionality Workgroup conducted four regional Historical Racism presentations during May and June, 2009. The presentations consisted of a video, “Race – The Power of An Illusion” and an AB636 data report focused on disproportionality, which analyzed the measures over a ten year period broken down by ethnicity. Staff then participated in group discussions to examine policies and procedures that may impact disproportionality, and the notes from each discussion group are being transcribed and distributed.

To further increase staff awareness, cultural diversity events are held throughout the year to acknowledge Black History Month, Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month, etc. (See Attachment I).

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Recommendations

Recommendations regarding training were generally practice related and somewhat specific. Recommendations were made to:

    Train social workers and interagency partners to work effectively with the issue of parental ambivalence

    Institute cross training, team building and skill building between mental health staff and social workers

    Train social workers with AOD specialists to screen for substance abuse issues and to work with parents effectively to support recovery and positive behavior changes

    Offer Team Decision Making training to social workers, attorneys and partners

    Implement effective mentoring and coaching strategies throughout the Agency

Juvenile Probation

Probation has identified a need to train Placement Officers in the following areas:

a) Abuse in Placement Investigation: A curriculum has been developed with the support of

HSA staff and UC Davis’s Resource Center for Family Focused Practice.

b) Indian Child Welfare Act: The Department will secure the services of a trainer who will

offer ongoing and comprehensive instruction on how to comply with requirements pertaining

to Native American youth. The Department plans to implement the training beginning Fiscal

Year 2009/2010.

Feedback

Juvenile Probation

Recommendation

PQCR reviewers recommended training for Juvenile Probation staff on strategies for engaging unmotivated youth and hard-to-engage parents.

 

7. Agency Collaborations

Collaboration with Public and Private Agencies

The Agency relies on relationships to fulfill its work in a collaborative, cooperative and effective manner. There are numerous internal and external collaborations and public-private partnerships necessary for the Agency to fully realize its mission to serve individuals and families. Agency leadership has encouraged a philosophy of working as a team, internally and externally. The Agency believes that, without collaboration it cannot meet overarching outcomes: that children are safe, families and individuals are strong, and communities are strong and engaged. In order to accomplish this work many relationships, partnerships and collaboratives are built.

Strategic Planning Process

HSA’s strategic planning process illustrates the Agency’s culture of and commitment to collaboration. More than 100 community stakeholders participated in and gave feedback during this process. (See pp. 6-8 for a complete list of participating stakeholders.) The Agency made a concerted effort to bring consumers to the table and to listen and respond to their input.

Focus groups were conducted in various parts of the County, including geographically and economically isolated communities, and scheduled during evening hours to give community members the opportunity to participate. The comments gathered during the focus groups were frank in describing how effective and, at times, how ineffective the Agency is in serving the community.

HSA/CFS Collaborative Partners

Juvenile Probation

The County Probation Department and HSA collaborate on a number of projects including the Wraparound Program, Family Preservation Program and the Assessment Center, G.I.R.L.S. Program dual-jurisdiction cases, PQRC, SIP, CSA Juvenile Delinquency Mediation. These programs include representatives/staff from a wide variety of areas including education, health, BHSR and Parks and Recreation.

The 2009 Peer Quality Case Review process is an excellent example of the relationship between HSA and Juvenile Probation and the ability of the two agencies to collaborate closely on an important project. Both agencies were well represented in weekly planning sessions and were equally engaged in the efforts that were required to complete the project. The County Self Assessment has been developed using the same collaborative, team approach.

County Health and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

BHRS and HSA collaborate on a number of projects including the Prenatal to Three Initiative, the Healthy Community Collaborative (including Youth Asset Development), the Children’s Health Initiative, the Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention, Canyon Oaks Youth Center, Partnership for Safe and Healthy Children, Child Welfare Mental Health team, and the Shelter Plus Care Program.

    AOD

    In 2008, the AOD department transferred from HSA to the newly created BHRS Division of the Health Department. The move was expected to increase access to health care for AOD clients, improve services for high-need, high-risk populations who have complex health as well as behavioral health needs, and promote a more integrated service delivery for people with co-occurring behavioral health problems. AOD continues to work closely with HSA in providing AOD services to vulnerable families. AOD counselors in the HSA regional offices continue to provide assessment, information, and referral for treatment programs to families served by CFS.

Children and Youth System of Care (CYSOC)

CYSOC, which meets weekly, is composed of directors and management of CFS, BHSR and Juvenile Probation. CYSOC is an administrative body for placement funds. It provides oversight to programs that involve all three systems. CYSOC ensures that the youth the agencies have in common receive collaborative, optimal, and streamlined services.

Partnership for Safe and Health Children

This initiative enables a coordinated effort between BHRS, Health Services, Alcohol and Drug and Children and Family Services to address the problems of co-occurring disorders for parents with children ages birth to 5 years.

First Five

First 5 San Mateo invests Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues in local health and education programs for expectant parents and children birth to age five. First 5 funded programs help local children grow up healthy, nurtured, and learning.

CCAT

CCAT is the designated child abuse prevention council of San Mateo County. It is an independent organization, and advisory board members include representatives from public agencies, education, community-based organizations, and parents from the community. The collaborative provides leadership, guidance and advocacy for services to prevent child abuse and neglect. The HSA Director of Prevention/Early Intervention is a member of the CCAT Steering Committee, and HSA acts as the fiscal agent for CCAT’s multiple contracts with community service providers.

    Adolescent Collaborative Action Team

    The Adolescent Collaborative Action Team (ACAT) was established as a subcommittee of CCAT to provide a collaborative infrastructure for networking and coordinating services for adolescents. ACAT is comprised of county agencies, non-profits, and community members who are interested in the well-being of adolescents.

Domestic Violence Council

A HSA Director and Manager sit on the Domestic Violence Council which evaluates law enforcement, judicial system and health care services responses to domestic violence. The Council also assesses the capacity of community resources, local government efforts, public awareness and education, data collection, adequacy of Federal, State and local laws, and the need for services for those who are victims of domestic and family violence.

Fatherhood Collaborative

The mission of the Fatherhood Collaborative of San Mateo County is to provide a forum to address and support the importance of men and fathers taking an active role in the well being of children and families. The SMC Board of Supervisors has recognized the importance of the Fatherhood Collaborative by elevating it to an advisory body, on par with the Commission on Aging, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Arts Commission. The resolution establishing the advisory board was adopted at the end of September, 2007. As an official advisory board, the Fatherhood Collaborative makes recommendations regarding policies affecting fathers and families to the Board of Supervisors.

California Youth Connection

The California youth Connection (CYC) promotes the participation of foster youth in policy development and legislative change to improve the foster care system, and strives to improve social work practice and child welfare policy. CYC Chapters in counties such as San Mateo identify local issues and use grassroots and community organizing to create change. CYC is guided, focused and driven by current and former foster youth with the assistance of other committed community members. SMC provides funding for food at meetings, sponsors youth to speak at presentations, and supports youth participation in fishbowls.

Bay Area Children’s Services Committee

The Agency is a member of the Bay Area Children’s Services Committee, a Regional Subcommittee of the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) Children’s Services Committee and an affiliate of the Bay Area Social Services Consortium. This committee develops interagency protocols and agreements and is a regional forum for the review of group home and foster family support letter requests.

Women’s Enrichment Center

HSA is an active steering committee member and sponsor of the Women’s Enrichment Center (WEC). The WEC is an intensive day program that serves women and their families who participate in, or are eligible for, CalWORKs, and experience multiple barriers to successful program participation as a result of substance use, mental health issues, and domestic violence related concerns. System-level collaboration is guided by a steering committee that oversees implementation of the County’s vision of service integration. The group engages in planning, trouble-shooting, and advocacy to ensure families access the range of services they need to become self-sufficient.

FSST

The purpose of FSST is to provide families with access to a team of professionals from various county and community-based organizations that will assist in case planning and obtaining information, resources and referrals. FSSTs are available for any family in San Mateo County to enhance service delivery by coordinating services, eliminating duplication, helping solve problems and reducing barriers to self-sufficiency. Members from the Housing Department, BHRS, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Child Care, and AOD Services may participate in outlining case management activities. When a family is activated in the child welfare system, the social worker becomes the primary case manager.

Additional Child Focused Community Partnerships

HSA’s engagement in community partnerships facilitates open lines of communication and informs HSA’s understanding of community needs. The agency directs federal funds to and is actively involved in the Peninsula Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, which helps support local collaborations of service providers. HSA is actively involved in the First 5 San Mateo County Commission and the San Mateo Child Care Partnership Council, partnerships that engages stakeholders across the county in the assessment of and planning for the well-being of children in the county. The Agency provides support to the Peninsula Training Collaborative to help educate our community partners.

Juvenile Probation

Overview

Probation refers eligible placement youth to the Adolescent Services Unit (ASU) of the Human Services Agency which supports current and former foster youth ages 14-21 by preparing them to be successful and self-sufficient adults. Part of this unit’s services includes the Independent Living Program (ILP) offered to youth in foster care who are either wards or dependents of the Court. ILP provides weekly classes in life skills training, employment, education, housing, computer skills, money management and opportunities for SAT prep tests and college tours. Financial incentives are paid for participation.

Current foster youth ages 14-18 in out-of-home placement with HSA or Probation, and youth receiving wraparound services are eligible. Youth in-County only should be referred at age 14 to the Early Independent Living Program (EILP) and at age 15 for traditional ILP. Youth placed out-of-county can be referred and ILP will coordinate with the county where the youth resides. Referrals are done by the supervising social worker or probation officer.

Further collaborative efforts with HSA pertain to dual jurisdiction cases. The law requires Probation and HSA collaboratively develop a plan to address the needs of youth who fall within the jurisdiction of both the Delinquency and Dependency Court. In all cases, the Court will designate either Probation or HSA as the lead agency for the purpose of supervising and managing these dual jurisdiction youth.

Probation has determined that cases where HSA has been designated as the lead agency could benefit from a dedicated caseload under the supervision of one Deputy Probation Officer. This officer, through the enforcement of Court ordered conditions of probation, provides additional support to the social worker in his/her efforts to help these youth succeed.

Probation has representatives who participate in CCAT, ACAT and Citizen Review Panel (CRP).

Interaction with Local Tribes

There are no Native American tribes located in San Mateo County. As previously stated, the Native American child population is statistically insignificant. Procedures are in place to respond appropriately at any time a Native American child is referred to the child welfare system.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Recommendations

    Consider teaming with BHRS at the policy level in order to offer more individualized services.

    Expand services for individual therapy for children and parents where children are over the age of 5 years.

    Schedule bi-monthly team meetings for cases shared by social workers and mental health workers, when parents and/or children are receiving mental health services.

Juvenile Probation

Areas for Improvement

A concern that was highlighted was around the Agency’s ability to provide adequate bilingual services, given that there is a need for a bilingual Probation Officer. Additionally, there is a need for a process in which youth can receive psychotropic medication evaluations out of custody; as well as a need for aftercare facilities in Norteno and Sureno areas where safety is an issue.

8. Local Systemic Factors

HSA/CFS

 

Assessment Tools

In 2005, SMC was one of four California counties that piloted the CAT for risk and safety assessment. The CAT is meant to be used at multiple decision points in the life of a case: Response Determination, Initial Safety Determination; Placement; Referral Disposition; Case Planning; Reunification; and Case Closure.

The CAT was rolled out in multiple phases, each phase requiring additional training for staff.

There were numerous ‘glitches’ and systems problems, many of which were resolved but which slowed the transition to the new tool and created frustration on the part of some staff. As a result, buy-in from social workers was never fully achieved.

The PQCR process highlighted the limitations of the CAT and the dissatisfaction with the CAT tool on the part of staff at all levels. Based on feedback received, a decision was made to replace the CAT with the SDM. Although additional costs were incurred, management felt that the ability to conduct thorough and accurate assessments was critical to case planning and successful outcomes for children and families. Managers and supervisors have received SDM overview training. All staff will be trained and SDM will be fully implemented by September 2009.

Juvenile

Probation

 

The Department has contracted with Allvest Inc. (Assessments.Com) to utilize their validated risk needs assessment and case planning instrument known as PACT (Positive Achievement Change Tool). The instrument provides the Department a means of identifying factors contributing to each minor’s delinquent behavior. Once those factors are identified through the instrument, a case plan is developed to target those areas of risk (criminogenic needs) thereby reducing future delinquency and improving outcomes.

Although the tool is comprehensive, staff has found it to be cumbersome and difficult to use and understand. The management team is working to develop plans to mitigate these concerns and at the present time is evaluating several options.

Feedback

HSA/CFS

Strengths

Strengths related to assessments and noted in the PQCR were that there is consistent assessment and mental health treatment available for children ages 0-5 years; and that an initial medical and developmental assessment happens for a child coming into out-of-home placement within 72 hours.

Areas for Improvement

Comments made during the PQCR process noted that “a lack of initial, thorough assessment of the underlying issues inhibits effective case planning” and that “the CAT is not useful or effective” and is often completed “after the fact” only because it is required. Staff commented that “the CAT is not useful or effective and is often filled out after the fact only because it is required”.

Juvenile Probation

Areas for Improvement

The PQCR Report noted that the tool is unclear to some users but that it “may be helpful once fully utilized.”

 

1. System Strengths and Areas Needing Improvements

System Strengths

 

Multiple system strengths were identified during the Strategic Planning and County Self Assessment processes and are addressed throughout both documents. The following summary includes some of the major themes that were prevalent in the feedback received.

Overarching Strengths

Feedback from the Court identified two overarching strengths that assist CFS in providing the best possible services to children and families. First, it was noted that the Agency currently has the support of County governance (County Manager’s Office, Board of Supervisors) which is critical in acquiring funding and creating opportunities for collaborative programs. It was also noted that over the past five years, CFS staff have become more professional, more culturally diverse and more keenly aware of issues facing child welfare and the community.

TDM

One specific strength frequently highlighted by stakeholders is CFS’ use of TDMs. The use of TDMs is strongly supported by management and has been incorporated into social workers’ daily practice. TDMs are conducted at initial placement, or when a placement is at risk so that concerns can be addressed and the placement can be stabilized.

Research indicates that team based case planning is a best practice in child welfare. TDMs are an effective way to engage families, develop appropriate case plans, make informed decisions, and identify the best possible placement for children in care. Other advantages of TDMs that were noted by stakeholders include identifying obstacles to reunification, providing parents with helpful information, and being useful in non-compliance cases where a case plan can be revised to help the parents become compliant.

Training

CFS training was also identified as a strength. Trainings on placement, disproportionality, cultural issues and assessment were pointed to as examples of training topics that have been useful to social workers in honing existing skills and in providing new knowledge and skills to help improve their performance.

Placement Stability and Permanence

CFS places the utmost importance on stabilizing children’s living arrangements while in care and on achieving permanence for children, either by successfully reunifying them with their families or by identifying an alternative permanent situation for every child. Stakeholders noted that concurrent planning is consistently practiced. Every case is referred to the Adoptions Unit, where a concurrent plan is developed in the event that reunification is not feasible. The Adoptions Supervisor meets monthly with Family Reunification and Permanent Placement Unit Supervisors to do case conferencing.

Another successful CFS permanence strategy identified is the use of a Placement Review Board (PRB). At PRB meetings, cases are reviewed within 30 days of a child being placed in shelter. Additionally, the TDM Supervisor attends PRB meetings to ensure that TDMs are being conducted as needed on cases brought to PRB.

Also highlighted as a best practice is the CFS placement stability procedure, wherein Placement Workers make contact within two weeks with any child who moves from the Receiving Home to a placement. This helps to address issues and concerns at the earliest stages so that the stability of the placement is not jeopardized.

Partnerships

HSA values its relationships and partnerships with community based organizations and other agencies and departments, and strives to maintain collaborations that promote best practice service provision, while helping to maximize resources and avoid duplication of services.

CFS’ partnership with Edgewood Center for Children and Families is an example of a longstanding and successful collaboration between the Department and a community provider. Clients who receive Edgewood services report positive experiences and express appreciation for the services provided through this collaboration. Stakeholders noted that the triage process between Edgewood, BHRS and HSA works well and helps children and caretakers receive much needed counseling and mental health services.

Areas for Improvement

Overarching Themes

One recurrent theme is related to the difficulty of navigating complex County systems. Some stakeholders felt that the systems are too bureaucratic, to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to access even the most basic services, such as housing assistance for Juvenile Probation youth when it is time for a child to return home. Others felt that County agencies should communicate more clearly with each other in order to make clients’ transitions from one agency to another flow more smoothly. Feedback from Juvenile Probation parents indicates that they initially have difficulty in understanding the Court process.

In regard to CFS, one stakeholder stated that CFS suffers from management inefficiencies with “too many layers” and a lack of consistency. While acknowledging that it is necessary to review and perform quality improvement and control, it was noted that these activities that do not directly contribute to client welfare are robbing the agency of vital resources, especially during the current economic downturn.

Also noted was the fact that the current CFS Director has accepted the position on an interim basis only, and that the Department needs the stability of a permanent Director who is prepared to develop a clear direction for staff and to assert his/her leadership.

Service Needs

A great deal of feedback was provided regarding service needs. Stakeholders highlighted the need for specific services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse treatment, and services for undocumented individuals.

In the area of mental health, the need for additional post-adopt counseling services, including the need for therapists who specialize in adoption issues, was identified. Grief and loss counseling is only provided on a short-term basis and long waiting lists exist for counseling services including crisis counseling and transition counseling.

For Juvenile Probation, needed services were also identified in the area of mental health including the lack of capacity in the wrap-around program. There is a need for a full-time BHRS Mental Health Counselor, as well as a way for youth to receive psychotropic medication evaluations out of custody. Also identified is the need for aftercare facilities in Norteno and Sureno areas where safety is an issue.

The need for substance abuse treatment programs for young males was identified, as well as a need for residential substance abuse programs for girls, especially teen moms. Also noted was the need for greater accessibility to treatment programs in terms of eligibility criteria.

More than one stakeholder commented on the difficulty in helping undocumented individuals and families resolve issues that may prevent reunification because they do not qualify for some services. Other challenges for the undocumented may include lack of driver’s licenses or an inability to access services because of the need to work multiple jobs. A concern was voiced regarding Juvenile Probation children and families with undocumented status who fear that enrolling the child for services may result in the child’s deportation. Also in Juvenile Probation there is a need for a bilingual probation officer.

Placement Stability and Permanence

Although stakeholders identified strengths regarding placement stability and permanence, some areas for improvement were also noted. Although the Placement Stability procedure for children leaving the Receiving Home was highlighted as a strength, some confusion exists regarding worker assignment, and there is a lack of clarity about the purpose of the procedure.

 

2. Strategies for the Future

HSA/CFS

One of the reasons why people come to the attention of CFS is the dearth of prevention and early intervention services in impoverished communities. Based on the feedback from the focus groups and interviews, several areas and opportunities were identified to improve access to and quality of the safety net services that are provided in San Mateo County.

    SMC is rich in culture and diversity, which creates challenges in meeting the varied and unique cultural needs of the community. This includes printing brochures and hand-outs in different languages, hiring culturally-sensitive and bilingual staff, and supporting culturally-appropriate services that are accessible, such as parenting classes and counseling.

    In the area of services, HSA can look at partnering with government and non-government agencies to provide needed services identified by the community such as transportation, housing, food, health insurance, substance abuse treatment programs, anger management, DV counseling, mental health services including family counseling in schools, youth programs (i.e., mentorship programs, after-school programs, job placements, etc), affordable child care, parent education, job assistance and training for adults, and programs for teen mothers.

    The current economic state calls for more partnerships among all the County agencies and community agencies. Services need to be integrated and streamlined to maximize diminishing resources and must serve as many families as possible. With more integration, the seamless transition from one agency to another becomes more critical. HSA can also work with other agencies in securing other funding sources by developing joint grant applications and providing technical assistance to community-based organizations in securing grants.

To address the issue of bureaucracy and difficulty in accessing services, HSA can explore the idea of community navigators who can help families access services and explain eligibility requirements and application processes. The navigators can be especially helpful for isolated families who need support services the most and undocumented families who are afraid to seek services.

CFS

      CFS can address the following overarching themes that can impact multiple AB636

      measures and ensure safety, stability and permanence:

    Services

    Ensure that services provided by contractors and community-based services match the mitigating issues facing our families. Services should be readily available and individualized to meet the unique needs of each family.

    Consider expanding individual therapy services for parents and children when children are over the age of five. Also, ensure that providers have stable, experienced and knowledgeable therapists for families facing more complex issues (e.g., dual or triple diagnosis).

    Provide after care services in-home or in the family’s community to promote successful reunification and preserve family stability.

Explore how Centralized Support Services can be maximized so that more support for families can be provided, such as increased transportation. Increased transportation may not necessarily mean driving the families in county cars. It could mean training the parents and adolescents on how to take public transportation and providing them with bus passes and taxi vouchers. This would further support the families as they transition to self-sufficiency.

    Practice

    Case work will be enhanced by employing strengths-based and proactive interventions for our families. Families are under numerous stresses and need support and encouragement the most when they are faltering in complying with their case plan. Strengths-based practice also involves not judging and labeling families who have previous child welfare history. Foster children also need regular check-ins and positive reinforcements rather than receiving social worker attention only when things are not going well.

Develop outcomes-based, not services-based case plans. For example, instead of requiring completion of a 14-week SFP parenting class, measure changes in behavior and practice to ensure that parents are applying what they learned in the classes. Also, consistently involve families in case planning so they have ownership of the plan which could result in better cooperation and improved compliance.

    CWS/CMS

Data collection and reporting are gaining traction in the Agency. Policy makers have increasingly become more reliant on data to make informed decisions. Data reports are trickling down to staff. This highlights the need for accurate, timely and complete CWS/CMS data entry. To ensure data accuracy, CFS should continue to provide ongoing CWS/CMS training and maximize the training available through the State, offering specialized training and refresher courses for supervisors, increasing supervisor accountability in ensuring that staff enter accurate data, conducting data clean-up, including data entry instructions with policies when appropriate, and consistently utilizing Office Specialists who are tasked with helping social workers with specific data input.

    Increased Partnership

    and Education

Conduct outreach to mandated reporters about appropriate child abuse referral and the issue of disproportionality since disparity is evident at the referral stage of CFS intervention. This training should be given to teachers, law enforcement, medical providers, and mental health providers, to name a few. CFS will have to develop relationships and build trust with these entities to help them get a better understanding of CFS’s role and their role as mandated reporters. Review and implement policy on providing follow-up to mandated reporters so mandated reporters will continue filing child abuse reports.

    Continue discussion forums to further improve the relationship with the Court. Continuous dialogue between the Court and CFS management and the Court and CFS line staff will provide all parties a forum to discuss and address issues and further enhance collaboration between CFS and the Court.

    Continue to cultivate and nurture the relationship with foster parents. Foster parents should be treated as valuable partners who have knowledge of the children they are caring for.

Team with BHRS to provide more individualized services, ensure access to more WrapAround slots. Conduct case conferencing or regular meeting/consultation between social workers and mental health providers.

Process

The Child Welfare system’s complexity can be daunting to families. Although keeping one social worker or a tandem of social workers from beginning to end may be ideal, it may not be feasible. CFS explains CFS and Court processes to parents as part of the parenting class. Continuing to explain the process and clarifying the roles of multiple social workers and partner providers can help families better navigate the system. CFS can also improve handoff of cases from Investigations Unit to Continuing Units; consider joint face-to-face and joint case planning between Investigations and Continuing staff

CFS can work with BHRS and other mental health partners to see how we might address the need for consistent therapy providers. Not switching therapist once the family has established rapport with the provider can help sustain the family’s progress.

Evaluating the feasibility and impact of having county counsel representation at each hearing is one change in the process that can significantly improve the outcomes for families. Families will be better represented, social workers have a representative who can jointly present cases, continuances can be avoided, and there will be consistency in applying removal and reunification criteria. Court officers can also take a more active role in representing the Agency’s stand and in presenting the cases to free up social workers’ time.

CFS can employ consistency in decision-making from the supervisor level by refining and utilizing our case conference protocol, and continued review of our service delivery system to ensure the provision of an equitable and fair practice.

Training

The Department will continue to provide training to effectively address the increasingly complex issues that our families face and create opportunities for cross training with the Court, BHRS, and AOD. There is also a need to have combined TDM trainings for social workers and community partners as equal participants.

Evaluation

Program evaluation will help SMC continue programs and initiatives with the strongest evidence of effectiveness. With dwindling resources, evaluating the efficacy of programs will serve as a tool in resource allocation. CFS needs to evaluate existing strategies such as DR, TDM, Family to Family, Family Finding Project, and Receiving Home Placement Stability.

When developing new programs, CFS should include an evaluation component in order to assess the program’s effectiveness and the agency’s performance in meeting the goals. Self evaluation can help CFS determine program effectiveness and departmental performance and allow critical analysis of practice to build upon strengths and focus on barriers to meeting agency goals. CFS should also continue to review and evaluate literature and other evidence-informed practices.

S1.1 No recurrence of maltreatment

Update on-line policy manual for neglect/severe neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse and domestic violence cases. Include a section on disproportionality and how to impact practice to ensure fairness equity.

Continue to provide CWS/CMS data entry training for staff to maximize data accuracy.

Continue to facilitate linkages by developing an expanded voluntary services pilot:

    o referrals with issues of general neglect, mental health and substance abuse

    o 60-day time frame

Evaluate other contracts’ need for evidence-based practices.

Continue to ensure contracted providers are of good quality, have capacity to serve, can meet client needs in a culturally appropriate manner, are in high need communities and can engage clients.

Use SDM

Strengthen BHRS presence at FSSTs.

Provide for more community-based mental health services.

Use data mapping to determine service availability and service gaps.

Assess AOD assessors’ accessibility and geographic availability.

Conduct an evaluation of the DR program to identify how it influences outcomes such as the S1.1 AB636 measure and to assess its full impact. If DR proves to be an effective program in diverting low-risk families from entering the system, it would be interesting to see how it affects the families that are coming into the system. There is belief that with the implementation of DR, only those families with the most serious problems enter Child Welfare. This may affect the county’s ability to meet the AB636 measures since families with serious challenges are more likely to re-enter. Additionally, since changes were made to the DR program beginning in FY 2008-09, the evaluation can track the changes’ effect on the program’s effectiveness and performance in meeting its desired goals and outcomes.

S2.1

No maltreatment in foster care

    Develop and implement respite care policy for foster and kin parents.

2B Referrals by time to investigation (immediate and 10-day)

    Analyze workflow from hotline referrals to supervisor in-box to social worker

    assignment:

    - Develop and implement best practice criteria, rather than crisis response only,

    for supervisory coverage; put expectations in writing

    - Examine protocol for weekend referral assignment

    - Revisit “holding” policy (supervisory practice of assigning referrals on a flow basis rather than assigning upon receipt)

    Improve social worker performance by:

    - Implementing supervisor checklists, by program, of items to include in

    supervisor/social worker conferences

    - Continue to use the My Caseload in Safe Measures so staff can access and

    track their own performance; to emphasize staff accountability, tie accountability to

    performance evaluations

    Continue to review and create regular reports to assist managers/supervisors in monitoring productivity/performance in their regions/units

2C Social Worker Visits

    Review training unit curriculum regarding visitation

    Continue to have staff use existing technology (Safe Measures, Groupwise) to plan and track visits

C1.1 Reunification within 12 months (exit cohort)

C1.2 Median time to reunification

(exit cohort)

    Designate AOD and Prevention/Early Intervention priority slots for CFS parents.

    Ensure that parents receive substance abuse treatment services immediately

    Redefine and expand wraparound services

    Develop outcome-based vs. services-based case plans.

    Train social workers, family care workers (FCW), community workers (CW) and contracted supervised visitation provider on the 14-week Strengthening Families Program. An alternative recommendation would be to provide social workers with an overview of the parenting curriculum so they will know what parents are learning which social workers can monitor and build on during visits.

 

Case Plan

    Continue to search for and evaluate family members who can serve as the concurrent placement plan

    Continue to audit court reports and ensure that they reflect appropriate concurrent plans

    Continue to train staff to effectively deliver concurrent planning message to parents and caregivers

    Consistently use TDM for case planning and at time of reunification

    Continue to educate faith-based community members about child welfare services and involve them in the TDM process

    Continue to partner with Prevention/Early Intervention when conducting TDMs at closure

    Provide forum for discussion of reunification as it relates to disproportionality

Services

    Designate AOD and Prevention/Early Intervention priority slots for CFS parents.

    Ensure that parents receive substance abuse treatment services immediately

    Redefine and expand wraparound services

    Address the need for culturally competent mental health services for families; include faith-based community as a potential mental health support

Process Improvements

    Improve handoff of cases from Investigations Unit to Continuing Units; consider joint face-to-face and joint case planning between Investigations and Continuing staff

C1.4 Re-entry following reunification (exit cohort)

Services

    Continue to arrange for mental health follow up during initial reunification period

    Develop a mentoring program to assist families in preventing re-entry

    Obtain and utilize dedicated CFS slots for WRAP to reduce re-entry.

Other

    Consistently conduct TDMs at case closure, including referrals to PEI staff and community-based providers. Consider including family care workers and community workers at the case closure TDM so they can serve as additional resource and support for families after reunification to help with the transition.

    Develop targeted re-entry prevention strategies for adolescents

    Continue to market and incorporate into practice the philosophy that all children are adoptable.

    Develop a mentoring program to assist families in preventing re-entry

    Use SDM to improve assessment

    Apply disproportionality learning into practice.

    Evaluate and implement recommendations from Historical Racism training.

    Continue to develop and implement strategies to address the key elements that Casey Foundation identified.

C2.1 Adoption within 24 months (exit cohort)

C2.3 Adoption within 12 months (17 months in care)

C2.4 Legally free within 6 mos (17 mos in care)

    Strengthen Agency philosophy that all children are adoptable

    Examine the need for training to address staff and foster parent biases

    regarding adoption

    Increase number of appropriate concurrent planning homes (approved foster home license and approved adoption home study)

    Increase targeted adoption recruitment for older children, sibling groups and

    children of color

    Ensure consistent concurrent planning efforts

    Continue to refer all children to Adoption Services at Investigations Unit level and encourage team effort between social workers and adoptions workers

    Maintain an on-going discussion with each child regarding potential for adoption

    Continue to have adoption staff present at all TDM meetings

    Continue to utilize the expertise of the designated ICWA specialist(s)

    Improve up-front resolution of paternity issues

    Create quality assurance controls for long-term permanent plan designations; create a checks and balances system before any child can be recommended for a permanent plan of APPLA

    Continue to provide regular reports from Adoption Services to Regional Managers

    Develop a systematic process to assess cases for the KinGAP program.

    Develop a Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care Program.

C3.1 Exits to Permanency (24 months in care)

C3.3 In care 3 yrs or longer (emancipated or age 18 in care)

    Continue to increase use of TDM

    Expand the availability and definition of wraparound services

    Review long-term placements and all APPLA cases in supervisory conferences on a regular basis and assess for permanency

    Continue to monitor the MOU with BHRS to ensure that they meet our needs

    Provide substance abuse treatment for children and services for children whose parents are substance abusers

    Provide staff training on cultural differences when choosing permanent plans (APPLA, guardianship and adoption)

    Provide staff training on the legal differences between APPLA, guardianship and adoption

    Enhance Girls’ Program and assess the need for a Boys’ Program

    Increase educational and special education advocacy via a contract; increase Regional Center and special needs advocacy via a contract

    Develop a systematic process to assess cases for the Kin-Gap Program

C4.1 PLACEMENT STABILITY (8 days to 12 months in care)
C4.2 Placement Stability (12 to 24 months in care)

C4.3 Placement Stability (at least 24 months in care)

    Ensure more accountability by social workers in making reports to CCL when issues arise with caregivers

    Increase recruitment efforts for more placement options in order to place siblings together and in order to place children in their own communities

    Explore emergency shelter program models and examine existing program to identify needed improvements

    Track the progress of the RH’s Placement Stability Program.

    Evaluate the TDM Program and its effectiveness in stabilizing placements. Analyze practices such as identifying whether emergency TDMs are fully utilized as a strategy to preserve placements. TDM can also potentially affect other AB636 measures such as reunification, re-entry, and permanency. Expanding the analysis to include these other qualitative outcomes and presenting them to social workers will help in getting staff buy-in that will lead to consistent practice of conducting TDM at every change of placement.

    Evaluate the utilization and effectiveness of the Wraparound Services. Wraparound is one of the strategies identified as well-supported in research literature that may improve placement stability outcomes.

    Evaluate the provision of support and specialized training for foster parent and kin care providers. One research study mentioned the following evidence-based parenting programs: Multidimensional treatment foster care, The Incredible Years, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up. This is especially important for kin providers who do not receive the same level of support that foster parents do. SMC provides foster parents with 21 hours of training and provides foster parents with a mentor and respite services. Kin providers may attend parenting classes in the community such as the one offered by Edgewood for their Kinship Support Services, but are not required to complete the same intensive training that foster parents receive. With increased efforts to place with kin with projects such as Family Finding, it will be important to have as many support services and resources for kin providers to increase permanence and placement stability for our children.

Process

Juvenile Probation can better educate the parents on the Probation and Court processes and procedures so parents understand the systems and feel empowered to make decisions and provide input.

Family Involvement

Another opportunity to empower parents is by engaging them in case management, placement decisions, and involving them in the child’s treatment plan. One way to improve the current procedure is to include a coherent plan, such as a “half-way mark treatment plan”, that is reviewed and revised approximately six months prior to termination.

Services

Juvenile Probation can partner with other government and community agencies to address the service gaps identified in the PQCR and CSA processes. These service areas include short term respite care, lack of pro-social services, mentor programs, CASAs for probation youth, housing services, case management for youth after the age of eighteen, and a need for aftercare facilities in Norteno and Sureno areas where safety is an issue.

Like CFS, Juvenile Probation can benefit from teaming with BHRS at the policy level to offer more individualized services, increased wraparound capacity. Juvenile Probation also has a need for the increase to a full-time BHRS Mental Health Counselor and for a way for youth to receive psychotropic medication evaluations when out of custody.

Providing services to undocumented individuals is also not unique to CFS. Families with undocumented status fear that enrolling their child for services may result in the child’s deportation. Families can benefit from a community navigator who can help them access the services they need and navigate complicated application processes.

    Cultural Competency

To be able to adequately address the needs of the diverse community, Juvenile Probation needs to increase their ability to provide adequate bilingual services such as having bilingual probation officer, and a full-time BHRS Mental Health Counselor.

AB636

Assembly Bill 636 Child Welfare Outcomes and Accountability Act

ACAT

Adolescent Collaborative Action Team

AFSME

American Federation of State, City and Municipal Employees

AOD

Alcohol and Other Drug

APPLA

Another Permanent Planned Living Arrangement

AQI

Accreditation and Quality Improvement

ASU

Adolescent Services Unit

BAA

Bay Area Academy

BASSC

Bay Area Social Services Consortium

BHRS

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

BSG

Business Systems Group

CalSWEC

California Social Worker Education Committee

CAPC

Child Abuse Prevention Council

CAPIT

Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment

CASA

Court Appointed Special Advocates

CAT

Comprehensive Assessment Tool

CBCAP

Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention

CCAT

Children’s Collaborative Action Team

C-CFSR

California Child and Family Services Review

CCL

Community Care Licensing

CDSS

California Department of Social Services

CFS

Children and Family Services / Department

CID

Center for Independence of the Disabled

COED

County Office of Education

CRP

Citizen Review Panel

CWDA

County Welfare Directors Association

CWS/CMS

Child Welfare System/Case Management System

CYSOC

Children and Youth System of Care

DART

Data Analysis and Reporting Team

DR

Differential Response

DV

Domestic Violence

ECF

Extraordinary Circumstances Fund

EILP

Early Independent Living Program

ER

Emergency Response

ETO

Efforts to Outcome

F2F

Family to Family

FFA

Foster Family Agency

FRC

Family Resource Center

FSST

Family Self Sufficiency Team

GBACAPCC

Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition

GGRC

Golden Gate Regional Center

GLBTQ

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning

HSA

Human Services Agency / Agency

ICWA

Indian Child Welfare Act

IEP

Individual Education Plan

ILP

Independent Living Skills Program

IPRC

Interagency Placement Review Committee

JRC

Joint Planning and Review Committee

LFH

Licensed Foster Home

LGH

Licensed Group Home

LMS

Learning Management System

LNE

Low Number Event

MDT

Multi-Disciplinary Team

MFI

Medically Fragile Infant

MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

MH

Mental Health

MHP

Mental Health Plan

MOU

Memorandum of Understanding

MRT

Mandated Reporter Training

NCFAS

North Carolina Family Assessment Scale

NREFM

Non-Relative Extended Family Member

PACT

Positive Achievement Change Tool

PEI

Prevention/Early Intervention

PI

Program Improvement

PI

Pacific Islander

PIT

Point in Time

PQCR

Peer Quality Case Review

PRB

Placement Review Board

PSSF

Promoting Safe and Stable Families

PSW

Psychiatric Social Worker

Q2 2008

July 2007-June 2008

QA

Quality Assurance

RBS

Residentially-Based Services

RCL

Rate Classification Level

RCPT

Regional Community Partnership Team

RWC

Redwood City

SDM

Structured Decision Making

SFP

Strengthening Families Program

SIP

System Improvement Plan

SMC

San Mateo County

TBCP

Team-Based Case Planning

TDM

Team Decision Making

THP-Plus

Transitional Housing Program Plus

TILP

Transitional Independent Plan Living

TOL

Transfer of Learning

UCB

University of California Berkeley

WEC

Women’s Enrichment Center

YFES

Youth and Family Services Agency

SOCIAL WORKER DOCUMENTATION

EFFORTS TO SECURE CAREGIVER’S COMPLETION OF JV 290

Child’s Name: ________ Petition No.: ________

Caregiver’s Name: ________

Complete all that apply:

Date(s) JV 290 explained / discussed with caregiver: ________

Date(s) JV 290 given to caregiver for completion: ________

Date(s) JV 290 sent to caregiver with postage paid return envelope: ________

Date(s) caregiver reminded to complete JV 290: ________

Social Worker Date

Social Work Supervisor Date

 

YES, NO, N/A

Rating

Comments

Follow-Up

     

Is any follow-up needed from prior County site visit?

     
       

Program Review

     

With which SIP priority(ies) was the program aligned?

     

Is program still in alignment with the SIP priority(ies)?

     

With which of the RFP focus areas was the program aligned?

     

Does provider continue to be aligned with the RFP focus area(s)?

     

What is the target population?

     

With which other agencies is provider currently collaborating?

     

Based on most current report, are contract obligations being met?

     
       

Materials Review

     

If contracted for case management, review random sampling of cases.

     

Review participant records/

documentation.

     

If confidential information is being solicited from participants, how is that information being used and what measures are in place to protect confidentiality?

     
       

Report Review

     

Review data collection methods.

     

Has the provider experienced any challenges in the collection of data?

     

Is data being submitted timely based on proscribed timeframes?

     
       

Participants’ Materials

     

How are participants referred to the program?

     

Are sign-in sheets collected? If so, review sign-in sheets.

     

How are services documented?

     

Review participant surveys, if applicable.

     

How are the surveys conducted?

     
       

Administration/Safety Requirements

     

Is the physical appearance of the facility(ies) clean, safe, sanitary and in good repair?

     

Does provider continue to carry required insurance?

     

Is provider ADA compliant?

     

Is provider HIPPA compliant (if applicable)? Obtain HIPPA compliance plan if not on file (if applicable)

     

Have all employees been fingerprinted?

     

Does provider have an incident report policy/procedures?

     

Does provider meet equal opportunity (EEO)requirements? Is EEO information posted?

     

Does provider have operations manual/handbook? When was the last update?

     

Since beginning of contract term, have any other contracts been terminated or has provider failed to complete any other contracted obligations?

     

Have any changes occurred within the provider agency’s administration, structure, organization or staffing since the last review?

     

Have any changes occurred within the provider agency’s administration, structure or organization that have impacted the agency’s ability to remain financially stable?

     
       

Staffing

     

Has provider continued to maintain staffing adequate to provision of the contracted services?

     

Is there a staff training program?

     

Is there an employee handbook or written information regarding code of conduct? Is information updated? When was the last update?

     
       

Required Posting & Location

     

Does agency have a mission statement? is it posted?

     

Are the participants’ rights posted?

     
       

Reporting & Fiscal

     

Are reports submitted timely for the following:

     

Quarterly Reports

     

Mid-year and Year-end Reports

     

Annual budgets

     

Does the program utilize other funding sources? If so, what kind of funds?

     

What efforts have been made to date to leverage other funding re sustainability?

     

Is funding being utilized for contracted services?

     
       

Board of Directors

     

How often does the Board of Directors meet? Review copy of most recent board minutes.

     
       

Additional Document Review

     

Is the agency a registered non-profit? Review documentation.

     
       

Other Relevant Information

     

Any special accomplishments?

     

What have been some challenges?

     

Comments/Other Relevant Information:

 

QUESTIONS

COMMENTS

OUTCOME

Y

N

N/A

ASSESSMENT

Does the assessment lead to an appropriate level of intervention / plan?

 

Were all required parents, children collaterals seen and assessed?

 

Were all potential needs assessed? (Comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment):

    Medical

    Developmental

    AOD

    Psychiatric

    DV

    Housing

    Educational

    Financial

 

Were cultural issues considered? If “no”, please indicate why in the comments section.

 

Was ICWA considered and were statutes followed?

 

 

QUESTIONS

COMMENTS

OUTCOME

Y

N

N/A

CASE PLAN

Were the appropriate parties involved in creating the case plan? (Mother, father, child, caregiver, collaterals)

 

Does the case plan reflect cultural sensitivity and meet specific and individual needs?

 

Is the case plan appropriate to the assessment and address the specific issues needing intervention?

 

SERVICES

Was a TDM held?

 

Was the agreed upon TDM plan implemented? (If no TDM was held, mark N/A.)

 

Are the clients referred or linked to appropriate services?

 

Did the family actually receive the services referred to them?

 

Are sibling visits offered, with appropriate supervision provided?

 

Are parent visits offered, with appropriate supervision provided?

 

Were permanency goals considered? Is concurrent planning included?

 

If the child is in long term placement, are the reasons clear?

 

Are updates from collateral providers included in the case record?

 

 

QUESTIONS

COMMENTS

OUTCOME

Y

N

N/A

CASE CLOSURE

At the time of case closure, was family / child connected to the community and support services? (Permanent plan)

 

Were collateral service providers notified of case closing?

 

Were outstanding needs addressed and were clients referred to resources if needs had not been met?

 

Was youth linked to ILP / aftercare if appropriate?

 

Did the youth participate in the creation of the aftercare plan?

 

Is there a connection to a committed adult for youth who are age 16, 17, or 18 at case closure?

 

 

Review Component

Yes

No

N/A

Unk

Notes

Emergency Response

Date of Referral:

Emergency Response Referral Document

 

CS 252 CAT Screening Assessment

 

Police Cross Report

 

Suspected Child Abuse form

 

Investigative Narrative

 

Response to Mandated Reporter

 

CS 253 CAT ER Assessment

 

CS 51 Emergency Response checklist

 

CS 57 Child’s Confidential Record for Foster Parent

 

CS 279 'Your Rights' Document

 

Publication 13 (Civil Rights)

 

ICWA 010 / 020/ 030

 

CS 260 TDM Referral

 

TDM Action Plan

 

SOC 153 Placement History

 

SOC 154 Group Home Agreement

 

SOC 156 Foster Parents Agreement

 

SOC 158a Foster Child Data Record

 

Detention Memo

 

Stamped Original Petition

 

Court Officer Summary

 

CS 27 Medical Consent

 

C 430 HIPAA Consent form signed and current

 

CS 277 Safety Plan

 

Date of referral closure or transfer ___________________________

I have reviewed the above forms on this referral/case:

__________________________________________

Supervisor’s signature

Investigations

Case Plan

 

CS 73 Visitation Plan

 

CS 73a Supervised Visit form (documentation of visit)

 

CS 27 Medical Consent

 

C 430 HIPAA Consent form signed and current

 

Jurisdiction/Disposition Court Report

 

Jurisdiction/Disposition Court Orders

 

Jurisdiction/Disposition Court Officer Summary

 
 

Other Court Reports/Interim Hearing Reports

 
 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Orders

 
 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Officer Summary

 

CS 180 – Therapy Referral

 

CS 254 CAT Continuing Assessment

 

CS 255 CAT Placement

 

SOC 815 (if placed with a relative)

 

SOC 817 Checklist Health and Safety Standards

 

SOC 818 Relative NREFM Assessment

 

ICWA 010 / 020/ 030

 

Paternity Findings

 

CS 260 TDM Referral

 

TDM Action Plan

 

SOC 153 Placement History

 

SOC 154 Group Home Agreement

 

SOC 156 Foster Parents Agreement

 

SOC 158a Foster Child Data Record

 

CS 105 Fost-Adopt Referral form

 

CS 281 Quarterly Supervisory Case Review done

 

CS 110 Investigation Worker’s Transfer Summary checklist

 

Date of case closure or transfer _______________________________

I have reviewed the above forms on this case:

__________________________________________

Supervisor’s signature

Family Reunification/Permanent Placement

 

FR Six-Month Status Review Court Report

 

FR Six-Month Status Review Court Orders

 
 

FR Six-Month Status Review Court Officer Summary

 
 

Case Plan updated for FR Six month hearing

 

 

FR Twelve-Month Status Review Court Report

 

 

FR Twelve-Month Status Review Court Orders

 
 

FR Twelve-Month Status Review Court Officer Summary

 
 

Case Plan updated for FR Twelve month hearing

 
 

366.26 Hearing Court Report

 
 

366.26 Hearing Court Orders

 
 

366.26 Hearing Court Officer Summary

         
 

Case Plan updated for 366.26 Hearing

 
 

Subsequent Permanent Planning Court Reports

 
 

Subsequent Permanent Planning Hearing Court Orders

 
 

Subsequent Permanent Planning Hearing Court Officer Summaries

 
 

Case Plan updated for SPPH

 
 

Other Court Reports/Interim Hearing Reports

 

 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Orders

 
 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Officer Summary

 

 

CS 27 Medical Consent

 

C 430 HIPAA Consent form signed and current

 

JV 220 Request & Order for Psych Medication

 

JV 290 Caregiver Information form

 

JV 290.1 SW Documentation of Request for Caregiver Information

 

CS 57 Child’s Confidential Record for Foster Parent

 

CS 73 Visitation Plan

 

CS 73a Supervised Visit form (documentation of visit)

 

CS254 CAT Continuing Assessment

 

ICWA 010 / 020/ 030

 

CS255 CAT Placement

 

CS 260 TDM Referral

 

TDM Action Plan

 

SOC 153 Placement History

 

SOC 154 Group Home Agreement

 

SOC 156 Foster Parents Agreement

 

SOC 158a Foster Child Data Record

 

CS 105 Fost-Adopt Referral form

 

CS 215 Adoption form (perm plan/adopt assessment)

 

CS 244 Independent Living Program referral

 

CS 245 Contact Info for Res Par/Social Worker Attorney

 

CS 281 Quarterly Supervisory Case Review done

 

CS 251 Relative/NREFM Reassessments Compliance checklist

 

 

Transitional Independent Living Plan

 

 

Date of case closure or transfer _______________________________

I have reviewed the above forms on this case:

__________________________________________

Supervisor’s signature

Family Maintenance/ Voluntary Case

 

C 430 HIPAA Consent form signed and current

 
 

ICWA 010 / 020/ 030

 
 

CS 254 CAT Continuing Assessment

 

 

JV 180 Request to Change Court Orders

 

 

JV 220 Request & Order for Psych Medication

 

 

CS 281 Quarterly Supervisory Case Review done

 

 

FM Six-Month Status Review Court Report

 

 

FM Six-Month Status Review Court Orders

 
 

FM Six-Month Status Review Court Officer Summary

 
 

Case Plan updated for FM Six month hearing

 
 

FM Twelve -Month Status Review Court Report

 
 

FM Twelve -Month Status Review Court Orders

 
 

FM Twelve -Month Status Review Court Officer Summary

 
 

Case Plan updated for FM Twelve month hearing

 
 

Other Court Reports/Interim Hearing Reports

 
 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Orders

 
 

Other Court Orders/Interim Hearing Court Officer Summary

 
 

Voluntary Case Plan

 

 

Various reports from collateral agencies

 

 

Date of case closure or transfer _______________________________

I have reviewed the above forms on this case:

__________________________________________

Supervisor’s signature

All Cases at Closing

 

CS 108 Case Transfer/Closing Summary

 

 

CS 254a CAT Case Closure

 

 

Case closed within 30 days

 

Additional Notes/Comments:

Case Name:

 

Date of Review:

 

Worker Name:

     

Areas for Correction

Yes

No

(please make a note as to why)

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

* Please return a copy of the completed form to Elaine Azzopardi Pony: HSA202 CW

by

and file the original completed form

under the Case Record Review tab of the case file.

1 Source: Kidsdata.org, unless otherwise noted.

2 http://www.csac.counties.org/legislation/indian_gaming/fact_sheet2.pdf

3 http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2007/12/22/Median-California-home-price-fell-in-2007/UPI-14371198360408/

4 http://www.realestateabc.com/graphs/calmedian.htm

5 http://www.naccrra.org/policy/background_issues/ccdbg/subsidy-waiting-lists

6 San Mateo County Schools Statistics 2009 Draft, San Mateo County Office of Education

7 Education Data Partnership, www.ed-data.k12.ca.us; source: California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Office , CBEDS

8 Kidsdata.org; source: California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Office (CBEDS, sifb0708 10/6/08)

9 San Mateo County Schools Statistics 2009 Draft

10 Ibid.

11 Special Education Division, California Department of Education, December 2008

12 Ibid.

13 2008 Annual Yearly Performance, California Department of Education

14 California Department of Education (CBEDS, graduates 4/9/09)

15 Education Data Partnership, www.ed-data.ca.us; source: California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Office (CBEDS, dropouts07 5/12/09)

16 San Mateo County Organizational Review, Management Partners, Inc., March 2006, p. 1

17 AB636 REPORT: A Look at Disproportionality in San Mateo County, Q2 2008 and 1998-2008, San Mateo County Children and Family Services DART (Data Analysis and Reporting Team)