DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
For the Year Ended:
June 30, 2008
Summary of Findings:
Total this audit† †††† ††††† 15
Total last audit† ††† †††††† ††9
Repeated from last audit 8
June 25, 2009
Office of the Auditor General
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND
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® The Departmentís initial financial statements did not comply with generally accepted accounting principles and adjustments were necessary.
® Child welfare and foster care files lacked complete and timely prepared documentation.
® The Department's child abuse investigations did not always fully comply with State law.† For instance, the Department:
- Did not always determine whether reports of child abuse and neglect were "unfounded" or "indicated" within 60 days.
- Failed to initiate some investigations of child abuse and neglect within 24 hours of receipt.
® All contracts were not reviewed and signed prior to the beginning of the contract period.
® Contracts with residential and group home service providers did not all include measurable criteria necessary to ensure desired results are achieved.
® All required child deaths were not reviewed timely and all child death review teams did not meet each quarter.
® A comprehensive child abuse and neglect prevention plan was not submitted.
® A rule regarding specialized care for children in the custody or guardianship of the Department was not adopted.
FINANCIAL AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION
For The Year Ended June 30, 2008
∑ Total Expenditures (All Funds)...................
†††† OPERATIONS TOTAL...................................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures..........................
†††††††† Personal Services....................................
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures............
††††††††††† Average No. of Employees................
†††††††† Other Payroll Costs (FICA,
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures............
†††††††† Contractual Services................................
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures............
†††††††† All Other Operations Items.......................
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures........................
†††† LUMP SUM AND OTHER PURPOSES TOTAL...........................................................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures...............................
†††† AWARDS AND GRANTS TOTAL.................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures..........................
∑ Cost of Property and Equipment ................
SELECTED ACTIVITY MEASURES (unaudited)
∑ Hotline Calls........................................................
∑ Children served in-
†††† - ††† Regular foster care..........................................
- Specialized foster care.....................................
- Relative care...................................................
- Residential placements.....................................
- Independent living............................................
∑ Finalized adoptions...............................................
†††† During Audit Period:† Mr. Erwin McEwen, Acting (7-1-07 to 12-5-07), Mr. Erwin McEwen (eff. 12-5-07)
†††† Currently:† Mr. Erwin McEwen
Interfund receivables and payables required adjustments
Net assets were not restricted
Note disclosures were incomplete
Child case files incomplete and not timely prepared
All child abuse and neglect determinations not timely completed
All child abuse and neglect reports not investigated timely
Contracts signed after beginning of contract period
Additional contract provisions needed
All child death reviews not performed timely
All child death review teams did not meet each quarter
Plan not submitted by first Friday in April 2008 as required
Rule required by July 1, 2007 was still in process
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
FINANCIAL REPORTING WEAKNESSES
††††† The Department did not have adequate controls in place to ensure the Departmentís financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2008 were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).† Our audit identified the following problems in the Departmentís initial financial statements, and adjustments to the financial statements were made to correct for these matters:
- General Revenue Fund interfund receivables of $311,000 due from other State funds were misclassified as due from other Department funds.
- General Revenue Fund interfund payables of $14,235,000 due to other State funds were misclassified as due to other Department funds.
- DCFS Federal Projects Fund interfund payables of $53,000 were misclassified.
- GAAP eliminations of inter-departmental receivables and payables were not made.
- Child Abuse Prevention Fund net assets of $959,000 were reported as unrestricted net assets.
- Note disclosures concerning interfund balances did not agree with the information in the financial statements.
- Disclosure of a litigation matter required by GAAP was not updated for the current status of the matter.
††††† Failure to implement appropriate internal control procedures over financial reporting could lead to a material misstatement of the Departmentís financial statements.† Because the information reported in the Departmentís financial statements is also reported in the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) of the State of Illinois, errors in the Departmentís financial information could also lead to a misstatement of the Stateís CAFR.† (Finding 1, pages 12-13)
††††† We recommended the Department implement additional internal control procedures to assess the risk of material misstatements of the Departmentís financial statements and to identify such misstatements during the financial statement preparation process.
††††† Department officials agreed and have discussed these issues with and requested assistance and training from the State Comptrollerís Office.
INCOMPLETE AND UNTIMELY CHILD WELFARE AND FOSTER CARE FILES
††††† The Departmentís Child Welfare and Foster Care files lacked required documentation and not all case procedures were performed timely.† During our review of 60 case files, we noted:
- 31 administrative case reviews (ACRs) were not performed or were not performed timely.
- 72 ACR notifications were not sent timely or at all.
- 12 Registration and Case Opening Forms were not completed.
- 6 Worker Activity Summaries were not completed.
- 4 Client Contact Summaries were not completed.
- 8 Social History/Integrated Assessments were not completed.
- 13 Safety Determination Forms were not completed.
- 14 medical and dental consent forms were not in the file or were outdated.
- 6 Placement and Payment Authorization Forms were not in the file.
- 9 files did not contain current photographs of the child.
- 18 files did not contain fingerprints of the child.
- 25 Permanency Planning Checklists were not in the file.
- 25 initial placement checklist forms were not in the file.
- 2 entire files could not be located.
The Departmentís Administrative Procedures prescribe deadlines and documentation requirements for file maintenance.† The failure to follow established Department procedures could result in inadequate care, unauthorized services or misuse of State funds.† (Finding 2, pages 14-17)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
† Department officials stated they will continue to stress the importance of adequate and timely documentation for the child case files.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #1.)
OVERDUE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT DETERMINATIONS
††††† Reports of child abuse and neglect were not always determined within 60 days as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.† The Act states the Department shall determine, within 60 days, whether a report is "unfounded" or "indicated" and provides that the Department may extend the period up to an additional 30 days for good cause.† Department statistics indicate the following noncompliance:
††††††††††† ††††††† Total†††††††
††††††††††† †††† Reports†††††† † Determinations††† †††††† Percent of
Fiscal†† ††† Requiring†††††††††††††† Not††††††††††††† Determinations
†Year††† Determinations† In Compliance††††† Not In Compliance
†2008††††† ††67,831††††††††††††††† †† 819†††††††††††††††††††† 1.21%
†2007††††† †† 67,732††††††††††††††† †† 538†††††††††††††††††††† † .79%
†2006††††† †† 66,593††††††††††††††† 1,060†††††††††††††††††††† 1.59%
†2005††††† †† 66,550††††††††††††††† 1,140†††††††††††††††††††† 1.71%
†2004††††† †† 62,069††††††††††††††† 1,294†††††††††††††††††††† 2.08%
†2003††††† †† 58,956††††††††††††††† †† 952†††††††††††††††††††† 1.61%
†2002††††† †† 59,080††††††††††††††† †† 492†††††††††††††††††††† 0.83%
†2001††††† †† 59,003††††††††††††††† †† 226†††††††††††††††††††† 0.38%
†2000††††† †† 61,787††††††††††††††† †† 187†††††††††††††††††††† 0.30%
†1999††††† †† 62,054††††††††††††††† 1,502†††††††††††††††††††† 2.42%
††††† Failure to make a determination of a report within 60 days is a violation of the Act, could delay the implementation of a service plan, and could result in further endangerment of the child.† (Finding 3, pages 18-19)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
††††† We recommended the Department determine reports of child abuse or neglect within 60 days as mandated by State law.
††††† Department officials stated they will continue in their efforts to be within 100% compliance of the timeframes set forth in the Act.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #2.)
NEED TO INITIATE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT
††††† The Department did not initiate an investigation of every child abuse and neglect case within 24 hours of receipt of the report as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.† Department statistics indicate the following noncompliance:
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† Investigations†††††††††† †††† Percent of
Fiscal†† ††††† Total††††††††† ††††††† Not†††††††††††††† † Investigations
†Year††† Investigations††† In Compliance†††††† Not In Compliance
†2008††††††† 67,951††††††††††††††† †† 112†††††††††††††††††††† 0.17%
†2007††††††† 67,766††††††††††††††† †† 179†††††††††††††††††††† 0.26%
†2006††††††† 66,918††††††††††††††† †† 154†††††††††††††††††††† 0.23%
†2005††††††† 66,793††††††††††††††† †† 260†††††††††††††††††††† 0.39%
†2004††††††† 62,311††††††††††††††† †† 268†††††††††††††††††††† 0.43%
†2003††††††† 59,397††††††††††††††† †† 220†††††††††††††††††††† 0.37%
†2002††††††† 59,241††††††††††††††† †† 517†††††††††††††††††††† 0.87%
†2001††††††† 60,054††††††††††††††† †† 141†††††††††††††††††††† 0.23%
†2000††††††† 61,787††††††††††††††† †† 219†††††††††††††††††††† 0.35%
†1999††††††† 62,618††††††††††††††† †† 250†††††††††††††††††††† 0.40%
††††† Failure to respond to a report of abuse or neglect within 24 hours is a violation of the Act and could result in further endangerment of the child.† (Finding 4, pages 20-21)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
††††† We recommended the Department continue to strive to initiate investigations of all child abuse and neglect reports within 24 hours of receiving the report as mandated by State law.
††††† Department officials agreed with the recommendation and stated they will continue to make efforts to be within 100% compliance of the timeframes established.† They said corrective action is taken with employees who fail to comply with the Act.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #3.)
UNTIMELY APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS
††††† The Department did not have an adequate system in place to ensure that contracts are reviewed and signed on a timely basis.† During our review of 38 contracts, we noted that all 38 contracts, totaling $68,358,536, were signed after the beginning of the contract period.† The Departmentís Code of Regulations and prudent business practice require contracts to be signed prior to the commencement of services or the procurement of goods.† Failure to obtain signed contracts before the beginning of the contract period does not bind the contractor to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and rules and may result in improper and unauthorized payments.† (Finding 6, pages 23-24).† This finding was first reported in 2002.
††††† We recommended the Department approve and sign all contracts before the beginning of the contract period.
††††† Department officials agreed and stated they will continue efforts to ensure all contracts are approved and signed before the beginning of the contract period.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #4.)
INADEQUATE CONTRACT PROVISIONS
††††† The Departmentís contracts with residential and group home service providers did not all include measurable criteria necessary to ensure desired results are achieved.† The Departmentís Residential Performance Monitoring Unit (RPMU) conducts monthly on-site monitoring of the facilities that provide treatment for children.† Any deficiencies identified in the site visits are communicated to the Departmentís Division of Placement and Permanency which either directs the RPMU to increase the monitoring of the deficient provider or program consultants are utilized.† Although the Department made progress in incorporating monitoring and participation requirements in many of the provider contracts, there are still older, existing contracts which do not have specific criteria with which to monitor the services provided.
††††† Department officials stated that they are in the process of modifying residential care contracts to include monitoring and participation requirements that were recommended by the RPMU.† The absence or insufficiency of these contract requirements could lead to disputes with providers and impede the Departmentís ability to effectively monitor programs.† (Finding 9, page 27)† This finding was first reported in 2003.
††††† We recommended the Department continue in its efforts to develop and include measurable criteria and participation requirements in its contracts with all residential and group home service providers.
††††† Department officials responded that in FY 09 they completed the process to include measurable criteria and specific benchmarks in all contracts with providers.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #5.)
CHILD DEATH REVIEWS NOT TIMELY
††††† The Departmentís child death review teams did not have adequate controls to demonstrate that all child deaths were reviewed timely and did not all meet at least once each calendar quarter as required by the Child Death Review Team Act 20 ILCS 515/20.† The Departmentís child death review teams are responsible to conduct reviews of every child death for deceased children who are;
- a ward of the Department,
- the subject of an open service case maintained by the Department,
- a child who was the subject of an abuse or neglect investigation at any time during the 12 months preceding the childís death, and
- any other child whose death is reported to the State central register as a result of alleged child abuse or neglect which report is subsequently indicated.
The Act requires that child death review teams perform reviews of child deaths not later than 90 days from the completion of the Departmentís investigation, or if no investigation within 90 days after obtaining information necessary to complete the review.† During our examination period the child death review teams did not document when the Departmentís investigation of the childís death was completed or when information necessary to complete the review was received.† However, we noted the following:
- 54 reviews out of 115 during the examination period were conducted from 91 to 291 days after the childís death certificate was received by the child death review team
- on average, the child death reviews were conducted 200 days after the date of death of the child, ranging from 56 days to 496 days.
There were nine child death
review teams located throughout the State.†
The Act requires that each review team meet at least once in each
calendar quarter.† We noted that the
††††††† We recommended the Department implement controls to ensure child death review teams adequately document its compliance with the Child Death Review Team Act.† All child death reviews should be conducted within the time period established by the Act, and child death review teams should meet no less than once each calendar quarter.
††††††† Department officials agreed the reviews should be completed timely and said they have initiated a plan to correct the causes for delay.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT PREVENTION PLAN NOT SUBMITTED
††††††† The Department did not submit a comprehensive child abuse and neglect prevention plan as required.† The Department is designated as the single State agency for planning and coordination of child abuse and neglect prevention programs.† In connection therewith, the Department receives funds from the Illinois Department of Revenue contributed by individuals through their individual income tax returns.† Funds are deposited into the Child Abuse Prevention Fund to administer child abuse prevention shelters and service programs for abused and neglected children and to provide for their administration by not-for-profit corporations, community-based organizations or units of local government.
††††††† The Children and Family Services Act 20 ILCS 505/4a states that ďon or before the first Friday in April of each year, the Department shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly a State comprehensive child abuse and neglect prevention plan.Ē† The Department did not submit a Plan during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008.† (Finding 11, page 30)
††††††† We recommended the Department submit a State comprehensive child abuse and neglect prevention plan to the Governor and General Assembly prior to the first Friday of April each year as required by the Children and Family Services Act.
††††††† Department officials responded that the 2008 plan was filed in April 2009 and the process to file the annual document was reviewed and updated.
RULE FOR SPECIALIZED CARE NOT ADOPTED
††††††† The Department did not adopt a rule regarding the provision of specialized care for children in the custody or guardianship of the Department, as required by the Children and Family Services Act.† The Act required that no later than July 1, 2007, the Department shall adopt or amend a rule in effect to establish the criteria, standards, and procedures for the following:
- The determination that a child requires specialization.
- The determination of the level of care required to meet the childís special needs.
- The approval of a plan of care that will meet the childís special needs.
- The monitoring of the specialized care provided to the child and review of the plan to ensure quality of care and effectiveness in meeting the childís needs.
- The determination, approval, and implementation of amendments to the plan of care.
- The establishment and maintenance of the qualifications, including specialized training, of caretakers of children with special needs.
Although the Department had drafted changes to an existing rule to meet the requirements of the Act, the changes were not submitted for approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules prior to July 1, 2007, nor had they been submitted during our examination period.† (Finding 12, page 31)
††††††† We recommended the Department complete its efforts to adopt or amend a rule to establish criteria, standards, and procedures concerning the care of children with special needs as required by the Children and Family Services Act.
††††††† Department officials stated that they are in the process of getting the rule regarding specialized care for children approved.
††††† The remaining findings are reportedly being given attention by the Department.† We will review progress toward the implementation of our recommendations during the next examination.
††††† Our auditors stated the Department's June 30, 2008 financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects.
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, Auditor General
SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS
††††† Our special assistant auditors were Sleeper, Disbrow, Morrison, Tarro & Lively, LLC.
#1:† INCOMPLETE AND UNTIMELY CHILD WELFARE AND FOSTER CARE FILES - Previous Agency Response
The Department agrees and will continue to stress the importance of adequate and timely documentation for those cases identified by the auditors finding as well as for all child and family cases.† The Department will continue its review of its administrative and internal procedures (AP#5) and policy guides, as systems are upgraded, to better define the contents of system files and paper files and which should be relied upon as the file of record.
To address the deficiencies in the areas of Medical & Dental Consent forms, Initial Placement Checklists, Permanency Planning Checklists and Placement & Payment Authorization Forms, the Department has implemented regular monitoring systems in each region.† Regional managers have been given the responsibility to implement a monitoring/review process that will ensure that the above referenced documents are current and in each case file.† The status of this monitoring process will be discussed in weekly meetings with Regional Administrators and quarterly meetings with all supervisors/managers.
To address the deficiencies in current photographs and fingerprints, the Department has contracted with a new vendor, Accurate Biometrics, effective October 18, 2007.
In July 2007, the fingerprints and photograph process
was piloted in
To address the need to develop ways to automate various recordkeeping functions and procedures concerning the welfare of children, the department is in the process of implementing an electronic health passport system.† Department staff currently use a variety of internal and external sources to identify medical conditions of DCFS children and youth in care and track compliance with well-being indicators (e.g., immunizations, health examinations, dental, vision and hearing screenings, etc.)
#2:† OVERDUE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT DETERMINATIONS - Previous Agency Response
The Department will continue to make diligent efforts to improve on the 99.21% FY 07 compliance rate and reach 100% compliance with the timeframe set forth in ANCRA for making final determinations.† The ongoing focus of the Department is to develop opportunities and strategies to maintain our compliance of timely completions of investigative reports per the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA).† Child Protection Investigators are procedurally required to:
- Coordinate with law enforcement on serious cases.
- Obtain medical and or coroner results prior to closing a case.
Critical vacancies also play a sufficient role, when a team has 50% or more vacancies there are delays in the disposing the investigation in 60 days.† The Division of Child Protection is currently monitoring these cases weekly and developing action plans to get them completed.† We are utilizing ongoing recruitment and filling vacancies.
#3:† NEED TO INITIATE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT - Previous Agency Response
The Department will continue to make efforts to be within 100% compliance with the statute.† It is always the Departmentís focus to initiate reports in 24 hours.† There are three situations where non-compliance would occur:† computer system malfunction, data entry error of the initiation date and time, and worker performance errors.
If there is a computer system malfunction, we quickly identify that it is a system design problem and work with SACWIS to correct the problem so it will not be repeated.† The data error of the initiation date and time includes situations where an AM was entered and it should have been PM and vice versa; and where after hours initiation of a Good Faith Attempt by an after hours worker who did not enter their information before the primary worker enters their in-person contact.† Worker performance errors are situations in which the assigned worker has not made an attempt or an in person contact with the alleged victim within the 24 hour timeframe.† Corrective action is taken with the employee responsible for the non-compliance and is progressive.
#4:† UNTIMELY APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS - Previous Agency Response
We will continue our efforts to ensure that all contracts are signed and approved before the contract period.† We will also continue existing procedures that do not authorize payments to be made under these contracts until the agreements are fully signed and in place.
At the beginning of FY 08 we mailed a reminder to
all of our contracted vendors indicating that existing State of
We will continue to remind our vendors of this requirement as well as inform and encourage our management staff to adhere to this requirement before initiating contractual services before they are committed to writing and properly executed.† In addition, we conducted a detailed review of the nineteen contracts referenced in the finding to determine where changes, if any, might be made to our processing procedures.† None of the nineteen were Professional or Artistic Contracts; the nineteen all fall under Purchase of Care or other services.† Two of the agreements were bid services with award notices made prior to delivery of service which is considered the effective date of the agreement.
#5:† INADEQUATE CONTRACT PROVISIONS Ė Previous Agency Response
The Department agrees and plans to continue its efforts to include measurable criteria and participation requirements in the remaining contracts with residential and group home service providers.†
In addition, the Department, the Child Care
Association of Illinois and the Child Welfare Institute have formed a
public-private partnership that was awarded funding from the