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Kenny A v. Perdue System Improvements with Deadlines

Table 2: Kenny A v. Perdue System Improvements with Deadlines

abbreviations used below:
Rpt I = Accountability Agents' report for first reporting period;
Rpt 2 = Accountability Agents' report for second reporting period;
Rpt 3 = Accountability Agents' report for third reporting period;
AA = Accountability Agents.
Table sorted by due date.

DUE DATE COMPLIANCE
DATE
CATEGORY DESCRIPTION TIME FRAME CONSENT DECREE STIPULATION CURRENT STATUS
(as reported in most recent AA report to address the item)
CONSENT DECREE REFERENCE
July 1, 2005 July 1, 2005 Placement Increase in foster care maintenance payments Effective July 1, 2005 DHR/DFCS must set and pay the following basic daily foster care maintenance payments to foster parents for providing basic foster care service: for each child ages 0-6, $13.78; for each child ages 7-12, $15.50; and for each child age 13 and older, $17.75. These rates shall be uniform for all basic family foster care providers, regardless of whether they are supervised by DFCS or a private provider. As of July 1, 2007, basic foster care maintenance payments are: for each child ages 0-6, $14.60; for each child ages 7-12, $16.50; and for each child age 13 and older, $18.80. p. 13, Item 5(B)(1)(a)
Beginning July 1, 2005 Began July 1, 2005 and fully implemented in provider contracts taking effect July 1, 2007. Supervision of Contract Agencies Incorporate applicable requirements of Consent Decree into provider contracts Contracts entered into during the contract cycle beginning July 1, 2005 or as soon as practicable following the entry of the Consent Decree Annual performance-based contracts for the provision of placements and services to class members will incorporate all applicable requirements of the consent decree without reference to the decree itself. Rpt 3, p. 133: some of the language and concepts required to be incorporated into provider contracts, such as requiring providers to pass through to their foster homes the full basic maintenance payment, were incorporated into new contracts at the start of fiscal year 2006 (July 1, 2005). However, other provisions (e.g. mandating detailed reporting requirements and adding contract language to bring provider supervised placements into full compliance with DFCS approval and training standards) were implemented along with the new rate structures occasioned by the unbundling issue. The required contract provisions were fully implemented in the provider contracts that took effect on July 1, 2007. p. 24, Item 9(B)
Beginning July 1, 2005 Began July 1, 2005 and fully implemented in provider contracts taking effect July 1, 2007. Supervision of Contract Agencies Provider contracts must state that suspected abuse or neglect of children in provider's care must be reported to DHR for investigation Contracts entered into during the contract cycle beginning July 1, 2005 or as soon as practicable following the entry of the Consent Decree DHR must specify in its contracts with service providers that any suspected abuse or neglect of any class members must be reported to DHR for possible screening, assessment or investigation. If there are any contractual violations by the service providers, DHR may use contractual remedies as provided by contract and applicable GA statutes and Rules and Regulations, which can include termination of the contract or placement of the provider on probation. Rpt 3, p. 133: some of the language and concepts required to be incorporated into provider contracts, such as requiring providers to pass through to their foster homes the full basic maintenance payment, were incorporated into new contracts at the start of fiscal year 2006 (July 1, 2005). However, other provisions (e.g. mandating detailed reporting requirements and adding contract language to bring provider supervised placements into full compliance with DFCS approval and training standards) were implemented along with the new rate structures occasioned by the unbundling issue. The required contract provisions were fully implemented in the provider contracts that took effect on July 1, 2007. p. 24, Item 9(B)
December 26, 2005 December 26, 2005 Corrective Action Corrective Action: Identify children needing medical exams and treatment because they have not had timely medical exams while in care identify children: 60 days from entry of the consent decree; receive exams and treatment: by end of first reporting period. DHR/DFCS must identify all class members in custody for 12 months or more who have not had a medical exam within the last 12 months, and all foster children in custody for more than 30 days and less than 12 months who have not had a medical exam since their most recent entry into custody, and provide them with a medical examination and treatment as set forth in section 6 on pages 20-21 of the consent decree. In the first period report, the AA reported that 673 children had been identified as needing an annual or foster care entry medical exam as of the date of the Consent Decree. 589 of these children received their medical exams and 84 children left care before receiving them. Regarding the time line for receiving the exams, as of June 30, 2006, 533 or 79% of the children required to have exams did have them. Of the 140 children who had not, 77 exited foster care before receiving updated medicals and 15 children received them by mid-August 2006. Of the remaining 48 children, 7 children were discharged before receiving the necessary medical exams and 41 received the exams by Dec. 21, 2006. p.30, Item 13(A)
December 26, 2005 approximately March 26, 2006 Planning Children in care over 18 months receive a specialized case manager. 60 days from entry of the consent decree All children who had already reached their 18th month in care upon the entry of the consent decree shall be assigned a Specialized Case Manager (SCM). Some of the SCM's responsibilities include determining the continuing appropriateness and effectiveness of the child's permanency goal and whether new services are necessary for the child. Beginning 60 days after entry of consent decree and continuing thereafter, all children who reach their 18th month in care shall be assigned a SCM. The maximum caseload for a SCM shall be 12 children. Rpt 3 does not specify the percentage of children in care over 18 months who have been assigned to a SCM. At p. 113 Rpt 3 says "Additionally, not all children appear to be moving to specialized case managers when they reach their 18th month in custody. Forty children remained assigned to 'regular' placement case managers after reaching their 18th month in state custody." Rpt 2: case record reviews indicate 96% of children reaching 18 months in care are assigned to SCM. p. 11, Item 4(F)(2)
December 26, 2005 not yet in compliance on maximum caseloads Planning Specialized case managers for children in care over 18 months have a maximum caseload of 12 children. 60 days from entry of the consent decree and ongoing All children who had already reached their 18th month in care upon the entry of the consent decree shall be assigned a Specialized Case Manager (SCM). Beginning 60 days after entry of consent decree and continuing thereafter, all children who reach their 18th month in care shall be assigned a SCM. The maximum caseload for a SCM shall be 12 children. Rpt 3: As of June 30, 2007, 23 of 60 specialized case managers had caseloads ranging from 13 to 15 children, rather than the target of 12 children. p. 11, Item 4(F)(2)
December 26, 2005 by December 31, 2005 Corrective Action DHR/DFCS must identify foster placements where there have been 2 or more substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in the past 18 months. identify placements: 60 days after final entry of consent decree DHR/DFCS shall identify all foster homes in which one or more class members have been placed in the past 6 months, for which there have been 2 or more substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in the past 18 months. All such homes will have an unannounced inspection by DHR/DFCS by the end of the first reporting period. Rpt 1: by the end of December 2005, DFCS identified five separate Child Caring Institutions and no foster homes that met the criteria established in the Consent Decree. These placements had unannounced visits in May and June 2006. No inspections of individual homes were necessary because DFCS policy is to close a DFCS supervised home when one report of maltreatment has been substantiated and the AA have no evidence that this policy is not being carried out. p.31, Item 13(B)
December 26, 2005 December 26, 2005
but see current status
Placement Establishment of Reimbursement Rate Task Force 60 days after the parties sign the consent decree A Reimbursement Rate Task Force will be established that must accept and not revise the base-level rate for the provision of family foster care services. The force must also create a rate structure based on measurable outcomes for all children in foster care based on the reasonable cost for achieving these outcomes. Rpt 3: the RRTF was established within the required timeframe and held at least 3 face-to-face meetings, 10 teleconferences, and 3 video conferences. The RRTF decided to wait to complete their work until the state's plan for unbundling its reimbursements rates was approved by the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and rolled out in GA. The parties agreed to this delay. Since the appointment of the original RRTF members, all members have resigned. The parties have agreed to appoint replacement members and to ask the RRTF to begin meeting again now that unbundling has been officially rolled out. p. 14, Item 5(B)(2)
December 31, 2005 vendor selected November 1, 2005, contract effective February 2006 Single SACWIS Selection of Single Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) vendor On or before Dec 31, 2005 The date certain for full implementation of SACWIS must be set forth in a contract with a vendor who must be selected and the contract effective on or before December 31, 2005. Accenture LLP was selcted in November 2005 and GA signed a contract with the firm to begin work immediately. The bidding process was challenged so the contract could not be executed until the challenge was resolved in February 2006. When the contract was entered into, the expected date for full implementation of SACWIS was January 2008. Rpt 3 states that the system is to be implemented in DeKalb and Fulton Counties in June 2008. p. 22, Item 7(B)
After February 2006 After February 2006 Single SACWIS Date certain set for full implementation of SACWIS Upon execution of contract with vendor. The date for full implementation of SACWIS shall be added to the consent decree after the contract is executed. The date certain for full implementation of SACWIS must be set forth in a contract with a vendor, with such contract being effective on or before December 31, 2005. The SACWIS contract was not executed until February 2006 because of challenges to the bidding process. When the contract was executed, the date certain for full implementation of SACWIS was January 2008. Rpt 3 states that the system is to be implemented in DeKalb and Fulton Counties in June 2008. The delay results from changes that are being made based on information learned during the Douglas County pilot. p. 22, Item 7(B)
January 25, 2006 early March, 2007 Placement Selection of Expert to conduct needs Assessment in Fulton and DeKalb Counties 90 days from the entry of consent decree Expert must be selected to conduct a needs assessment to identify what new and/or different placements and related services, if any, are needed to substantially provide for the care of the plaintiff class. In early March, 20007, Hornby Zeller Associates was selected to conduct the needs assessment. They issued their report on August 29, 2007. p. 13, Item 5(A)(2)
January 25, 2006 unclear: As of December 14, 2005, the system (a modified version of Placement Central) was in place and operational but contained incomplete data. As of December 31, 2006 the Accountability Agents say this requirement has been met, but also say the system is not completely populated and the integrity of the data is not assured. Foster Parent Screening, Licensing and Training DHR/DFCS shall have an automated information system that contains specified information about placements of class members 90 days from the entry of consent decree DHR/DFCS shall have an automated information system that must provide the following for every foster and pre-adoptive family/parents with whom class members may be placed:
1) The name, address, phone number, and if the family is supervised by a private provider, the name and address of the private provider.
2) A list of all foster children in the home, the number and age of any other children in the home, any other adults who are providing
direct care or supervision for class members in the home, and the County DFCS office with custody of each foster child.
3) The approval or re-approval status of the home.
4) A complete history beginning on January 1, 2002 and going forward, of any reports of abuse or neglect and any substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in the home.
DHR/DFCS shall consider the information above before a child is placed with any foster or pre-adoptive family/parents, and before any approval, or re-approval is granted.
Rpt 3: while the AA consider this requirement as having been met, there are still problems with the completeness of data in Placement Central and the integrity of the data. There are continuing problems with obtaining accurate information from Child Placement Agencies about the capacity, census and approval status (among other things) of the foster homes they supervise. Rpt 2 included a summary of efforts by the AAs to validate the information in Placement Central. This exercise revealed many variances between the automated data and the data in paper records and led the AAs to "underscore the importance of the State having an effective strategy for maintaining the integrity of placement central once it is completely populated." p. 27, Item 11(E)
February 24, 2006 February 27, 2006
but see current status
Planning Permanency Report for children in care 13+ months 120 days from entry of the consent decree Fulton and Dekalb DFCS will submit a Permanency Report to the state social services Director for all children who had reached their 13th month in care at the time of the entry of the consent decree. Rpt 1: the letter of the Consent Decree was met by the fact that permanency reports had been prepared for nearly 1200 children who had reached their third month in care by October 27. 2005. The AAs indicate, however that improvement is needed in the quality of the reviews and in making the practice of doing the reviews more meaningful.
Rpt 3: "According to State data, 299 children reached their 13th month in custody sometime during the first half of 2007. The quarterly reports of permanency reviews indicate that permanency reviews were conducted for 288 (96%) children. This information was not independently verified by the Accountability Agents."
p. 10, Item 4(D)
February 24, 2006 not yet completed Placement Reimbursement Rate Task Force: findings issued Every effort made to present findings no later than 120 days after entry of consent decree The Reimbursement Rate Task Force shall create a rate structure based on measurable outcomes for all children in foster care (excluding basic, non-therapeutic foster family care) based on the reasonable cost for achieving these outcomes. This task force shall examine the Level of Care system and make recommendations for either revising or replacing it, and shall also consider the results of various pilot programs being carried out across the state. Rpt 3: RRTF was established within the required timeframe (by 12/26/2005) and held at least 3 face-to-face meetings, 10 teleconferences, and 3 video conferences. The RRTF decided to wait to complete their work until the state?s plan for unbundling its reimbursements rates was approved by the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and rolled out in GA. The parties agreed to this delay. Since the appointment of the original RRTF members, all members have resigned. The parties have agreed to appoint replacement members and to ask the RRTF to begin meeting again now that unbundling has been officially rolled out. No timeframe has been set for the release of the rate structure by the RRTF. p. 15, Item 5(B)(7)
April 26, 2006, changed to June 30, 2006
NOTE: After entry of the consent decree, parties agreed to change the end dates for each reporting period so the first reporting period ended 6/30/2006.
unclear Corrective Action Timely medical treatment for children in care By the end of the 1st reporting period Those class members identified as needing medical exams because they weren't provided with timely exams in the prior 12 months must be provided with a medical exam and treatment as set forth in Section 6 on pages 20-21 of this Consent Decree. Rpt 1 and Rpt 2 indicate that all identified children received needed medical exams but did not address the issue of whether those children also received the treatment needed by the end of the first reporting period. It appears that the AAs are focusing on outcome measure 30 (percentage of children in care who should have no unmet health or other sevice needs) instead of directly addressing the response to this corrective action item. p.30, Item 13(A)
April 26, 2006, changed to June 30, 2006
NOTE: After entry of the consent decree, parties agreed to change the end dates for each reporting period so the first reporting period ended 6/30/2006.
April 26, 2006 Corrective Action Unannounced inspections of foster care placements with 2 or more substantiated reports of abuse By the end of the 1st reporting period DHR/DFCS must conduct an unannounced inspection of any foster homes in which one or more class member children have been placed since summer of 2005, for which there have been 2 or more substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in the past 18 months. Rpt 1: by the end of December 2005, DFCS identified five separate Child Caring Institutions and no foster homes that met the criteria established in the Consent Decree. These placements had unannounced visits in May and June 2006. No inspections of individual homes were necessary because DFCS policy is to close a DFCS supervised home when one report of maltreatment has been substantiated and the AA have no evidence that this policy is not being carried out. p. 31, Item 13(B)
beginning April 26, 2006 early in 2006 Caseloads Phasing out of
temporary personnel as case managers
Beginning 6 months from the entry of the consent decree Temporary personnel shall comprise no more than 11% of the total allocation of social services case managers for DeKalb and Fulton Counties, respectively. Rpt 2: the counties reported they had discontinued the use of temporary personnel early in 2006. Financial records indicate that there have been no payments to the vendors who supply the temporary staffing since February 2006. The State agreed to eliminate its use of temporary personnel in the second reporting period. p. 23, Item 8(C)(2)
June 1, 2006 (Jan. 25 plus 120 days) August 29, 2007 (within 6 months of early March, 2007, when the expert was retained) Placement Needs Assessment: completed No later than 120 days after the expert has been retained Needs assessment to identify what new and/or different placements and related services, if any, are needed to substantially provide for the care of the plaintiff class is completed. Hornby Zeller Associates was selected to conduct the needs assessment and issued their report on August 29, 2007. p. 13, Item A3
July 1, 2006 July 1, 2006 Placement All approved foster placements receive same reimbursement rates Beginning in the July 1, 2006 contracting cycle DHR/DFCS shall ensure that all approved foster parents (regardless of whether they are supervised directly by DFCS or by private providers) receive the same reimbursement rate for a given level of service. As of July 1, 2007, basic daily foster care maintenance payments for all foster homes are: for each child ages 0-6, $14.60; for each child ages 7-12, $16.50; and for each child age 13 and older, $18.80. p 14, Item 5(B)(4)
October 26,2006 exact date unclear, but in compliance by January 2007 Placement Moving children under age 6 out of group home settings 12 months from entry of decree A child under the age of 6 who lives in a group home with his or her sibling should be moved to a foster care placement within 12 months of the entry of the Consent Decree unless doing so would not be in the best interest of the child in question. No child under age 6 who is certified for group care shall be placed in any group care setting which has a total capacity in excess of 12 children, unless such child is the son or daughter of another child in that group care setting. Rpt 2: no children under age 6 have been placed in congregate care settings with more than 12 beds since prior to the consent decree. As of 12/31/06, only 1 child under the age of 6 was still in a congregate care facility in order to be with a sibling.
Rpt 3: as of 6/30/07, 15 children under the age of 6 were in group care settings; 8 were placed with their mothers (1 in a setting with an 18 bed capacity); 7 were medically fragile infants and toddlers placed in a facility with staff trained to respond to their medical and emotional needs.
p. 17, Item 5(C)(4)(f)(i)
October 26, 2006 not yet completed Placement Moving children ages 6-12 out of group home settings 12 months from entry of decree DHR/DFCS shall have 12 months from the entry of the consent decree to move children between the ages of 6 and 12 who were placed in a group home prior to the entry of the consent decree to a non-group setting unless doing so would not be in the best interest of the child or children in question. No child age 6-12 who is certified for group care shall be placed in any group care setting which has a total capacity in excess of 12 children. Rpt 3: as of 6/30/2007, 2 children age 6-12 are still placed in congregate care facilities with total capacity in excess of 12 children because they are placed with a sibling. These 2 children have been in this placement since before the consent decree. 16 additional children age 6-12 are in facilities with total capacity in excess of 12 children because of specialized service needs. 2 additional children age 6-12 are in facilities with a capacity of less than 12 due to specialized service needs. p. 17 Item 5(C)(4)(f)(ii)
October 26, 2006 early 2006 Caseloads Elimination of
temporary personnel as case managers
Beginning 1 year from the entry of the consent decree No temporary personnel shall be employed or utilized as case managers in DeKalb and Fulton Counties. Rpt 1: the counties reported they had discontinued the use of temporary personnel early in 2006. Financial records indicate that there have been no payments to the vendors who supply the temporary staffing since February 2006. The State agreed to eliminate its use of temporary personnel in the second reporting period. p. 23, Item 8(C)(2)
October 26, 2006, changed to December 31, 2006
NOTE: After entry of the consent decree, parties agreed to change the end dates for each reporting period so the second reporting period ended 12/30/2006.
not yet completed Caseloads Reduction of caseloads
for DFCS case managers
End of 2nd reporting period The following caseloads will exist in Dekalb and Fulton County DFCS:
1. No CPS case manager shall have more than 20 cases
2. No ongoing case manager shall have more than 20 cases
3. No placement case manager shall have more than 25 cases.
4. No adoption case manager shall have more than 22 cases.
Rpt 3: as of 6/30/2007, 70% of case managers had caseloads at or within the designated caps. Rpt 3 compliance was a decline from rpt 2 compliance: by 12/31/2006, 95% of case managers had caseloads at or within the designated caps. Specific numbers from Rpt 3: ?In Child Protective Services Investigations and Ongoing, 45 of 136 caseloads were over the cap of 20 cases; the size of the caseloads exceeding the cap ranged from 21 to 51. Ten case managers had caseloads of 30 or more, while the average caseload for the remaining 35 was 25 families per case manager. Among foster care case managers, 15 of 65 case managers had caseloads exceeding the cap of 20; the size of the caseloads exceeding the cap ranged from 26 to 33 children. Also, one worker with provisional certification had 14 cases, exceeding the DFCS policy limit of seven cases for provisionally certified case managers. All adoption case managers were under the Consent Decree stipulated caseload cap of 22 children.?? p. 22, Item 8(A)(1)
October 26, 2006, changed to December 31, 2006
NOTE: After entry of the consent decree, parties agreed to change the end dates for each reporting period so the second reporting period ended 12/30/2006.
not yet completed Caseloads Reducing ratios of supervisors to
case managers
End of 2nd reporting period No supervisor shall supervise more than six case managers at any one time in Fulton and DeKalb County DFCS Rpt 3: ?on June 30, 2007, 92% of the supervisory units had a ratio of 6 workers to 1 supervisor or better. This is an improvement over the second period performance of 82%. All 5 of the units that exceeded these ratios were child protective services units. One supervisor was responsible for supervising as many as 10 case managers and 2 others had responsibility for 8 workers each. According to the Fulton County CPS caseload data for August 31, 2007, these supervisory ratios have been reduced since June. The majority of units had a ratio of 5 workers to 1 supervisor so the fourth period standard of a ratio of 5 to 1 appears attainable." p. 23 Item 8(B)(1)
May 25, 2007 (Jan. 25 plus 120 days plus one year); Third report of Accountability Agents identifies new due date of August 29, 2008. not yet completed Placement Needs Assessment: findings substantially implemented 12 months after completion of needs assessment DFCS shall provide all of the placements and related services identified in the need assessments. However, the expert who makes the recommendations is to prioritize the implementation of the recommendations. There were many delays in selecting a contractor so the needs assessment report was issued Agust 29, 2007. The new deadline for compliance (12 months after completion of the assessment) is August 29, 2008. p. 13, Item 5(A)(4)
July 1, 2007 not yet completed Placement Reimbursement Rate
Task Force Rate Structure shall be fully implemented
Fully implemented in contracting cycle beginning July 1, 2007 The rate structure established by the Reimbursement Rate Task Force shall serve as the basis for performance-based contracting and shall be phased in beginning 90 days after the Reimbursement Rate Task Force issues its findings, providing that the rates must be fully implemented in the contracting cycle by July 1, 2007. Rpt 3: RRTF was established within the required timeframe (by 12/26/2005) and held at least 3 face-to-face meetings, 10 teleconferences, and 3 video conferences. The RRTF decided to wait to complete their work until the state?s plan for unbundling its reimbursements rates was approved by the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and rolled out in GA. The parties agreed to this delay. Since the appointment of the original RRTF members, all members have resigned. The parties have agreed to appoint replacement members and to ask the RRTF to begin meeting again now that unbundling has been officially rolled out. No timeframe has been set for the release of the rate structure by the RRTF. p. 14 Item 5(B)(3)
October 26, 2007 4th period report not yet released Caseloads Reduction of caseloads
for DFCS case managers
End of 4th reporting period The following caseloads will exist in Dekalb and Fulton County DFCS:
a. No CPS case manager shall have more than 12 cases
b. No ongoing case manager shall have more than 17 cases
c. No placement case manager shall have more than 15 cases.
d. No adoption case manager shall have more than 16 cases.

p. 23 Item 8(A)(2)
October 26, 2007 4th period report not yet released Caseloads Reducing ratios of supervisors to
case managers
End of 4th reporting period No supervisor shall supervise more than five case managers at any one time in Fulton and DeKalb County DFCS
p. 23 Item 8(B)(2)