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Kenny A v. Perdue System Improvements without Deadlines or Benchmarks

Table 3: Kenny A v. Perdue System Improvements without Deadlines or Benchmarks

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.

NOTE: for the items listed below, the Consent Decree does not list specific due dates, time frames, or rates of compliance. All items are to be put in place or met after the entry of the Consent Decree.

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION CONSENT DECREE STIPULATION CURRENT STATUS
(as reported prior to or in Rpt 3, covering 1/1/07-6/30/07 and released 12/14/07)
CONSENT DECREE REFERENCE
Planning Initial Family Team Meeting An initial Family Team Meeting will be held within 3-9 days after a child comes into foster care. Rpt 3: of the 743 children who entered care during the third reporting period and remained in care longer than 9 days, 94% had a family team meeting occur; 81% within 9 days and 13% after 9 days. p. 5, Item 4(A)(2)
Planning Multidisciplinary Team Meeting Within 25 days of a child's placement in foster care, a MDT Meeting will be held. Rpt 2: based on case record reviews, 78% of children who were in care 25 days or more had a MDT meeting; 64% of these were held within 25 days of entry. Rpt 3 did not contain information on compliance with MDT meetings. p.6, Item 4(A)(3)
Planning School enrollment/attendance For school age children, the Family Team Meeting shall identify steps needed to ensure child remains enrolled in school, does not miss school days extensively, and does not have to change schools if possible. Rpt 3: Of school age children in the placement sample, 83% were enrolled in school or GED program in the 1st half of 2007. 8% of children experienced gaps in enrollment due to running away, expulsion, placement change, and their consideration of enrollment in GED program. 5% did not appear to be enrolled at all during the period for similar reasons or there was insufficient documentation to determine school status. 4% were in care only during summer months so they weren't enrolled in school. p. 6, Item 4(A)(2)(c)(v)
Planning 30 day case plan A case plan with all required elements will be submitted to the juvenile court for approval within 30 days of a child's placement in care. Rpt 3: 73% of children entering custody during the reporting period and remaining in custody for more than 30 days had an initial case plan developed by 6/30/2007 or their last day in custody. Information was not provided on how many case plans were developed within 30 days of a child's placement in care. p. 7, Item 4(A)(4)
Planning 13 month Family Team Meeting A Family Team Meeting will be held when a child reaches his or her 13th month in foster care. Rpt 3: for children who reached their 13th month in care, 85% of them had a family team meeting held within the previous 90 days. 50% or less of those meetings included a parent/legal guardian. p. 9, Item 4(C)(1)
Planning 25th month county-state staffings At least one additional county/state staffing meeting shall be conducted by the end of the 25th month after a child remains in placement. Rpt 3: The State reported that all 112 children who reached their 25th month in care between 1/1/07-6/30/07 had a 25th month staffing. p. 10, Item 4(C)(5)
Placement Comprehensive Child and Family Assessment Children for whom placement has determined to be necessary shall receive a CCFA no later than 30 business days after the child enters care. Rpt 2: based on the case record review, 75% of children entering care have a CCFA completed; 39% had it completed within 30 days. The third report did not contain information on compliance with CCFA requirements. p. 15, Item 5(C)(1)
Placement Limits on placement in emergency or temporary settings Children shall not be placed in an emergency or temporary facility for more than 30 days or more than one time within one episode of foster care. Children shall not spend more than 23 hours in a DFCS office or any facility providing intake functions. Rpt 3: based on case record review, 17% of children entering care or changing placements in the third reporting period experienced some time in a temporary setting. 63% of these stayed for less than 30 days.
3 children spent more than 23 hours in an office or intake facility before being placed. For another 5 children, reviewers could not tell how long childrne were in the office or intake facility settings.
p. 16, Item 5(C)(4)(c)
Placement Pre-service and ongoing training requirements for foster parents DHR-DFCS shall develop appropriate and uniform pre-service and ongoing training for foster parents and foster homes cannot be approved until the training requirements are met. Rpt 3: based on case record reviews, 96% of foster homes had evidence in their files that pre-service foster parent training requirements were met; 75% of foster homes had evidence in their files that ongoing foster parent training requirements were met. pp. 18-19, Item 5(C)(6) and p. 26, Item 11(D)
Placement Foster parent access to DHR-DFCS 24/7 DHR-DFCS shall ensure that all foster parents with whom children are placed can contact DHR/DFCS and receive information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rpt 3: "Resource Development staff in the Counties report that they provide foster parents with the phone number of their assigned monitoring worker whom they can call during work hours, and that during pre-service foster parent training, they receive the phone number of an on-call worker they can reach after hours." (p. 31) This statement raised the question of whether the 4% of foster parents who do not complete pre-service training have 24/7 access. Also, kinship care providers are required to have 24/7 access and it is unclear what percentage of these providers have this access. p. 19, Item 5(C)(6)(c)
Placement Child's clothing needs At the time of initial placement and at any placement move, DFCS will review the child's clothing needs and take steps to ensure the child has appropriate clothing. Rpt 3: 29% of children in placement sample who had initial or new placement during the period had their clothing needs reviewed and met. p. 18, Item 5(C)(4)(j)
Placement Minimize trauma to youth DFCS shall take steps to minimize any trauma which may be experienced by a child which is associated with eaither a change in placement or in case managers. Rpt 2: 75% of children in placement sample experienced a change in placement setting OR case manager in 12 months prior to 12/31/06. 25% experienced at least one placement change and one case manager change. Case managers documented efforts to minimize potential trauma for 29% of the children. Steps to minimize trauma, i.e. ease fears and concerns of the child and/or keep child connected to family and community, include explaining reasons for the change, answering the child's questions, arranging for pre-placement visits and making joint visits with the new case manager. p. 18, Item 5(C)(5)
Placement Provide available information to foster parents DHR-DFCS shall provide available information, including but not limited to family history, medical, dental, mental health and educational information, to foster parents before a child is placed in the home and will update the information as it becomes available. Rpt 3: a sample of child records indicates that 24% of foster parents received information at the time a child was placed in the home. Review of files at the Fulton County Resource Center indicates that 80% of foster parents received information. p. 19, Item 5(C)(6)(d)
Placement Frequent case manager visits for children in new placements In the 1st 8 weeks of a new placement, children are to have at least one case manager visit in the 1st week, 1 visit between the 3d and 8th weeks, and 6 additional visits any time within the 8 weeks. Rpt 3: of children in placement sample, 48% received a visit in the 1st week; 74% received one visit in weeks 3-8. Of 45 children who remained in a new placement for 8 weeks, 3 did not have any visits during that time and 2 were on runaway status after week 3. The remaining 40 children had an average of 4 visits in 8 weeks. p. 19, Item 5(D)(1)(a)
Health Services to Children Physical Health Screening All children shall receive a medical screening within 10 days of placement in compliance with EPSDT standards. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 81% of children received an initial health screen, 69% within 10 days of entry into care. p.20, Item 6(A)(1)
Health Services to Children Dental Screening All children shall receive a dental screening within 10 days of placement in compliance with EPSDT standards. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 60% of children received an initial dental screen, 37% within 10 days of entry into care. p.20, Item 6(A)(2)
Health Services to Children Mental Health Screening All children age 4 and older shall receive a mental health screening conducted by a licensed MH professional and completed within 30 days of placement in compliance with EPSDT standards. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 84% of children age 4 and older received an initial MH screen, 76% within 10 days of entry into care. 35% of children who had a MH need identified during the assessment did not have any follow-up treatment documented in the case record. p.20, Item 6(A)(3)
Health Services to Children Developmental Assessment All children under 4 years of age shall receive a developmental assessment conducted by a licensed professional and completed within 30 days of placement in compliance with EPSDT standards. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 73% of children under age 4 received an initial developmental assessment, 60% within 10 days of entry into care. p.20, Item 6(A)(3)
Health Services to Children Periodic Health Screenings and Treatment All children shall receive periodic medical and dental screenings as well as treatment/care required, according to the timelines in the Consent Decree. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 82% of children received ongoing health care exams and 67% of children received ongoing dental exams. 23% of children who had health needs identified during their medical screenings did not have any follow-up treatment documented in the case record. 39% of children who had dental needs identified during screenings did not have any follow-up treatment documented in the case record. p.21, Item 6(B)
Health Services to Children Health Screening before discharge Every child shall receive an EPSDT/GA Health Check Program Screening within 10 days of receiving final discharge from placement. Rpt 3: based on case reviews, 7% of children received a discharge health screen, all within 10 days of discharge. p.21, Item 6(B)(6)
Supervision of Contract Agencies ORS licensing and inspection of private providers DHR, through its Office of Regulatory Services (ORS), will conduct licensing evaluations of child caring institutions (CCI) and child placing agencies (CPA) to, among other things, ensure their compliance with the Consent Decree. ORS must conduct at least one unannounced inspection per year of each CCI/CPA and of a sample of the foster homes supervised by that agency, and prepare written reports detailing the findings of the visits. Rpt 2: ORS licensure rules were amended to reflect applicable requirements of the Consent Decree and licensure re-evaluations ensure private agencies conform to the new requirements. ORS is conducting the specified unannounced inspections and is preparing detailed written reports of each visit. Each CCI/CPA serving class members received at least one such inspection during calendar year 2006. p. 24, Item 9(D)
Training Pre-service training requirements for case manager supervisors All case manager supervisors employed after the entry of this consent decree must complete 40 hours of pre-service training directed specifically at the supervision of child welfare workers before receiving any supervisory duties. As of the end of the first reporting period, pre-service training that would meet the requirements of the Consent Decree was in place. The training has been reviewed by the AA and has been modified over time. As of 6/30/2007, 51% of case manager supervisors had achieved full certification (meaning they have completed all necessary training and passed a competency test). p. 25, Item10(A) and 10(B)(3)
Training Pre-service training requirements for case managers All case managers employed after the entry of this consent decree must complete pre-service training as specified in the consent decree and must pass an appropriate skills-based competency test before assuming responsibility for any CPS, ongoing, foster care or adoption case. As of the end of the first reporting period, pre-service training that would meet the requirements of the Consent Decree was in place. The training has been reviewed by the AA and has been modified over time. As of 6/30/2007, 81% of case managers had achieved full certification (meaning they have completed all necessary training and passed a competency test). p. 25, Item10(A) and 10(B)(3)
Training Ongoing training requirements for case managers and supervisors All case managers and supervisors employed after the entry of this consent decree must complete 20 hours of ongoing training each year. Rpt 3: "a small proportion of case managers and supervisors do not appear to be receiving the required 20 hours annually of professional development." (p. 118) A review of training hours indicares that 84% of case managers with cases assigned on 6/1/2007 had the required training hours and 85% of supervisors had received the required training. p. 25, Item 10B3
Training Education and training requirements for private provider employees who provide case management or supervisory services for DFCS All private provider case managers and supervisors must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university; completed an approved training curriculum of at least 160 hours; pass an appropriate skills-based competency test; and have 20 hours of job related ongoing profesional development annually. Rpt 3: private provider contracts beginning 7/1/2007 were to have reflected these requirements. Plans were being made in spring 2007 to make the required training accessible to private providers. p. 25, Item 10(B)(4)
Training Education and experience requirements for case manager supervisors All case manager supervisors employed after the entry of this consent decree must have at minimum a Bachelor's degree in social work, and at least two years of experience as a case manager in social services. Rpt 3: In the first 3 reporting periods after the entry of the consent decree, 38 individuals were employed as or promoted to supervisors. Of these, 35 exceeded the minimum experience levels and 14 exceeded the minimum degree requirement. Two did not have the required years of experience and one did not have a BSW. The 3 supervisors who did not meet the minimum qualifications were assigned supervisory responsibility for non case management units. p. 26, Item 10(C)
Foster Parent Screening, Licensing and Training DHR-DFCS shall maintain certain information in paper files For every foster or pre-adoptive home, DHR-DFCS must have in accessible paper files, the following information: approval or re-approval status of home; for homes not approved, the reasons for lack of approval; complete history for prior 5 years of any reports of child abuse or neglect (CAN), any substantiations of CAN, home closings, refusal to place children in the home, other corrective or disciplinary actions taken against home and reasons for all the foregoing. Rpt 2: a triangulated file review (comparing raw file information with other data sources) shows that foster parent files contain 96-100% of the information required to be in them. 100% of the files contained information on the approval or re-approval status of the foster homes. p. 28, Item 11(G)
Maximization of Federal Funding Maximize Title IV-B and IV-E funds DHR-DFCS shall establish baselines for present levels of state and federal funding and shall maximize funds available to it through Title IV-B and IV-E. Any increases achieved in federal funding shall not supplant state funds. DHR-DFCS must have an appropriate mechanism in place for reporting the budgeting of both federal and state dollars. Rpt 2: baseline funding for IV-B using FFY06 (10/1/05-9/30/06): GA: $3,123,871; Fed: $9,371,613; total: $12,495,484.
Baseline funding for IV-E, using SFY06 (7/1/05-6/30/06): GA: $73,320,262; Fed: $90,809,830; total: $164,130,092 (funding for each category of IV-E is shown in the RPT 2).

Rpt 3: In July-Aug 2007, DHR-DFCS hired Horby Zeller Associates, Inc. to assess DHR's IV-E reimbursement efforts.The study was to identify (1) "extent to which GA's Title IV-E penetration rate can legitimately increase and the limits beyond which it cannot increase; and (2) mechanisms through which DHR-DFCS can increase its level of federal reimbursement...." The report makes recommendations for increasing GA's penetration rate.
p. 31, Item 14
Miscellaneous Provisions Repeat maltreatment data DHR-DFCS must provide AA with data and information sufficient to verify number and percentage of children who experienced substantiated maltreatment during the report period and who also experienced substantiated maltreatment during the preceding 12 month period. Rpt 3:percentage of children who experienced repeat maltreatment: DeKalb County, 5.1%; Fulton County, 6.7%. p. 45, Item 20(G)(1)
Miscellaneous Provisions Diversion Data DHR-DFCS must provide AA with data and information sufficient to verify the number of cases during the reporting period in which there was a referral into the diversion program and the number and % of these cases for which there was substantiated maltreatment within 11-365 days of the referral to diversion. Rpt 3: percentage of cases in which there was a substantiated maltreatment within 11-365 days of referral into DHR's diversion program: DeKalb County, 4.1%; Fulton County, 4.7%. p. 45, Item 20(G)(2)