STATE AUDITOR SAYS CPS NEEDS TO DO BETTER!

image

The following report is available on the Texas State Auditor’s Office Web site:

An Audit Report on Caseload and Staffing Analysis for Child Protective Services at the Department of Family and Protective Services, SAO Report No. 13-036

http://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/report.aspx?reportnumber=13-036

image

Overall Conclusion

The Department of Family and Protective Services’ (Department) competitive starting salaries for Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers and its recruitment strategies helped it hire 1,704 CPS caseworkers in fiscal year 2012.  Despite its hiring efforts, the Department experienced average vacancy rates as high as 15.9 percent and turnover rates as high as 34.3 percent in some regions for the same time period.  Although the Department offers competitive starting salaries to CPS caseworkers, the Department loses significant ground on salary competitiveness  by the time CPS caseworkers reach the second level of their career tracks, which complicates the Department’s efforts to retain tenured staff (see Chapter 1).

While compensation issues are among the most common reasons that departing caseworkers give for leaving the Department , there are other factors that lead to high caseworker turnover that the Department can also address. To reduce vacancy rates and better control caseloads, the Department should improve its efforts to retain qualified caseworkers. Specifically, the Department should:

– Improve the way it rewards caseworker performance.

– Strengthen its oversight of the regional offices to help ensure that administrative processes do not unnecessarily increase caseworkers’ workloads.

– Analyze its recruitment and hiring strategies to help ensure that it is hiring caseworkers who are more likely to perform well and stay with the Department.

– Strengthen its processes for selecting, training, and evaluating caseworker supervisors.

Auditors communicated other, less significant issues regarding calculations of caseload performance measures and improvements to the system controls for case approvals and closures separately in writing to the Department.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Black May 29, 2013 8:22 am 

    Not any really new news. The turn over rate has been above 30% for at least the last 8-10 years. What happens when your employees keep changing, you lose your knowledge base.

    Probably the most important thing above is the training issue. Texas has 100% of its CPS handbook online. We Texans know what their job is, yet caseworkers regularly violate state laws, rules and guidelines. Very often forgetting that the key purpose of their jobs is INSURING Child Safety.

    When one reviews the time frames for an investigation one of the factors you will find is that not later than 5 days into the investigation it is to be staffed also with “Safety Services”. It is the job of the FBSS worker to handle the home-study and other factors within the home while the Investigator handles the factors outside the home. A team effort that is designed to move cases along instead of allowing them to stall out. We are hearing of investigations that are going months without even checking on the children. True, it is not within the Investigators job function to do follow-up visits because that is the job function of Safety Services whom is to check on the children at least once every 30 days. This may be an indication of why of the 211 child deaths in 2011, 114 had prier CPS involvement. A failure to protect rate of 54%.

    Another area few people know about is that in 1997, the agency developed the “Flexible Response System for Service Delivery”. After 14 years we are not seeing where they ever ACTUALLY adopted this system. For one Family Services was suppose to move out from under CPS to become a sibling process instead of a child process. People do not want to and should not have to deal with CPS to handle family problems. Only time CPS should become involved is when there is TRULY a danger to the child. This means they must also actually start following the law that changed in 1999 from “Some Creditable Evidence” to “Preponderance of Evidence” (TAC §700.511).

    There are many factors that needs to be addressed. Far too many to list here now. But we need to force the agency to get back to basics and use the written procedures of the handbook and quit following the unwritten opinions of poorly trained supervisors.

    -Angel Eyes over Texas

  2. linda June 4, 2013 9:41 pm 

    well they should help children that really need help and not go by what ever family members say cause they take children away from families that they shouldn’t and they only give them to families that they like this is so wrong I don’t believe in cps and i am not for child a abuse but Texas does not have a great track record they put child in foster houses that only get abuse and by the hands of cps

Comments are closed.