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    Senior and Adult Services Division

    REASON FOR INVESTIGATION

    The Grand Jury received a complaint which alleged management, supervision and operational problems in the Sacramento County, Health and Human Services Department, Senior and Adult Services Division.

    BACKGROUND

    The goal of the Senior and Adult Services Division is to assess and intervene to protect from abuse, neglect and exploitation at-risk elderly dependent, disabled persons and other senior and adult citizens who are mentally or physically challenged. In 1995, following a series of complaints, a consultant was hired to assess division operations. The consultant's report detailed the problems and made recommendations to resolve the issues. Few of the recommendations were implemented.

    PROCEDURES FOLLOWED

    The Grand Jury reviewed the complaint, interviewed county staff and examined the written documents provided including the consultant's report.

    FINDINGS

    1. There were inconsistencies within the Department concerning the application of internal policies.
    2. There was a lack of awareness of how filed complaints were to be handled.
    3. There were internal personnel communication problems.
    4. There were errors in the management and control of case files.
    5. Supervisor training is not systematic and did not address the necessary issues.
    6. The content of mandatory training was not specified nor related to staff needs.

    CONCLUSIONS
    1. Lack of clear written policies and procedures makes it difficult for supervisors and family service workers to adequately perform their jobs.
    2. Inadequate follow-up by management has contributed to the confusion and misunderstanding among family service workers.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Grand Jury recommends that:

    1. Management develop clear written policies and procedures to assist family service workers and their supervisors.
    2. Mandatory training be provided to and required of all supervisory staff to make clear their roles and responsibilities.
    3. A system be instituted to track the training of family service workers and supervisors.

    RESPONSE REQUIRED

    The Penal Code requires responses to the recommendations contained in this report be submitted to the Presiding Judge of the Sacramento Superior and Municipal Courts by September 30, 1997, from:

    Sacramento County Board of Supervisors

1996/97 Sacramento County Grand Jury - Final Report (Internet Version) June 30, 1997

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