Source: CBSMiami, April 20, 2015
Two reports presented to lawmakers last week criticized the Florida Department of Children and Families for poor oversight of the privatized agencies that deliver child-welfare, substance-abuse and mental-health services statewide. The reports arrived as the Legislature is considering further changes to all those services. The Florida Office of the Auditor General published its findings last month and reviewed them Thursday with members of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee. One report faulted the state’s oversight of what are known as managing entities, which oversee the delivery of substance-abuse and mental-health services. With lawmakers focused on improving those services this year, the managing entities could be revamped under a bill (SB 7068) ready for a vote by the full Senate possibly as soon as Wednesday. The House version (HB 7119) is ready to go to the full House. The other report criticized the state’s oversight of community-based care organizations, known as CBCs, which provide foster care, adoption and family-support services. The agencies have been under legislative scrutiny in recent years for a series of child deaths from abuse and neglect. Now, lawmakers are revisiting a child-welfare reform law passed last year — and the possibility of more funding for the CBCs to provide mental-health and substance-abuse treatment, among other services. Together, the reports point to shortcomings in the Department of Children and Families’ monitoring of the privatized agencies, which receive hundreds of millions of dollars a year to coordinate and deliver services in their regions.
Department of Children and Families and Selected Community-Based Care Lead Agencies – Oversight of Foster Care and Related Services – Operational Audit
Source: State of Florida, Auditor General, 2015-156, March 2015
Department of Children and Families and Selected Behavioral Health Managing Entities – Oversight of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services – Operational Audit
Source: State of Florida, Auditor General, 2015-155, March 2015