STATE PLACED CHILDREN IN HOMES WITH SEX OFFENDERS
The California state auditor reported in its review of the state's child welfare servicessystem, it found more than 1,000 addresses in the Department of Justice's Sex and Arson Registrymatched the addresses of licensed homes in the child welfare services system.
The auditor alerted Social Services to this information in July, and officials found dozensof children living in homes where registered sex offenders lived or were present. Officials haveremoved children and ordered sex offenders out of homes.
Legal action has begun against eight licensees, and 36 immediate exclusion orders --barring sex offenders and the like from licensed facilities -- were issued, said auditor Elaine M.Howle in the report.
Social Services simply wasn't consulting the abuse database when issuing licenses, theauditor said. But not because it was unaware of its existence: The auditor had urged SocialServices to avail itself of that database back in 2008. And did so again.
The auditor's recommendations were:
To ensure that vulnerable individuals, including foster children, aresafe from sex offenders, Social Services should complete a follow up on any remaining addressmatches our office provided in July 2011 and take appropriate actions, as well as relay informationto Justice or local law enforcement for any sex offenders not in compliance with registration laws.
Social Services should conduct regular address comparisons usingJustice's sex offender registry and its Licensing Information System and CWS/CMS. If SocialServices believes it needs additional resources to do so, it should justify and seek theappropriate level of funding.
To provide sufficient oversight of county CWS agencies with delegatedauthority to license foster homes, Social Services should complete comprehensive reviews of theseagencies' licensing activities at least once every three years.