Audit called for by Asm. Eggman reveals program “riddled” with problems

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SACRAMENTO – A report released today by the State Auditor, requested by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, D – Stockton, reveals a program to charge fees for 24-hour, out-of-home care of disabled children is “riddled” with delays and inconsistencies and is leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars uncollected.

The Department of Developmental Services Parental Fee Program assesses a fee to parents of children who receive 24-hour out-of-home care, based upon a fee schedule that takes into account adjusted gross income, family size, and the age of the child in placement.

Among other findings, the State Auditor reported:

  • The department does not ensure parents provide documentation for all income and expenses.
  • Months or years may pass before the DDS becomes aware of the need to assess fees on certain families, because regional centers do not submit required monthly reports.
  • Although required to do so, the DDS did not annually reassess most of the parental fee accounts reviewed by the auditor.
  • Initial fee assessments are inadequate – 95 percent of appealed fee assessments from fiscal years 2011-12 through 2013-14 were reduced.
  • Developmental Services collects only about 60 percent of assessed fees.

Assemblymember Eggman requested the audit after being contacted by Tracy resident George McElroy, whose son is under 24-hour, out-of-home care. Eggman said the audit was a demonstration of the difference that a passionate, motivated citizen advocate can make.

“Mr. McElroy was able, on his own, to bring significant attention to the defects of this program. We will work together to carry out necessary reforms, but the findings of this report ensure that parents like Mr. McElroy will no longer be ignored,” Assemblymember Eggman said.

Read a summary of the report, here.