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- Once Drowning in Unresolved Reports of Abuse and Neglect, Local Child Welfare Services Department Says It’s Clearing Out Backlogged Cases
- State Attorney General Pursuing a Court Order to Compel County’s Compliance With 2018 Child Welfare Judgment
- DHHS Calls Attorney General’s Pursuit of More Child Welfare Services Oversight a ‘Waste of Taxpayer Money’
- Coalition of Local Tribes Announce Support of State AG’s Move to Require More Oversight of County Child Welfare Services
Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that due to the careful implementation of new data tracking, due diligence and continued compliance with the requirements of the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Stipulated Judgment dated Feb. 14, 2018, the DOJ is no longer seeking to extend the Stipulated Judgment’s monitoring period for the Sheriff’s Office.
“I am confident this is the correct decision by the Attorney General,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “The Department of Justice recognizes the diligent work our team has accomplished in the past three years. We have built strong relationships with Child Welfare Services (CWS) and community partners to make reporting and investigating child abuse more accurate and efficient, and to ensure that no child is left behind.”
Following entry of the Stipulated Judgment, the Sheriff’s Office immediately implemented the required improvements, including:
- Revised Child Abuse and Domestic Violence procedures to reflect Child Abuse and Neglect Act (CANRA) requirements, ensuring all staff complete training and remain up-to-date on current requirements;
- Established a CANRA Coordinator who conducts weekly audits of CWS cross reports and serves as a liaison with CWS, ensuring compliance with CANRA and timely cross reporting;
- Created an electronic system to document and track CWS cross reporting and referrals, ensuring accurate records and clear communication between the Sheriff’s Office and DHHS;
- Collaborated with CWS to create, and continues to participate in, a Community Task Force consisting of internal and external stakeholders, working together to identify areas of improvement.
While the DOJ is seeking to extend the monitoring period for Humboldt County CWS, it has agreed to release the Sheriff’s Office from court-ordered monitoring. Nevertheless, the Sheriff’s Office has agreed to continue participating in the Community Task Force meetings with CWS and to maintain the improvements resulting from the Stipulated Judgment. Like all other Countywide law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff’s Office will still be required to meet the mandates outlined by California law and will work to continue improving our services while ensuring full compliance with State law.
The Sheriff’s Office is committed to working together with CWS to improve outcomes regarding the abuse and neglect of children and families within the Child Welfare System and looks forward to continuing to improve communication and efficiency between the agencies.