Officials to Request Additional Funding for Inspections of Care Facilities; Inspections Increase
Officials for the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Wednesday said they will seek additional funding in the fiscal year 2006-2007 budget to increase inspections at care centers for the elderly and disabled, foster homes and day care centers, the Sacramento Bee reports.
California law requires care facilities to be inspected at least once every five years, but at current funding levels, some care facilities will receive inspections only once every 10 years.
Jo Frederick, head of the Community Care Licensing Division, did not name a specific amount that would be added to the agency's current $86 million annual budget.
Advocates at a hearing on Wednesday urged lawmakers to return to the state's former standards, which required an inspection at facilities at least once every one to three years.
Assembly member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) also called for more public disclosure of safety and health violations at care facilities (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 12/1).
The licensing division has increased inspections of care facilities for the elderly and children but still is performing fewer inspections than legally required, according to a report released this week, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In FY 2004-2005, the licensing department performed 82% of required visits to 78,000 care facilities for the elderly and day care centers in the state. Advocates for those who use the facilities say the inspection rate leaves the elderly and children vulnerable to safety risks.
Data from the first quarter of FY 2005-2006 show visits to facilities are increasing. State officials say the licensing division is implementing changes to improve monitoring of the facilities, such as hiring more than 75 additional workers and purchasing new computer software that allows officials to track how many visits are made to care facilities (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 11/30).