State Agency Evaluating Need for Care Facility Investigators
The Community Care Licensing Division, the unit of the Department of Social Services that monitors care facilities, is "reconsidering" whether to maintain its staff unit to investigate allegations of abuse and wrongdoing, the Sacramento Bee reports.
CCLD administrators have said that investigators should focus on enforcing state regulations and should not engage in criminal investigations, as is currently allowed. They have said that civilian employees hired as licensing analysts could perform the functions of the position at a lesser cost to the state.
Jo Frederick, director of CCLD, said, "The way it was arranged in the past has not met our needs," adding, "If the (licensing analysts) can do it, why are we having investigators do it?"
However, CCLD investigators oppose the plan, saying that a law-enforcement background is necessary to ensure that the safety of residents of care facilities -- including homes for the elderly, foster homes and day care centers -- is not jeopardized.
CCLD officials have said they do not plan to remove all of the investigators.
The California Performance Review, a study of state government by a panel appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), recommended eliminating the special investigators in the licensing division (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 7/5).