Social services audit reveals lack of oversight and controls costs Richmond taxpayers

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A lack of oversight, monitoring and internal controls: That’s the findings from the latest audit of Richmond’s Department of Social Services.

The DSS audit looked specifically at the city’s Child Services Act, or CSA office. CSA provides services to at-risk and troubled youth. The findings revealed that lack of oversight and controls cost taxpayers $221,000.

The audit assessed and reviewed compliance with regulations, state requirements and local procedures. 

One component of the audit looked at private day placement for special needs students. The city is supposed to recoup money from Richmond Public Schools, but the audit found there’s no formal agreement between the City and RPS — and it’s been that way for years. As a result, some money is missing and city taxpayers are absorbing the cost.

The audit also found a lack of controls to track Medicaid eligibility, which led to inappropriate charges.

In addition, the report found state required CANS assessments — Child and Adolescent Needs Strengths — were not completed.  

The audit reviewed 21 clients required for an annual comprehensive CANS: 19 were not completed. If the state had caught it, it could have been even bigger cost to taxpayers.

“The financial impact to the city if these findings had been identified by the state and deemed repeat findings would have been up to $1.5 million,” Richmond Audit Manager Yolanda McCoy said.

City auditors have 22 recommendations for improvements. The Department of Social Services claims they will all be fixed by the end of the year.

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