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Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc., Did Not Always Meet Applicable Safety Standards Related to Unaccompanied Alien Children

Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc. (Crittenton), located in Fullerton, California, met most of the applicable safety standards for the care and release of children in its custody. However, Crittenton released some children to sponsors without conducting all required background checks, and some Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) case files were missing documentation to verify that Crittenton met certain safety standards. In addition, the numbers of released children listed in Crittenton’s quarterly performance progress reports were not readily verifiable for accuracy.

On the basis of our sample results, we estimated that Crittenton released 2 percent of children to sponsors without conducting all required background checks. Without conducting all required background checks, Crittenton did not follow Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) policies to ensure that, for an estimated 16 children, sponsors were properly vetted. We also estimated that Crittenton did not properly document the care and release of approximately 9 percent of all children released to sponsors in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Without adequate documentation in the case files, ORR could not be assured that, for an estimated 71 children, Crittenton had followed ORR policies. In addition, without accurate information on the number of released children, ORR did not have assurance that Crittenton ensured program integrity and that every child Crittenton released was accounted for.

We recommended that Crittenton (1) ensure that all required background checks are conducted and documented, (2) provide periodic training to staff on maintaining documentation related to public records checks, (3) increase oversight of its quality review for UAC case files to ensure that all required documentation is maintained in the files, (4) develop policies and procedures for obtaining necessary documentation in the case files for children transferred from another shelter care provider, and (5) develop a process to document the information used to prepare its quarterly performance reports and verify the information’s accuracy.

In written comments on our draft report, Crittenton did not indicate concurrence or nonconcurrence with our recommendations; however, it provided information on actions that it had taken or planned to take to address our recommendations.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families