Legislative Analyst's Office
Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill
The Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) develops and enforces regulations designed to protect the health and safety of individuals in 24-hour residential care facilities and day care. Licensed facilities include child care; foster family and group homes; adult residential facilities; and residential facilities for the elderly. The Governor's budget proposes expenditures of $117 million ($45 million General Fund) for the CCLD in 2002-03. This represents a 7 percent increase in General Fund expenditures from the current year.
We recommend the Governor's request for 44 Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) positions be reduced by 11 positions because the budget proposal (1) overestimates investigative complaint workload in foster family agency homes and (2) exceeds CCLD standard staffing ratios. (Reduce Item 5180-001-0001 by $425,000.)
State Law Transferred Investigation Responsibilities. Foster family agencies (FFAs) are nonprofit organizations that recruit foster parents, certify them for participation in the program, and provide training and support services. Originally, FFAs investigated complaints associated with their own certified foster family homes. However, Chapter 311, Statutes of 1998 (SB 933, Thompson), transferred the investigation of these complaints from the FFAs to CCLD. This transfer was effective July 1999. To meet this workload, the Legislature approved 42 positions13.5 permanent and 28.5 limited term. (In 2000, 3.5 support staff positions were eliminated, leaving 25 limited-term positions.)
Governor's Proposal. The budget proposes 19 new CCLD positions and the conversion of the 25 two-year limited term CCLD positions, noted above, to permanent status. To calculate the budget-year FFA complaint workload, the budget uses the number of FFA homes as a proxy for the number of complaints. While the number of FFA homes was a reasonable approach to estimate an unknown workload several years ago, actual caseload data is now available and we believe this is a better predictor of workload in this area.
Licensing Workload Overestimated. For our analysis, we used 2000-01 complaint data and CCLD's complaint investigation workload standard--16 hours per complaint--to determine recommended staffing. Using these data, we estimate five fewer licensing program analysts (LPAs) will be needed in 2002-03. Because support staff are budgeted according to the number of LPAs, the support staff should be reduced correspondingly by two and the supervisory staff reduced by one. Finally, we recommend a technical correction--denying three other support staff positions--as these exceed CCL statutory staffing and workload standards. Accordingly, we recommend the denial of 11 total positions (five LPAs; three office assistants; two office technicians; and one licensing program supervisor) for a $425,000 General Fund savings.