Some Oklahoma Group Homes Did Not Always Comply With State Requirements. Report in Brief.
Report No. A-06-16-07004
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Inspector General.
Published: September 2017
Office of Inspector General (HHS)
Room 5541 Cohen Building 330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Tel: 202 619-1343
Fax: 202 260-8512
This brief summarizes the findings of an investigation to determine whether Oklahoma’s monitoring ensured that foster care group homes complied with State licensing requirements related to the health and safety of children in foster care as required by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. Using the minimum standards required by the Oklahoma Administrative Code, a health and safety checklist was created, background check supporting documentation was reviewed, and site visits were conducted on all 22 foster care group homes in Oklahoma. The investigation found although Oklahoma performed the required onsite monitoring at all 22 group homes, this onsite monitoring did not ensure that foster care group homes complied with State licensing and Federal requirements related to the health and safety of children in foster care. Seventeen of the 17 of the 22 group homes did not comply with one or more State health and safety requirements: 12 of the group homes did not comply with transportation requirements; 12 of the group homes did not comply with building, utilities, and grounds requirements; 10 of the group homes did not comply with fire safety requirements; 4 of the group homes did not comply with food service requirements; 4 of the group homes did not comply with safety and emergency preparedness requirements; and 1 group home did not comply with physical facility and equipment requirements. In addition, Oklahoma’s requirements for monitoring vehicles is inadequate to ensure the safety of all vehicles used to transport children. Recommendations are made for improving documentation of monitoring, staff training, and licensing requirements.
Oklahoma; group homes; residential care institutions; foster care; foster children; licensing; child safety; nutrition; family environment