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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: DCF Implements Recommendations, But Some Delays Still Occurring in Residential Mental Health Assessment Process, Report No. 04-67, August 2004
Full report in PDF format

  • The Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) have taken steps to improve the process used to assess children for residential mental health placements, as recommended by our 2003 report.  The department required districts to report reasons for assessment delays and take corrective actions, and it has clarified roles and timeframes for these assessments.  In addition, AHCA’s contractor for assessment services is now tracking and following up on children who fail to appear at assessments. 
  • However, some delays are still occurring and the contractor is meeting only one of its three timeliness performance standards.  Primary reasons for these delays are changes in department policy that increased assessment workload and new judicial rules that require children to be represented by an appointed guardian ad litem and create the potential for additional hearings.  The department, AHCA, and the contractor are working to address these delays.

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 03-03 Special Review: Residential Mental Health Assessment Process Working Well with Minor Delays, published in January 2003.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Mental Health Services
Agency for Health Care Administration
Family Safety

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 05-12 OPPAGA Report: Child Welfare Transition Nearly Complete; Budget Allocation and Oversight Systems Need Strengthening, published in March 2005.
  • Report No. 02-16 Progress Report of Justification Review: Child Protection Program, Department of Children and Families, published in March 2002.
  • Report No. 01-14 Justification Review: Child Protection Program, published in March 2001.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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