Auditing Child Welfare and Social Service Agencies

Love it or hate it, audits are a part of life for social service agencies. So why not put efficient processes in place to reduce the stress of audit time and keep your agency prepared for future audits? Learn how to love audits with these tips!

Regularly Communicate with your Auditor

Stay in contact with auditors to know when they will be conducting their next audit. Typically, auditors provide an ample amount of notice prior to auditing. The notice can be weeks or even months before the actual audit date. Use this time to internally prepare by making sure tasks are being completed on time and that staff are following state protocols. 

Use an Online Case Management System

Using an online case management system designed for child welfare agencies is a powerful way to stay organized for audits (not to mention, a great way to clean up your file cabinets!). Choose a case management system that allows you to easily track your required documentation and notifies you when files need to be updated to help you stay compliant. 

The extendedReach by KCare case management system even has a built-in auditor access feature. This functionality allows you to authorize auditors to access certain files with their own remote login  — giving agencies total control over where the auditor can access data in the system. 

Establish a Quality Assurance (QA) Role

Whether you have an online system or use paper files, establish a QA role to ensure that documents are being completed properly and on time. Creating this role within your organization can help you catch errors and correct them before it’s too late. With this additional layer of review, agencies can reduce their number of violations.

Learn From Your Deficiencies

An audit can result in violations, also known as deficiencies, when an agency fails to comply with a rule. This could include a minimum standard, a statute, a specific term of a permit, or a condition of evaluation, probation, or suspension. The case management method your agency has in place can have a direct impact on your violations. One study showed that agencies that use extendedReach by KCare reduce the total number of medium-high and high deficiencies by 81%. Whereas agencies that do not use extendedReach by KCare reported 5x more severe deficiencies.

Take your deficiencies seriously and make any necessary changes immediately to set the precedent for future audits. Managers should inform staff of any changes that need to be made and set up recurring meetings to ensure the new standards are being upheld. 

We hope these tips help you ace your next audit! From all of us at KCare – good luck with your audits and thank you for all that you do!

extendedReach powered by KCare is a customizable case management solution designed with social workers in mind – specializing in foster care, adoption, and behavioral health. Equipped with an intuitive interface and powerful workflows, extendedReach by KCare puts time back in the hands of social workers, empowering them to focus on where it is needed most.

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