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Board of Supervisors to Discuss Federal Complaints About Head Start

The Contra Costa County seal

(Image courtesy of Contra Costa County)

By Tony Hicks
Bay City News Foundation

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will officially receive a report on deficiencies and noncompliance inside the county’s Head Start programs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to a staff report for Tuesday’s meeting, on July 14, the county received a report from the federal agency’s Administration for Children and Families concerning Contra Costa County Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The report found an area of noncompliance and five deficiencies in four service areas: program governance, safety practices, ongoing fiscal capacity, and ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement.

The county must submit a quality improvement plan, approved by the board of supervisors, detailing a plan for corrective action within 30 days.

The review of the programs was conducted from February 21-25.

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In the category of ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement, inspectors said, “The recipient does not use data to identify program strengths, needs, and areas needing improvement; evaluate progress toward achieving program goals and compliance with program performance standards; and assess the effectiveness of professional development.” They gave the county 120 days to correct the problems.

In program governance, the report says, “The recipient does not maintain a formal structure of program governance to oversee the quality of services for children and families and to make decisions related to program design and implementation.” The timeframe for correction is also 120 days.

As far as safety practices are concerned, inspectors said, “The recipient does not implement a process for monitoring and maintaining healthy and safe environments,” The county has 120 days to correct the problem.

Other deficiencies with safety practices included, “The recipient did not ensure with subrecipient that no child was left alone or unsupervised while under care of the staff.” Another said, “The recipient did not ensure that staff/subrecipient did not maltreat or endanger the health and safety of children.” The period to correct both is 90 days.

The report also said there are problems with ongoing fiscal capacity: “The recipient does not plan and implement a fiscal management system that supports the organization’s ongoing capacity to execute its budget over time and meet the needs of its organization.” The timeframe for corrective action is 120 days.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, at the board chamber in the county administration building, at 1025 Escobar Street in Martinez. The meeting can also be seen at www.contracosta.ca.gov or on Zoom, at https://cccounty-us.zoom.us/j/87344719204.

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