Thursday, February 20, 2014

City Requests Comprehensive Audit of the Richmond Department of Social Services

~Agency manages child protective services and multiple public assistance programs~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ administration today announced that they have asked the City Auditor to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Richmond Department of Social Services (RDSS). RDSS is the agency responsible for Child Protective Services, Adoption Services, Aging, Emergency Food and Shelter, Fuel Assistance, Food Stamps and Food Vouchers for WIC (Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition).

In a letter to City Auditor Umesh Dalal, David Hicks, interim director of RDSS, has called for an audit of specific programs within the Department including Administration and Finance, Economic Support and Independence and the Comprehensive Services Act.

“I specifically want a financial audit of the last three years of operations,” stated Mr. Hicks. “This will give me a baseline from which to work, much like when I had a similar audit done for the Department of Justice Services. I also want the auditor to help determine the efficiency and effectiveness of these programs, and to take a look at further compliance issues in relation to federal, state and local laws and regulations.”

Mayor Dwight C. Jones appointed David Hicks as interim director of the agency on February 10, 2014. “I believe the auditor can help us in our efforts to turn this agency around,” said Mayor Jones. “While I’m most immediately concerned about the operations of Child Protective Services, at the same time I don’t want to take a band aid approach to the overall workings of this agency. We need this comprehensive review and may ultimately need comprehensive reform of operations to achieve the standard of service that I expect.”

Over the past year, several reviews and audits have been undertaken related to the operations of the Child Protective Services unit of the agency. A specific timeframe within which this more comprehensive audit of the entire agency will be completed is not available at this time.