County To Shell Out $3 Million To Measure Its Performance On Social Service Programs

(March 3) The county will pay a sole-source vendor $2.96 million to monitor its compliance with federal law in providing social services to its impoverished residents.
The county of San Bernardino Transitional Assistance Department  administers the Cal Works, Cal Fresh, Medi-Cal, General Relief and Child Care programs.
CalWORKs provides temporary financial assistance and employment related services to families with minor children. Homeless Assistance is included in that program.
The CalFresh program (previously Food Stamps) is a nutritional assistance program designed to help single people and families with little or no income to buy food.
The Medi-Cal program pays for health care for certain needy residents of California, including public assistance recipients.
The County General Relief (GR) program provides loan assistance to indigent individuals and families in temporary need of housing, food, and/or transportation. General Relief is the only TAD program that is totally funded, as well as administered, by the County of San Bernardino.
The Transitional Assistance Department operates a child care program funded by California Department of Social Services (CDSS). This program provides child care payments to providers on behalf of CalWORKs recipients in approved work or training programs, parents in child protective services cases, and the working poor.
Last week, at the recommendation of Nancy Swanson, the director of the county Transitional Assistance Department, the board of supervisors approved a contract with Exemplar Human Services, LLC “to provide customized automated performance management monitoring reports and services in the amount of $2,961,999 for the total contract period of March 1, 2014 through February 28, 2017.”
Swanson said Exemplar will provide “analytic  performance management services,” which she described as a “web-based subscription service” that will give her department “the necessary tools to enhance overall performance in order to meet mandated program requirements and improve service delivery and accuracy of benefits provided to eligible residents of San Bernardino County. The  reports provide work lists for specific categories, caseload activities, and statistics that show key ratios related to specific operations at all levels of the organization. This information allows executive staff, managers, supervisors, and line staff to monitor performance and manage daily caseload activities. In an effort to meet mandated performance standards, the Transitional Assistance Department  must have a reliable system to effectively monitor mandated program requirements, including timely processing of status reports, redeterminations of eligibility, and various other caseload activities related to administration of the programs.”
Swanson continued, “The Transitional Assistance Department utilizes the Statewide Automated Welfare System (C-IV) eligibility system to manage caseloads and associated tasks. However, C-IV is not currently programmed to provide the Transitional Assistance Department with reports necessary to effectively monitor performance and manage workload activities and productivity. Therefore, the Transitional Assistance Department, as a C-IV county, has had to purchase these services from another vendor. Exemplar is the only vendor currently providing these services in California.”
According to Swanson, “Exemplar specializes in providing analytical services to public assistance, Welfare to Work, and human services agencies nationwide to monitor and analyze key elements of performance.”
County spokesman  David Wert told the Sentinel  Exemplar Human Services will “measure the performance of employees who process these benefits. All of the various programs are federal programs the county is required to carry out at the local level. Along with providing the county with the funds for the benefits, the federal government requires that the county processing of the recipients and management of the programs be maintained at a certain level. The county does not have a way to measure this performance in giving out these benefits. This will allow the federal government to measure the county’s performance in administering these programs and will provide the federal government with a report to show how well the county is managing these federal mandates.”

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