These reports on DCF's caseload are required by DCF's budget, line item 4800-0015, which must be renewed annually. These reports are still required in the FY 2018 budget. (see https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FinalBudget).
The department is mandated to report the following information on the first business day of each quarter to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, which may include but is not limited to:
- (A) the caseloads of residential placements, congregate care, foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, guardianship, 51A reports, substantiated 51A reports, the number of children who die in the care and custody of the department, the number of children currently eligible for supportive childcare, the number of children presently receiving supportive childcare and the number of medical and psychiatric consultation requests made by the department’s social workers;
- (B) the number of approved foster care placements;
- (C) the number of children in psychiatric hospitals and community-based acute treatment programs who remain hospitalized beyond their medically-necessary stay while awaiting placement and the number of days each case remains in placement beyond that which is medically-necessary;
- (D) the number of children under the department of children and families’ care and custody who are being served in medical or psychiatric care provided through other publicly-funded sources;
- (E) the number of children served by supervised visitation centers and the number of those children who are reunified with their families;
- (F) the total number of children served, their ages, the number of children served in each service plan, the number of children in out-of-home placements and the number of placements each child has had before receiving an out-of-home placement;
- (G) for each area office, the number of kinship guardianship subsidies provided in the quarters covered by the report and the number of kinship guardianship subsidies provided in that quarter for which federal reimbursement was received;
- (H) for each area office, the total spending on services other than case management services provided to families to keep a child with the child’s parents or reunifying the child with the child’s parents, spending by the type of service, including, but not limited to, the number of children and breakdown of spending for respite care, intensive in-home services, client financial assistance and flexible funding, community-based after-school social and recreation program services, family navigation services and parent aide services and the unduplicated number of families that receive the services;
- (I) for each area office, the total number of families residing in shelters paid for by the department, a list of where the families are sheltered, the total cost and average cost per family of those shelters and a description of how the department determines who does or does not qualify for a shelter;
- (J) for each area office, the number of requests for voluntary services broken down by type of service requested, whether the request was approved or denied, the number of families that are denied voluntary services and receive a 51A report, the reasons for denying the service and what, if any, referrals were made for services by other agencies or entities;
- (K) the number of families receiving multiple 51A reports within a 10-month period, the number of cases reopened within 6 months of being closed and the number of children who return home and then re-enter an out-of-home placement within 6 months;
- (L) the number of children and families served by the family resource centers by area; and
- (M) the number of children within the care and custody of the department whose whereabouts are unknown
DCF has published and made available quarterly reports for FY 2014, FY 2015, and the first two quarters of 2016.