SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Social Services has launched the first phase of its redesigned website in hopes of providing a wider range of information to those shopping for care facilities for themselves or their loved ones.
The redesign, which was unveiled June 13, was originally announced during a February hearing between the department and state legislators. The hearing followed the chaotic closure of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley in late October, when 19 residents were left in the care of a cook and a janitor after the department abruptly shuttered the facility.
The newest information on the website includes a Google map snapshot of where the facility is located, the number of times a facility has been visited or inspected over the past few years and the number of complaints and citations the facility has received. The website does not detail why or when the facility was cited, what complaints were substantiated or how the facility rectified any complaints or citations.
However, the redesign is still in its infancy, providing little else than what was originally available on the website six months ago. Users can email, seeking more information on a facility, but statewide data on care facilities will not be available. That feature on the website is still pending, according to the department.
Each page has a Q&A section that generally answers some questions, such as how citations are categorized within the department or what terms such as "revocation action pending" or "probation" mean.
Department officials were not immediately available for comment.
This newspaper originally requested all public documents on residential care facilities for the elderly in California in late November after the incident at Valley Springs Manor, but department officials said compiling the data would take more than three years and require a payment of $28,208.
To visit the department's Community Care Licensing division, go to http://ccld.ca.gov/. To search the new database, click on "Find Licensed Care" in the navigation bar on the left side of the screen.
Contact Katie Nelson at 408-920-5006 and follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.