Agenda Item   



                                                                                                                        ASR Control  21-000170




legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):

All Districts

SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

Social Services Agency   (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Laura Turtzer (714) 541-7734 



John Bunnett (714) 541-7408



Subject:  Approve Agreement for Family Urgent Response System Services


      ceo CONCUR

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board


Approved Agreement to Form




3 Votes Board Majority




    Budgeted: Yes

Current Year Cost: $300,000

Annual Cost: N/A




    Staffing Impact:


# of Positions:

Sole Source: N/A

    Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

  Funding Source: State 100% (FURS)

County Audit in last 3 years: No



    Prior Board Action: N/A






Approve Agreement with Seneca Family of Agencies for Family Urgent Response System Services in the amount not to exceed $300,000, for the term of September 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, renewable for one additional two-year term or two additional one-year terms.



Pursuant to Contract Policy Manual Section 3.4-114, authorize the Social Services Agency Director or designee to exercise a contingency contract cost increase, not to exceed a total of 10 percent of the Agreement amount for the first year of the Agreement, for the entire term of the Agreement, including renewals, and within the scope of work set forth in the Agreement. The use of this contingency contract cost increase is subject to approval requirements established by the County Procurement Officer.







Approval of the Family Urgent Response System Services Agreement will support compliance with Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 16529, which requires counties to establish a joint county-based 24-hour a day, seven days a week, mobile response system that includes stabilization teams to respond to calls from a caregiver and/or a current or former foster child/youth during situations of instability.






The Social Services Agency (SSA) is requesting the Board of Supervisors’ (Board) approval of the Agreement with Seneca Family of Agencies (Seneca) to provide Family Urgent Response System Services (FURS), for the term of September 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, renewable for one additional two-year term or two additional one-year terms.  SSA is requesting a 10 percent contingency cost increase in the event that there is an increased need for these services.


Welfare and Institution Codes (WIC), Section 16527 requires the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to establish a statewide, toll-free hotline as the entry point for FURS.  The hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (24/7) to effectively engage caregivers and children/youth, currently or previously in the foster care system, who are experiencing tension or conflict in their relationships, emotional or behavioral distress or other difficulties that may threaten their placement stability.  The statewide hotline is staffed with operators trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques for children and youth impacted by trauma.  State operators provide immediate assistance over the phone to help defuse conflict and provide focused engagement and assessments to make referrals to county mobile response systems for further support.


When a referral is made to FURS for in-person support, the state operator’s goal is to engage each caller to establish a direct and live connection that includes the state operator, caregiver, child/youth and the County’s FURS contact to facilitate the transfer of information between the statewide hotline and the County mobile response system.  The caregiver or child/youth may decline the contact with FURS if they feel their situation has been resolved at the time of the call.


The County FURS mobile response system includes the following: 24/7 telephone line to receive FURS statewide hotline calls; mobile response teams for immediate, in-person support within one hour for urgent stabilization situations; same-day response within 24 hours for non-urgent situations; and ongoing supportive services to the child/youth and caregiver beyond the initial mobile response for up to 72 hours after the initial call.  Ongoing supportive services may include connecting caregivers and child/youth to needed ongoing services through the existing local network of care service systems that may provide information, referrals, linkages and navigation to support behavioral health and overall well-being. 


WIC, Section 16529 also requires county child welfare, probation and behavioral health agencies to establish a joint county-based mobile response system by January 1, 2021, that is available 24/7. The implementation process was interrupted by the national and statewide response to COVID-19.  As a result, CDSS implemented the statewide hotline on March 1, 2021.  Beginning March 1, 2021, SSA, Health Care Agency (HCA) and the Probation Department (Probation) have partnered to temporarily respond to referrals received from the statewide FURS hotline to allow the County time to conduct a solicitation to contract for FURS services.  Orange County submitted a full implementation plan to contract-out FURS services to CDSS on April 30, 2021, which was approved for implementation by September 1, 2021.  To identify a contractor, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was released on April 29, 2021, with a proposal submission deadline of May 28, 2021.  A panel of subject matter experts was convened on June 22 and 23, 2021, to rate the submitted proposals.  On July 9, 2021, the successful proponent was notified, and negotiations began.  As a result, SSA is submitting this item for Board approval less than 30 days prior to the effective date of the Agreement.


On April 29, 2021, SSA released an RFP in the County’s on-line bidding system for FURS Services.  The RFP included the County's intent to award one contract to the qualified proponent whose proposal was determined to be the most responsive to the requirements of the RFP. The Orange County Preference Policy (OCPP) was applicable and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) incorporated into this solicitation.  No OCCP qualified proposals were submitted.


Proposal Evaluation and Scoring

SSA received three proposals by the deadline of May 28, 2021.  A five-member panel reviewed, evaluated and ranked the proposals. The panel consisted of County staff and members of the public with subject matter knowledge and included the following: one Service Chief II from HCA, one Supervising Probation Officer from Probation, one Senior Social Services Supervisor from SSA, one Caregiver Advocate member of the public and one Youth Advocate member of the public.


The proposals were rated using the following evaluation criteria with a maximum score of 100 points:


Evaluation Criteria


Organization Experience


Services to be Provided




Line Item Budget and Budget Narrative


Total Score



The proposals were scored as follows:



Average Score



Olive Crest


Family Assessment Counseling & Education Services



The evaluation panel deemed the proposal submitted by Seneca to be the most responsive based upon their experience, services to be provided and cost. 


A Notice of Contract Award was posted on the County’s on-line bidding system on July 16, 2021.  No protests were received.


An analysis was conducted to determine the cost/benefit of contracting out the services versus providing them in-house.  Based on the analysis, staff determined that contracting out the services is more cost effective.


SSA has verified there are no concerns that must be addressed with respect to Contractor’s ownership/name, litigation status or conflicts with County interests.  Reference checks were at least satisfactory and completed with San Francisco Human Services Agency, Monterey County Health Department and Contra Costa Behavioral Services regarding similar projects.



Outcomes for the Agreement include the following:


·         Respond to 100 percent of urgent requests within a 60-minute time frame, and not to exceed three hours in extenuating circumstances.

·         Respond to 100 percent of non-urgent requests on the same day, within 24 hours, when requested and scheduled by the child/youth and/or caregiver.




This Agreement does not currently include subcontractors or pass through to other providers. See Attachment B for Contract Summary Form.






Appropriations for this Agreement are included in Budget Control 063, Social Services Agency FY 2021-22 Budget.


Contingency of Funds


The proposed Agreement include provisions that the Agreement is contingent upon the availability of funds and inclusion of sufficient funds in the budget approved by the Board for each fiscal year the Agreement remains in effect or operation.   In the event such funding is terminated or reduced, the County may terminate the Agreement, reduce the County’s maximum obligation or modify the Agreement, without penalty.










Health Care Agency
Probation Department




Attachment A - Agreement with Seneca Family of Agencies #CJB2221
Attachment B - Contract Summary Form
Attachment C - Summarized Scoring Sheet
Attachment D - Individual Scoring Sheet with RFP Questions
Attachment E - Cited Codes, Regulations and/or Statutes