SAN FRANCISCO—The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation Board and the Executive and Planning Committee of the Judicial Council, stating that a collaborative relationship on the early deployment of the California Case Management System (CCMS) was more complex than anticipated—particularly with the Foundation's desire to target problems in the foster care system—voted yesterday in separate actions to endorse a recommendation to suspend talks designed to explore the potential use of grant money and other resources for the early deployment of CCMS. The recommendation was a mutual decision by the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, the State Bar of California, and the CCMS Internal Committee, the Judicial Council committee overseeing the CCMS project.
In December, the three parties began a 12-week due diligence period to more fully explore the viability of the collaborative approach.
"Our interest in supporting CCMS emanated from our observation of the tragic state of the foster child system in California and the opportunity for CCMS to play a significant role in reducing placements in abusive homes," said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation. "The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation is committed to the health and welfare of our community, and our interest in supporting CCMS in terms of data exchange is in the system's ability to provide a digital alert to the child welfare agency whenever a person involved in a foster care case shows activity in the courts overall system involving child abuse, drug abuse, and other criminal activity. Unfortunately, other aspects of the system are much more complex than we initially understood and will require much more sustainable resources outside of philanthropy," he said.
"It also became clear to us in the due diligence phase that a collaborative relationship would be more complex than anticipated, particularly with the Foundation's overarching desire to target problems in the foster care system," said Ronald G. Overholt, Interim Administrative Director.
The Foundation expressed that it may remain interested in working with the Judicial Council to deploy CCMS in ways that would protect foster children in California to guarantee that foster home placements do not expose children to unsafe elements.
"The proposed collaborative approach was a great out-of-the-box solution to a public sector funding challenge," said State Bar President Jon Streeter.
Executive Director Joseph Dunn said, "It was agreed long ago that the judicial branch would maintain exclusive ownership of CCMS as well as continue to maintain control of the source code, security and access to data pursuant to policies established by the branch."
Funding for the CCMS project was reduced to $14 million for the fiscal year 2011-2012 during an emergency budget session last July. At that time, the Judicial Council approved a transfer of $56.4 million from CCMS to the Trial Court Trust Fund in order to lessen the impact of the $320 million reduction to the trial courts.
Douglas P. Miller, the chair of the council's Executive and Planning Committee, which sets the agenda for Judicial Council meetings, said the Council must ratify the recommendation at its next meeting on January 24th. He said a fuller discussion about CCMS will occur later in the year. "Our internal committee is awaiting a comprehensive, independent financial and deployment analysis from Grant Thornton, a national auditing and consulting firm already familiar with the project. We hope to get that report by March."