Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Meal Reimbursements/Event Tickets
0900-515.10 | Revision Date: 10/6/2017

Overview

This policy guide provides information on food certificates/gift cards/event tickets for children/youth or their caregiver, including how to request them and what to do when food certificates/gift cards have been stolen. The policy also provides guidance on requesting meal reimbursements.

Table of Contents

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version to include event tickets, use of DCFS 48 form, as well as the Auditor Controller's recommendations.

POLICY

Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event tickets

Each Regional Program office keeps a supply of food certificates and gift cards for feeding or clothing children who are:

  • Awaiting placement
  • In emergency placement
  • In pre-placement visits
  • Transported to court
  • Transported to a medical facility
  • Or in other comparable situations

Food certificates/gift cards cannot be used for any of the following purposes:

  • Payment for luncheons, functions, activities, or entertainment of DCFS staff, their family members, friends, or guests.
  • Reimbursement of job-related expenses to DCFS employees.
  • Clients’ purchases of alcohol, drugs, weapons, etc.
  • Purchase of food items, utensils or other hosting materials for Rideshare events
  • For use by DCFS employees, their family members, friends or guests

Employee Transportation Coordinators (ETCs) may request gift cards to be given as raffle prizes to employees who attend planned Rideshare events.

Event tickets can be used to assist relative caregivers in maintaining the family unit by providing eligible caregiver(s) and minors with respite opportunities/recreational activities.

Security

Because food certificates/gift cards/event tickets are negotiable items, they must be kept in a safe that is locked overnight, during the lunch hour, or during any other period of staff absence. The safe’s combination must be changed whenever staff responsibilities change. A file cabinet with a lockable side bar may be used to store these items when a safe is not available. Keys and/or the combination to the safe/locked cabinet shall be available to only a limited number of custodian(s) and management.

If the safe has a combination, the access code must not be stored in a location where it may be found by an unauthorized individual. The combination should be memorized and a written copy of the number secured by the appropriate Manager/Supervisor. Safe access codes need to be changed when an individual with knowledge of the safe combination leaves County service. Similarly, if a lockable side bar is used, the lock must be replaced in the event a key is lost.

At no time shall the food certificate/gift card balance be less than 50% of the office’s estimated monthly usage. If the stock appears to be nearing this amount, the Regional Administrator (RA) must request replenishment by completing and submitting the DCFS 48.

Employees who handle, distribute, and issue food certificates/gift cards must complete and sign the DCFS 194-A, Employee Acknowledgement of Negotiable Usage. The original form must be filed in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder at Human Resources, a copy must be filed in the employee’s Office Personnel Folder, and another copy must be provided to the employee.

Safes should be inventoried every six months and purged of non-negotiable and unnecessary items.

Burglary/Robbery/Theft/Losses

Any time there is a possible theft of food certificates/gift cards/event tickets, an inventory of the available food certificates/gift cardsevent tickets must be conducted immediately.

  • All losses amounting to or one-hundred dollars ($100) or less must be reported to the RA who must conduct an investigation, the BFA Gift Card Coordinator and the Internal Controls Section.
  • Burglary, robbery, or theft of food certificates/gift cards/event tickets in an amount over one-hundred dollars ($100) must be reported to the local sheriff or police, the Supervisor, and the RA. A DCFS 76, Security Incident Report must be completed and given to the Security Officers for that facility. In addition, a DCFS 77, Loss Affidavit must be completed stating the circumstances and the amount of the loss. Finally, within ten (10) business days, the DCFS 77 and police report must be submitted to the Internal Control Section for the Auditor-Controller’s Office of County Investigations (OCI). The OCI will complete an independent investigation when needed. A copy of the Security Incident Report and a copy of the DCFS 77, Loss Affidavit must be kept in the RA’s office files.

Meal Reimbursements

When CSWs are unable to obtain food certificates, they can be reimbursed for necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred for the purchase of food for DCFS supervised children. The reimbursement rate for each child, per meal, cannot exceed the following:

  • Breakfast - $12.50
  • Lunch - $16.50
  • Dinner - $40.74
PROCEDURE

Requesting Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event Tickets

CSW/Requestor Responsibilities

  1. Complete the DCFS 47, Request for Food Certificates/Gift Cards, and submit it to the SCSW/Manager for approval.
    • Only one request per child/youth can be completed per DCFS 47.
  2. Upon receipt from the SCSW/Manager, submit the approved DCFS 47 to the Food Certificate/Gift Card/Event Tickets Custodian.
    • The Food Certificate/Gift Card/Event Tickets Custodian enters the food certificate/gift card serial numbers and other required information on the DCFS 47.
  3. Sign the DCFS 45, Food Certificate/Gift Card Disbursement Log to receive the food certificates/gift cards.
  4. Receive and sign the DCFS 89-4, Client Acknowledgement of Receipt/Return of Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event Tickets.
  5. If the food certificates/gift cards/event tickets will be given to the caregiver or the youth, place them in a stamped return addressed envelope. Instruct the caregiver/youth to mail the vendor’s receipt(s) to the office within seventy-two (72) hours. If the receipts are not returned, contact the caregiver/youth to request them. If the receipts are not available, annotate that in their case. If the receipts are lost or destroyed, the CSW/Requestor should obtain a DCFS 77, Loss Affidavit, to account for the lack of receipts.
    • Ensure that the caregiver/youth signs and dates the DCFS 89-4, when receiving the food certificates/gift cards/event tickets, and return it to the Food Certificates/Gift Cards Custodian within two (2) business days.
  6. Write the child/youth’s name and case identification number on all vendors’ receipt(s).
  7. Submit original vendors’ receipts and/or any unused food certificates/gift cards/event tickets to the Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event Tickets Custodian.

SCSW/Manager Responsibilities

  1. Review all submitted DCFS 47.
  2. Sign and return the DCFS 47 to the CSW/Requestor for submission to the Food Certificate/Gift Card/Event Tickets Custodian.
    • If incomplete, return to CSW/Requestor for corrective action.

Requesting Meal Reimbursements

CSW/Requestor Responsibilities

  1. Write the child’s name and case identification number on the vendor’s receipt(s) within five (5) business days of purchase.
  2. Submit the original vendors’ receipt(s) attached, to the SCSW/Manager for approval.
    • If the vendors’ receipt(s) are missing, complete a DCFS 50, Missing Meal Receipts and submit it to the SCSW/Manager for approval.
  3. Submit the original vendors’ receipt(s) or approved DCFS 50 to the District Cashier.
  4. Submit copies of the vendors’ receipt(s) or a copy of the DCFS 50 to the Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event Tickets Custodian.
  5. Upon receiving the reimbursement, sign the DCFS 51, Cash Aid Fund Disbursement.

SCSW/Manager Responsibilities

  1. Review the original receipt(s) or the DCFS 50.
  2. Sign the DCFS 50 and/or return the original receipts to the CSW/Requestor for submission to the District Cashier.
    • If incomplete, return to CSW/Requestor for corrective action.
APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

  • DCFS 47
  • DCFS 50

ARA Approval

  • DCFS 48
HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

LA Kids

DCFS 47, Requests for Food Certificates/Gift Cards

DCFS 48, Gift Cards Replenishment Request

DCFS 50, Missing Meal Receipts

DCFS 51, Cash Aid Fund Disbursements

DCFS 76, Security Incident Report

DCFS 77, Loss Affidavit

DCFS 89-4, Client Acknowledgement of FC/GC

DCFS 194-A, Employee Acknowledgement of Negotiable Usage

REFERENCED POLICY GUIDES

C300-203, Food Certificates/Gift Cards/Event Tickets

STATUTES AND OTHER MANDATES

County Fiscal Manual (CFM) Ch. 1.1.4 – States that internal controls must be followed to safeguard cash and other negotiable instruments.