2019-125 Audit Scope and Objectives

Local Educational Agencies—Suicide Prevention Efforts

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the youth suicide prevention efforts of a selection of local educational agencies (LEAs) and charter schools, as well as the role of the Department of Public Health (Public Health) in youth suicide prevention. The auditís scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. Provide and analyze statistical information related to suicide and self-inflicted injuries of youth aged 12 to 19 in California during the past 10 years. To the extent possible, summarize this information by county.
  3. Identify and analyze the roles of state-level entities, including Public Health, in overall suicide prevention and as it relates to LEAs and charter schools.
  4. Interview relevant stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify best practices to prevent suicides—including for students in categories with high suicide rates—that may be appropriate for LEAs or charter schools to implement.
  5. For a selection of five LEAs and charter schools, perform the following related to their suicide prevention efforts:
    1. Identify the extent to which each LEA and charter school tracks student suicides and attempted suicides.
    2. Determine whether the LEA and charter school has a pupil suicide prevention policy and whether that policy complies with relevant criteria.
    3. Assess the process used to develop each LEA and charter schoolís pupil suicide prevention policy, and determine whether it ensured that the policy was developed in conjunction with appropriate stakeholders and experts.
    4. Analyze any suicide prevention training provided by the LEA and charter school, and perform the following:
      1. Identify who receives this training.
      2. Identify how often and how the training is provided.
      3. Analyze the extent to which training includes how to identify appropriate mental health services within the school and community, and when and how to refer those services.
      4. Identify the content of the training, including any content related to LBGTQ and other students in categories with elevated risk.
    5. Assess each LEA and charter schoolís preparedness for responding to and assisting students after incidents of student suicide and attempted suicide.
    6. Identify and assess efforts by the LEA and charter school to help students, including, but not limited to, the provision of mental health services and access to hotlines, materials, and other resources.
    7. Determine the extent to which the LEA and charter schoolís practices align with best practices identified in Objective 4.
  6. Identify best practices used at the selected LEAs which could be implemented by charter schools and best practices used at selected charter schools that could be implemented by LEAs, and areas where charter schools and LEAs would benefit from coordinating their efforts.
  7. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.

California State Auditorís Office
8/20/2019