GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES


( 1 ) Complaints and Mediation


(A)Any foster parent who determines that the Department is in violation of the Foster Parents' Bill of Rights or otherwise has a complaint should first discuss their concerns with the Case Manager assigned to the foster home and attempt to work out an agreement. This step may involve showing the foster parent the written policy and procedures relative to approval of a foster home or ongoing casework activities. The Case Manager must respond to the foster parent's complaint within three working days.


(B)If the Case Manager and the foster parent cannot reach an understanding, then the foster parent shall notify the Team Leader and request assistance from the Team Leader in mediating the conflict between the Case Manager and the foster parent. The Team Leader must respond to the foster parent's complaint and request for assistance within five working days.


( 2 ) Grievances


(A) If the Case Manager and the Team Leader cannot make corrections or adjustments, the foster parent shall notify the Team Coordinator in writing of their concerns and request an appointment with the Team Coordinator. A scheduled meeting between all parties with the Team Coordinator must take place within 7 working days of the receipt of the foster parent complaint. The results of this meeting shall be documented in writing within 2 working days of the meeting; responsibility for the documentation is with the Case Manager with approval of the Team Leader. The Team Coordinator must then make a recommendation in writing for corrective action (or no action). Copies of the Team Coordinator's decision must be forwarded to all participants.


( 3 ) Appeals


(A)Within 7 working days of the grievance hearing, the foster parents may elect to file an appeal with the Regional Administrator of the Department of Children's Services. Upon receipt of an appeal, The Regional Administrator reviews all the information, and either accepts the recommendation of the Team Coordinator, or, at their discretion, may schedule an additional interview with the foster parent(s), DCS staff, or other relevant parties. Copies of the Regional Administrator's approval or modification of the Team Coordinator's recommendation must be forwarded to all participants.