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Complaints and Hearings

Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families
Policy: 100.0055
Effective Date:  October 8, 1984
Revised Date:  January 18, 2000
Version: 3
 
The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has a responsibility to promote, safeguard, and protect the social well-being and development of children of the State through a comprehensive program which is consistent with RIGL 42-72-2.
 
The Department has a responsibility to inform all persons receiving services or persons seeking to receive services, licensees or prospective licensees and any person “indicated” as a result of a child abuse and/or neglect investigation of the right to an agency appeal to the Department Hearing Officer or, if they are not satisfied with the agency’s decision, of their subsequent right of appeal to the appropriate judicial forum.
 
The Department Hearing Officer provides an opportunity for any of the above-named to be heard through a formal procedure for review of any agency decision when efforts at resolution within the respective divisions have not been successful.  Dissatisfaction may arise in the administration of the program for a variety of reasons and this agency provides a method for receiving complaints from individuals and an appeal process.  However, an attempt should be made to resolve appeals at the level where the decision was made through a discussion with the staff member who made the decision and/or the staff member’s supervisor or administrator.
 
A complaint is defined as any oral or written request for remedy made to a DCYF staff person in the field or office or to supervisory or administrative staff, concerning the administration of agency policies and programs, in which the legal rights, duties or privileges of a specific person are required by law to be determined by the Department.  Such complaints may include but are not necessarily limited to:
 
·         Visitation.
·         Placement or removal of children from foster homes.
·         Disagreement in case planning.
·         Claims of discrimination based on age, handicap, sex, race, religion, national origin or color.
·         Licensing issues.
·         Certification issues.
·         Indicated child abuse or neglect findings.
           
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