Complaints & Due Process
Informal Dispute Resolution:
There may be occasions when you have a complaint or suggestion regarding the services or operation of Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DCBDD). We are interested in your ideas and using them to improve services.
Many avenues exist to address concerns:
- All services, except education, offer the option of self-determination of decisions.
- The Conflict Resolution Procedure outlines guidelines for decision-making and conflict resolution.
- Conflict Resolution is offered in cases of serious, on-going conflicts.
It is expected that these informal procedures will resolve the issues within thirty (30) days or that all parties agree that the informal process is making appropriate progress.
If the informal dispute resolution procedures have not been successful, it may be time to use the formal Administrative Resolution of Complaints Process.
DCBDD’s Civil Rights Policy outlines procedures that protect the rights of people receiving services and employees of DCBDD. The Administrative Resolution of Complaints policy defines the process to be followed with DCBDD to resolve complaints by individuals who are eligible for or who are seeking eligibility for services, the legal guardian or legal representative of such persons or provider of services to DCBDD.
Complaints must be in writing.
The formal process must be filed in writing and begins at the level of the program supervisor involved in the dispute. In the Administrative Resolution of Complaint process, decisions may be appealed to the Superintendent, the Board of DCBDD, and/or the Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. This process requires specific timelines for responding to complaints and filing appeals. Individuals, families, or advocates may request a representative to assist them in utilization of any of the complaint procedures.
Written complaints and appeals need to address the four guidelines for resolving complaints. If the individual has difficulty reading or writing, an oral report may be made and recorded by an advocate or DCBDD representative. Upon receipt of the written complaint by the Superintendent, the individual shall receive a copy of the DCBDD policy on Administrative Resolution of Complaints and the decision of the Superintendent within ten (10) calendar days. Where circumstances permit, implementation of the Superintendent’s decision will be held for ten (10) days to permit the individual to file an appeal.
Additional Formal Avenues for Resolving Disputes
Medicaid-Funded Services: Any decision to terminate, reduce or deny Medicaid-funded services (State Plan Services and/or Waiver Services) are subject to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) appeal process. Individuals and families will be provided prior notice of proposed actions and have the right to a hearing with ODJFS. If an intent to appeal a decision of DCBDD is received within fifteen (15) days of the proposed action, all services will continue uninterrupted until the dispute is resolved. If the complaint is received after the fifteen (15) day period but prior to ninety (90) days after the proposed action, the services may be reinstated based upon the results of the hearing.
Early Intervention Services: Families have a right to appeal decisions related to services provided by the Early Intervention program by contacting the Ohio Department of Health and presenting their concerns in a formal hearing process.
School Services: Families have a right to appeal decisions related to educational programs by using the due process protections afforded by their local educational agency.
DCBDD Services: Individuals, advocates, or complainants receiving or providing supported living services under contract with DCBDD shall utilize the dispute resolution procedures of the provider. In cases of disputes related to the termination, reduction, or change of supported living services, an individual or advocate shall utilize DCBDD’s Administrative Resolution of Complaint procedures.
Guidelines for Resolving Concerns
- Start with the right person: The people who have the best and quickest solutions are the direct service staff and department managers. If they cannot answer your concerns, they will help you find someone who can.
- Issues need to be timely: The best time to correct a problem or consider a new idea is when it is fresh. It is very difficult to do anything about a problem that happened many days or weeks earlier.
- Address one issue at a time: Some concerns can be addressed quickly and completely. Others will take more time. A shopping list of problems usually can never be totally and finally resolved.
- Be specific as to what you want: Objectively state concerns, involved individuals, when it happened or did not happen, and what you want to see happen in the future.
By using these guidelines, you will be able to have most of your questions answered quickly and simply. If verbal requests do not bring results, please present your concerns in writing to the appropriate program supervisor.