Skip to main content

Library: Policy

340:2-3-34. Facility administrator's responsibilities regarding allegations reportable to Office of Client Advocacy (OCA)

Revised 9-17-18

(a) Facility administrator's responsibility for protection, safety, health, and welfare of children and vulnerable adults. When OCA intake receives an allegation of maltreatment by a vulnerable adult caretaker (VAC) or a person responsible for the child of interest (PRFCI), from anyone other than the administrator or the administrator's designee of the facility or provider responsible for the client, OCA intake promptly notifies the applicable administrator of the allegation.

(1) Upon becoming aware of an allegation of caretaker maltreatment involving an OCA client, an administrator or the administrator's designee ensures the safety, protection, and needed medical attention of any client named in the allegation and other clients receiving services from the facility or provider.

(2) When criminal activity is alleged regarding a child or vulnerable adult, the administrator or the administrator's designee immediately notifies the appropriate local law enforcement authority. The types of criminal activity reported to law enforcement include, but are not limited to, the use or possession of illegal drugs; domestic abuse; illegal sexual activity; illegal use of alcohol; theft of money, property, or medication that is a controlled substance; and when someone other than a caretaker is believed to have committed the allegation.

(3) The administrator or the administrator's designee takes necessary personnel actions to ensure the protection and safety of the alleged victim(s) and other clients. When necessary to ensure safety, a Plan for Immediate Safety (PFIS) is completed with an OCA investigator. The creation of the PFIS may include consultation with: Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS), Child Welfare Services (CWS) Specialized Placements and Partnerships Unit (SPPU), Child Care Services (CCS), or the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA).   12 OCA does not determine or approve personnel actions taken by an administrator or the administrator's designee in response to allegations reported to OCA.

(4) In the event of alleged abuse or neglect of a Hissom class member (HCM) by a provider's employee or subcontractor, the administrator or the administrator's designee ensures the protection and medical attention for any HCM named in an allegation or other individual served. In the event of alleged abuse or neglect by an individual serving as a provider, it is the responsibility of the HCM's case manager to ensure protection, medical attention, or both for the HCM. OCA intake notifies the applicable DDS area manager by email within one business day of receipt of a referral of abuse or neglect by an individual serving as provider for the HCM.  3

(b) Preliminary assessment. Upon learning of an incident reportable to DHS, the administrator or the administrator's designee:

(1) immediately ensures the safety of any client(s) named in the referral;

(2) secures any physical evidence, including any video, photographic, or other recorded evidence, and gathers documents within the possession, custody, or control of the facility or provider relevant to the allegation;

(3) immediately photographs injuries. Photographs are taken by a person uninvolved in the incident that is the subject of the allegation relating to the injuries; and

(4) coordinates activities with OCA and other agency or law enforcement authorities involved in investigating the referral.

(c) Collecting pertinent reports and documents. The administrator or the administrator's designee determines which employees were present when the alleged incident occurred and requires each employee to submit a written account of the alleged incident. The administrator or the administrator's designee collects medical records, documents, reports, and other documentary evidence that pertains to the alleged incident, within the facility or in the provider's possession, custody, or control, and places them in a file for OCA investigative and other investigative authorities' use. The administrator or designee securely maintains documents collected during the preliminary assessment.

(d) OCA access to documents and evidence. Upon request, an OCA investigator is provided a copy of and access to the original written statements, incident reports, relevant documents, records, reports, photos, audio or video recordings, and other evidence collected during the preliminary assessment.

(e) Prohibition from interviewing during preliminary assessment. Facility or provider employees do not conduct an investigation of an alleged incident while the OCA decision to accept the referral for investigation is pending, or during an open OCA investigation. To avoid the consequences of over-interviewing parties involved in an alleged incident, the preliminary assessment is limited to inquiries regarding those involved, obtaining written statements, and clarifying information needed to take appropriate action to ensure client safety. Determining if a staff member engaged in maltreatment is not the goal of a preliminary assessment. Once there is reason to believe maltreatment may have occurred, the preliminary assessment ceases, and the incident is reported to the DHS Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline) when it involves a juvenile or to the OCA Intake Unit when the alleged victim is a vulnerable adult. Outside of regular DHS-business hours reports of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult are reported to the Hotline. This prohibition does not extend to interviews and investigations conducted by law enforcement when responding to a report of criminal activity. The assigned OCA investigator coordinates activities with local, state, and federal law enforcement entities to seek the most appropriate investigative response to the referral.

(f) Facility and provider contact person. The facility or provider administrator is responsible for the care of each individual, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:2-3-32(a)(2) and designates a contact person for OCA. The administrator or the administrator's designee informs the advocate general of the name, phone number, and email address of the designated contact person and immediately notifies the advocate general of changes to the information by email or mail. The designated contact person is available by phone or email at all times.  4

(g) Documentation provided by the Robert M. Greer Center (Greer). Within one DHS-business day of Greer submitting an incident report to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, a five-business day report, or a final report regarding an allegation reported to OCA intake, the facility sends OCA intake a copy by email or fax.

(h) Ensuring confidentiality. Administrators maintain information, files, and documents regarding referrals made to OCA intake or to the Hotline, including OCA investigation reports distributed, per OAC 340:2-3-36, in a manner that protects information confidentiality.


Revised 9-17-18

1. Plan for Immediate Safety (PFIS). An assessment regarding safety is done in each case and is documented on the Form 15IV013E, Plan for Immediate Safety. When the Office of Client Advocacy (OCA) investigator determines a PFIS is necessary to ensure immediate safety, the OCA investigator contacts the Administrator on Duty (AOD) to complete Form 15IV013E and works with the facility to ensure the identified present danger is controlled. When an agreement cannot be reached to ensure safety, the OCA investigator must contact his or her supervisor, program manager, or program administrator. The program manager or program administrator ensures Specialized Placement and Partnership Unit (SPPU) and/or Developmental Disability Services (DDS) Quality Assurance (DDSQA) programs staff is notified of the safety concerns and of the inability to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Form 15IV013E must be completed, signed, and made part of the file. All sections of Form 15IV013E must be completed and include:

(1) the alleged victim's name and date of birth;

(2) the summary of allegations

(3) safety concerns;

(4) injury observed, when applicable;

(5) photographs when taken by the facility, OCA, or other entity are documented with the date and time taken;

(6) medical treatment, when any;

(7) if the PRFCI or VAC was removed from the premises;

(8) if the alleged victim was observed and/or interviewed;

(9) if law enforcement was notified;

(10) when safety concerns exist, the required actions necessary to protect the child(ren) or vulnerable adults in relation to current safety concerns are documented. When there are no safety concerns and immediate protective measures are not necessary, Form 15IV013E is documented with an explanation for such determination;

(11) specifics as to who has the responsibility for implementing each plan component;

(12) how the plan will be monitored, by whom, and how often;

(13) the OCA investigator's signature and the date signed; and

(14) the AOD's signature and the date signed.

2. A copy of Form 15IV013E is left with the facility. If circumstances change, or additional facts are discovered that impact safety, the AOD is contacted and the PFIS is modified to meet safety needs.

3 Notification when a Hissom class member (HCM) is an alleged victim. In addition to the applicable DDS area manager, OCA intake notifies one other person designated by the area manager. The area manager or the area manager's designee notifies the case manager assigned to the HCM named as an alleged victim.

4. Form 15IV011E, Designation of Contact Person for Client Investigations, may be used for this purpose.

Back to Top