340:2-3-39. Program Review process for substantiated child abuse or neglect findings in Office of Client Advocacy investigations
(a) Purpose. The Office of Client Advocacy (OCA) program review process serves the following purposes:
(1) per the 2010 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Section 5101 et seq. of Title 42 of the United States Code, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) is required to provide persons who disagree with a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect with a procedure for appealing and responding to appeals of those findings;
(3) provides a procedure for notice and an opportunity for review to an individual and, if the individual is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, operated, or contracted by or with the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA), to the facility prior to recording an individual in the Restricted Registry, per Section 405.3 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. § 405.3).
(b) Eligibility criteria. An individual may request consideration through the program review process when:
(1) the person is an alleged perpetrator in an investigation involving abuse or neglect allegations; and
(2) the investigation results in a substantiated finding regarding the alleged perpetrator; and
(3) there is no other court action or court order in regard to the alleged child abuse or neglect including pending or completed:
(A) protective order hearings;
(B) civil actions for monetary compensation; or
(C) criminal court proceedings.
(c) Procedures for the alleged perpetrator program review process. The procedures for the alleged perpetrator program review process are outlined in (1) through (4) of this subsection.
(1) Notification to alleged perpetrator. Upon substantiating abuse, neglect, or both, the OCA social services inspector notifies the alleged perpetrator of the finding by mailing Forms 04KI077E, Notification Concerning Finding(s) of Child Abuse/Neglect, and 04KI079E, Request for Program Review, provided the criteria in OAC 340:2-3-39 is met. Forms 04KI077E and 04KI079E are: • 2
(A) mailed by certified mail and regular mail within 10-calendar days of abuse or neglect substantiation ; and
(B) mailed to the alleged perpetrator's last known address.
(i) Form 04KI077E informs the alleged perpetrator of:
(I) any substantiated child abuse or neglect finding in the investigation;
(II) the date of the abuse or neglect referral, allegation, and finding without identifying the reporting party; and
(III) demographic information.
(ii) Form 04KI079E specifies:
(I) the alleged perpetrator may request a program review by mailing a request to the OCA program review committee within 15-calendar days from the postmark on the envelope containing Form 04KI079E;
(II) the alleged perpetrator has the right to provide additional information through written statements that must be submitted at the same time the request for program review is made;
(III) failure to submit the program review request within 15-calendar days from the postmark on the envelope containing Form 04KI079E results in the finding becoming final, and also specifies that the alleged perpetrator waives any right to refute this finding in the future, unless good cause is established; and • 2
(IV) that verification of legal representation must be established when the alleged perpetrator requests an attorney be notified of the determination results. Verification is established by a statement of representation on official letterhead from the attorney. • 3
(2) Good cause conditions. an alleged perpetrator is granted a review despite failure to make a timely response, provided good cause is established, including, but not limited to, severe illness or other disabling condition.
(3) Review Procedure. Within 60-calendar days following a review request acceptance, or a late review request when good cause was established, the OCA program review committee determines whether the substantiated child abuse or neglect finding meets substantiation protocol, per OAC 340:2-3-2. No individual with direct decision making authority regarding a case being reviewed is authorized to vote to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. • 4 & 5
(A) The decision to uphold, modify, or reverse the original abuse or neglect finding is determined by reviewing:
(i) Form 04KI003E, Report to District Attorney, including attachments, and relevant OCA information ; and
(ii) all written documents submitted to the OCA program review committee.
(B) When the program review committee determines the finding failed to meet substantiation criteria per OAC 340:2-3-36, the committee:
(i) determines whether the preliminary decision was based on a lack of credible evidence to support the child abuse or neglect allegations ; or
(ii) determines whether the preliminary decision is based on the OCA social services inspector's lack of documentation ; and
(I) when a lack of documentation exists, the program review committee sends notification to the programs administrator, programs manager and OCA social services inspector that information is missing. The program review committee requests the information be added to the report or scanned into On Base;
(II) after the program review committee's notification is received, the programs manager reopens and reassigns the investigation;
(III) the assigned OCA social services inspector adds the additional information to the report within 15-calendar days of the reassignment and sends notification to the program review committee upon completion; and
(IV) the program review committee reconsiders the review request with the additional information and modifies or upholds the finding as appropriate; and
(iii) modifies the finding, when appropriate, in KIDS.
(I) When the substantiation finding is appropriate, but the allegation in KIDS is incorrect, the program review committee's chairperson ensures the inappropriate allegation is marked as an improper entry and the correct allegation is added along with the substantiated finding; and
(II) Forms 04KI077E and Form 04KI079E are mailed with the corrected allegations and findings.
(C) Within 60-calendar days following the acceptance of the review request, the program review committee, provides written notification to the:
(i) alleged perpetrator;
(ii) advocate general;
(iii) programs administrator;
(iv) programs manager;
(vi) district attorney's office in the county where the finding originated;
(vii) Specialized Placement and Partnership Unit, when applicable;
(viii) Child Care Services (CCS), when applicable;
(ix) Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA), when applicable; and
(x) facility or agency provider administrator.
(4) Notification of Child Care Services (CCS) of a PRFC's substantiated finding of heinous and shocking abuse.
(A) OCA is responsible for notifying CCS upon completion of a program review when a finding of heinous and shocking abuse is substantiated.
(B) CCS notifies a child care facility owner or operator and the child care resource and referral organization in writing immediately or not later than one-business day after a finding of heinous and shocking abuse is substantiated on a PRFC by DHS, per 10 O.S. § 406.
(d) Procedures for the OJA facility program review. The procedures for the facility program review process are outlined in (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(1) Notification to facility. Within 10-calendar days of a facility employee's substantiation of abuse, neglect, or both, the facility is notified of the finding. The notification informs the facility:
(A) of the substantiated finding;
(B) of the date of the abuse or neglect referral, allegation, and finding without identifying the reporting party;
(C) of the demographic information;
(D) that a program review may be requested by notifying the OCA Program Review Committee within 15-calendar days of the date the facility was notified of the substantiated findings;
(E) that additional information for consideration by the OCA Program Review Committee may be provided with the request for a program review; and
(F) that failure to request a program review in a timely manner may result in the finding becoming final and waives any right for the facility to request consideration of the finding in the future.
(2) Review procedure. The review procedures for a request for program review by an OJA facility follow the procedures found in (c) of this Section.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:2-3-39
1. Procedures for the quality assurance program review process. As part of the quality assurance procedures of the Office of Client Advocacy, the program review process is provided to facilities, not otherwise described in 10 O.S. § 405.3 and (a)(3) of this Section, that employ individuals with a substantiated finding of abuse and neglect and who are subject to recording on the Restricted Registry. The notification and program review procedures for facilities described in this ITS are found at (d) of this Section.
2. The Office of Client Advocacy (OCA) programs manager ensures Forms 04KI077E, Notification Concerning Finding(s) of Child Abuse/Neglect, and 04KI079E, Request for Program Review, are sent to each alleged perpetrator identified during the investigation, within 10-calendar days after the OCA investigator's programs manager approves an investigation with a substantiated finding. KIDS generates Forms 04KI077E and 04KI079E. The alleged perpetrator's address of the populates to Form 04KI077E and is designed to display the alleged perpetrator's address in a window envelope.
3. Program review notification to OCA staff of program review. When the program review committee accepts a review request, acceptance notification is provided to the previously assigned OCA social service inspector, programs manager, programs administrator, and advocate general. These individuals are advised of the need to ensure all necessary documentation has been entered into KIDS referral and investigation screens and that other supporting documentation is stored in the KIDS file cabinet.
4. In the event the regularly appointed, voting members of the committee yield an equal number of votes for and against the substantiated finding, the Program Review Committee Chairperson casts the deciding vote.
5. Program review committee composition. The program review committee is comprised of:
(1) a designee for the OCA Grievance Division who serves as the program review committee chairperson;
(2) a programs manager or designee for the OCA Advocacy Division;
(3) the Child Protection Services Program Unit programs manager or designee;
(4) the programs administrator or designee for the OCA Investigative Division who:
(A) is considered a guide to the process; and
(B) does not vote on cases;
(5) programs manager or designee from the Specialized Placement and Partnership Unit;
(6) a programs manager or designee from Child Care Services; and
(7) the advocate general for the Office of Juvenile Affairs or designee.