Community Counseling Center

Client Grievance Procedure

INTRODUCTION

It is the intent of Community Counseling Center of Ashtabula County to provide services in an equitable manner and with full respect of all due rights of its service consumers.  There may be times, however, when a consumer feels he/she has been responded to in a way which denies or abuses his/her rights as a client. When this occurs, the agency seeks to address the complaint or grievance in a responsive and impartial manner and to strive for a fair resolution. Following are the agency's procedure for addressing client grievances:

  1. At any time that a client feels aggrieved (that is, that his/her rights as a client have been denied or abused) he/she is encouraged to:
  2. Make this complaint known to the Agency Client Right's Officer in writing.  This person is responsible to assist the person in filing a grievance, to investigate the grievance on behalf of the griever, and to represent the griever at the agency hearing on the grievance, if desired by the griever. The grievance must be dated / signed by the client or individual filing the grievance on behalf of the client.

    If the client rights officer is not available or is the subject of the grievance, the alternative person designated to assist the client with his/her grievance is:

    Mr. Gary J. Fox
    Ext. 260
    Client Rights Officer:
    Jeff Dolan
    Community Counseling Center
    2801 "C" Court
    Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
    440.998.4210  or 1.800.998.4210

    Available during business Hours:

    Monday — Friday

  3. ALL AGENCY STAFF have a continuing responsibility to immediately advise any client or other person who is articulating a concern, compliant, or grievance of the availability of the client right's officer and the complainant's right to file a grievance.  All reasonable effort will be made to provide persons with prompt access to the client rights officer.
  4. TIME LINES
    1. A client may file a grievance at any time regardless of how long removed from the occurrence of the actions which provoked the grievance.  However, clients are encouraged to make grievances known as promptly as possible as this will lead to a higher probability of satisfactory investigation and resolution.
    2. Once a grievance has been brought to the attention of the client rights officer and has been filed, the time frame for the client rights officer and the agency to process the grievance to resolution shall not exceed  twenty (20) working days from the date of filing the grievance.  Any extenuating circumstances indicating need for extension will be documented in file and written notification given to the client.
  5. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FLOW
    1. Client formulates complaint into a grievance which is received and logged in writing by the client rights officer. The grievance must include the date, approximate time and description of incident and names of individuals involved.
    2. Written acknowledgment of receipt of grievance is provided to each grievant within three (3) working days and includes; (a) date grievance received. (b) summary of grievance. (c) overview of investigation process. (d) time table for investigation/notification of resolution. (e) treatment provider contact name/ address/ Phone number.
    3. Client Rights Officer investigates the grievance, gathers facts, speaks with all parties involved, and attempts to effect resolution satisfactory to the griever.  If resolved, a written statement of results is given to client.
    4. If not resolved to griever's satisfaction, the griever is entitled to a hearing before the executive director of the agency, as an impartial decision maker.  At said hearing the griever may be represented by the client rights officer, by his/herself, or by any other person the griever chooses as their designated representative.  At said hearing the executive director will review pertinent information and hear from the parties involved.  The executive director will present his/her judgment concerning the grievance in writing to the griever, the client rights officer, and other parties involved.  At this point the grievance is resolved at the agency level.
    5. If the griever remains unsatisfied, or at an earlier step in the Process, he/she may initial complaint with any of several outside entities, specifically

      The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
      Office for Civil Rights, Region V
      300 Wacker Dr.
      Chicago, IL 60606
      1.321.886.5078

      Nurse Registration Board
      65 E. Front St. Room 509
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.3947

      State Board of Psychology
      65 E. Front St., Suite 507
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.8808

      State Medical Board
      65 S. Front St., Suite 510
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.3934

      ODADAS
      Two Nationwide Plaza - 12th Floor
      280 North High Street
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.644.9141
      Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Ashtabula  Co.
      4817 State Road, Suite 203
      Ashtabula, Ohio 44040
      440.992.3121

      The Ohio Dept. of Mental Health
      30 East Broad St., Suite 1180
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.2596

      The Ohio Legal Rights Service
      8 E. Long St. 5th Floor
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.7264

      Governor's office of Advocacy for People with Disabilities
      8 E. long St., 7th floor
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.9956

      Counselor and Social Worker Board
      65 S. Front St, Suite 210
      Columbus, Ohio 43215
      1.614.466.0912

      Office of Quality Monitoring
      The Joint Commission
      One Renaissance Boulevard
      Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
      1.800.994.6610

      Appropriate professional licensing or regulatory associations.  The address and phone numbers of these groups is appended to this procedure statement.  The client rights officer will assist the client if requested in furnishing all relevant information about the grievance to one or more of those organizations.

    6. The agency administration shall support the client rights officer to take all steps necessary to process client grievances and to otherwise assure compliance with this grievance procedure.
  6. POSTING AND DISTRIBUTION
  7. This procedure shall be posted in a conspicuous place and a written copy of it given to each applicant or client upon request.

  8. RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING
    1. While investigating grievances, the client rights officer shall record pertinent information which clarifies actions, events, and facts; and which presents the opinions or observations of those involved.  This information shall be maintained with the grievance and protected as client confidential information.
    2. The clients rights officer shall keep records of each grievance received, the subject matter of the grievance, and the resolution.  These records shall be available for review by the local ADMH Board and the mental health department upon request.
    3. The client rights officer shall annually prepare a report summarizing the number of grievances received, type of grievance, and resolution status.

Reviewed/approved by Board Action: January 20, 2010