(a) Purpose. An Emergency Order directing the closure of a child care facility and/or immediate removal of children may be issued by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) when there is a direct and serious hazard to the health, safety, or welfare of any child cared for by the facility. Examples of serious hazardous situations may include, but is not limited to, circumstances:
(1) that result in the serious injury or death of a child;
(2) that place a child at a high risk for death or injury;
(3) when compelling evidence of child abuse or neglect exists;
(4) when a child leaves a facility without the staff's knowledge;
(5) when a child is left at a location away from the facility;
(6) when a child is left unattended in a vehicle;
(7) when a child is left alone in a facility;
(8) when there are serious non-compliance issues;
(9) when a person is on the premises whose health or behavior would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of children;
(10) when there is compelling evidence of the presence of illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia; or
(11) continued operation of an unlicensed facility.
(b) Issuance of Emergency Order. If the operator is unable or unwilling to correct the hazardous situation and/or refuses to voluntarily cease care of children:
(1) the licensing specialist or the licensing supervisor submits a request for an Emergency Order to the licensing regional programs manager (RPM) or assistant licensing coordinator, or statewide licensing coordinator; • 1
(2) the licensing RPM may contact the operator by phone to determine if the operator will voluntarily cease care of children. A voluntary cease care agreement by the operator does not prohibit the issuance of an Emergency Order; and
(3) a request for an Emergency Order is considered by the licensing RPM, assistant licensing coordinator, or licensing coordinator within one facility business day. The decision to issue an Emergency Order may be made by the licensing RPM. Upon making a decision, the official will:
(A) issue a written Emergency Order, signed by the approving official and notify the licensing specialist, the licensing supervisor, the assistant licensing coordinator, and statewide licensing coordinator; or
(B) submit a written denial notice to the licensing specialist, the licensing supervisor, the assistant licensing coordinator, and the statewide licensing coordinator.
(c) Provisions of the Emergency Order. The Emergency Order shall provide for:
(1) basis for the Emergency Order;
(2) if the facility is to close;
(3) if children are to be removed from the facility;
(4) the Emergency Order is effective immediately;
(5) the Emergency Order remains in effect until modified or rescinded; and
(6) the right to have a hearing on the Emergency Order.
(d) Serving of the Emergency Order. The procedures for serving an Emergency Order are:
(e) Removal of children. If there is a threat of a direct and serious hazard to the health, safety, and welfare of children and the operator is unable or unwilling to correct the situation and immediate removal from the child care facility is indicated, a licensing RPM, assistant licensing coordinator, or statewide licensing coordinator may give verbal approval for removal of children. Parents are provided Form 07LC088E, Notice of Emergency Order, explaining the Emergency Order and how to locate other child care programs. • 3 Two options available are:
(1) the operator and parents are told that the child care facility will not reopen on the following day; or
(2) parents are contacted and advised to pick up their children immediately. If every effort has been made to contact the parents, and children are at imminent risk of harm, the licensing staff contacts law enforcement to request children be taken into protective custody.
(f) Duration of Emergency Order.
(1) The facility remains closed and care of children by the operator is prohibited pending a hearing on the Emergency Order.
(2) A review of the Emergency Order is conducted. If the decision to deny or to issue an Emergency Order is made by a licensing RPM, an assistant licensing coordinator reviews all requests for an Emergency Order within three business days from the date of the decision by the licensing RPM. The assistant licensing coordinator provides written notification to the licensing specialist, licensing supervisor, RPM, and statewide licensing coordinator that they:
(A) concur with the issuance of the Emergency Order;
(B) issue a modified Emergency Order; or
(C) rescind the Emergency Order.
(3) Modification or rescission of Emergency Order may occur when there is documentation that the direct and serious hazard has been corrected, or that children are no longer at imminent risk of serious harm.
(4) Licensing staff verify compliance with Emergency Order for a period of 30 days after the action becomes final, unless the Emergency Order is rescinded within that timeframe.
(g) Violation of the Emergency Order. If an operator violates the conditions set forth in the Emergency Order, the licensing specialist, after consultation with the approving official, contacts a CLEET-certified officer for assistance.
(h) Citation request. A referral is made on Form 07LC097E, Citation Request, for the assistance of a CLEET-certified officer. The following procedures are followed:
(1) Licensing staff contacts a CLEET-certified officer to schedule a visit to the facility.
(2) Upon violations of conditions set forth in the Emergency Order, a citation may be issued by the CLEET-certified officer for not less than $100 nor more than $500 for every day the facility maintains and receives children.
(3) Licensing staff and a CLEET-certified officer monitor the facility until care of children has ceased.
(i) Referral to the District Attorney (DA). If violation of Emergency Order occurs, licensing staff consults with RPM for the necessity of a referral to DA. Should a referral be necessary, licensing staff complete Form 07LC098E, District Attorney Referral, that includes documentation of the facts of the case. A copy is sent to the statewide licensing coordinator who informs the OKDHS Legal Division of the referral.
(j) Referral to the Attorney General. If no action is taken by a DA of the county where the facility is operating, a referral may be made to the Attorney General by the statewide licensing coordinator or designee.