(a) Legal Base. Section 7213 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes directs the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (Department) to establish grievance procedures for Specialized Foster Care (SFC) providers that resolve disputes quickly, informally, at the lowest possible level, but that provide for access to impartial arbitration by personnel within the central office. Resolution of grievances must be prompt and within established time frames. Each SFC provider shall have the right, without fear of reprisal or discrimination, to present grievances with respect to the provision of SFC services.
(b) Inquiries. Not all SFC provider inquiries or requests for explanation are to be considered as disputes that need a written supervisory review or the initiation of the grievance procedure. Most inquiries or requests are handled within the regular relationship between the SFC specialist and SFC provider within 5 working days.
(c) Unresolved complaints or disputes. When a complaint or dispute between the DDSD staff member and the SFC provider cannot be resolved, the SFC provider is entitled to a supervisory review regarding the issue within 10 working days. If the supervisory review does not resolve the dispute with the SFC provider, then a grievance can be initiated by the provider in accordance with OAC 340:2-3-50.