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JOHN BURTON FOUNDATION. Participant Rights in THP-Plus: Developing a Meaningful Grievance Policy Online Webinar – March 19, 2009 at 10:00 am Presented by Reed Connell, John Burton Foundation Call-in phone number for live audio: (773) 945-1011 Access code: 220-444-839.

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john burton foundation

Participant Rights in THP-Plus: Developing a Meaningful Grievance Policy

Online Webinar – March 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

Presented by Reed Connell, John Burton Foundation

Call-in phone number for live audio: (773) 945-1011

Access code: 220-444-839

webinar technical details
Webinar technical details
  • Call-in phone number for live audio:(773) 945-1011 Access code: 220-444-839
  • To submit live questions, click on the “Question and Answer” arrow on your screen, type your question, and click “Send.”
goal of today s training
Goal of today’s training
  • To assist providers in developing a grievance procedure that:
    • Conforms with law and regulation
    • Supports youth in achieving success
    • Is equitable, credible and accessible
outline of presentation
Outline of presentation
  • Overview of applicable law and regulation
  • Three recommended themes
  • Recommended elements and examples
  • Providers reflect on their experience
  • Questions & Answers
what is legally required of thp plus programs
What is legally required of THP-Plus Programs?

THP-Plus legislation specifies that:

  • Program participation occurs through a contract between youth and providers
  • The contract is specific about all areas of program participation, including
    • Disciplinary measures
    • Grounds for program termination
fair housing and transitional housing misconduct law
Fair Housing and Transitional Housing Misconduct Law
  • All THP-Programs are subject to the provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
    • The act provides protection from discrimination
  • The Transitional Housing Misconduct Law applies to the vast majority of programs.
    • The law provides transitional housing programs an alternative to the usual legal eviction processes
what do cdss regulations require
What do CDSS regulations require?
  • Tenants should have the greatest amount of freedom possible
  • Tenants have the right to be free from “arbitrary or capricious rules”
  • Tenants have the right to privacy
  • Tenants have the right to appeal any loss of benefits or services before they are suspended
  • Tenants have the right to a grievance procedure
three guiding principles
Three guiding principles
  • Equitable
    • Goes beyond fair
  • Credible
    • Everyone using the policy feels it likely to help
  • Accessible
    • Youth and programs understand how to use it
recommended features of an equitable credible and accessible policy
Recommended features of an equitable, credible, and accessible policy
  • A clear statement of philosophy (credible)
  • An outline of youth rights (equitable)
  • Examples of conflict (credible/equitable)
  • Definitions (accessible)
  • Step-by-step instructions (accessible)
  • Multiple pathways (equitable, credible, accessible)
a clear statement of the program s philosophy towards conflict
A clear statement of the program’s philosophy towards conflict:
  • “It is the policy of [this agency] that if you feel you have been treated unfairly, you are entitled to protest the polices or actions that affected you unjustly.”
  • “This agency is committed to viewing grievances and the resolution of them as a learning process whereby we can develop better practice…”
a brief overview of youth rights
A brief overview of youth rights:

From law and regulation:

  • “have the right to file a grievance;”
  • “have the right not to be discriminated against”
  • “have rights to privacy and confidentiality”
  • “right to appeal any loss of benefits.”

Going over and above what’s required:

  • “have the right not to be denied services or retaliated against in any way as a result of voicing a complaint or filing a grievance”
  • “have the right to have your identity and the nature of the grievance kept confidential except as necessary to resolve the situation”
  • “to seek other means of conflict or grievance resolution”
  • “to have an advocate present for any grievance meetings”
definitions of any ambiguous terms
Definitions of any ambiguous terms:

“Grievance: a formal complaint, made in writing, and delivered to the Director of Programs.”

“A grievance is a written complaint made by a program participant. The grievance will be investigated and resolved through the following steps:”

“Complaint: a participant presents a complaint verbally to his/her Case Manager and, if resolution does not occur, to the Case Manager Supervisor”

when might youth want to file a grievance
When might youth want to file a grievance?

“You have the right to file a grievance if you feel you have been discriminated against in any way.”

“You are entitled to file a grievance…if you are dissatisfied with a decision made by a staff member [or are] dissatisfied with the services provided to you…”

“A grievance can be about anything done or not done by staff or another participant that you feel affects you unfairly or unjustly.”

step by step instructions for filing a grievance
Step-by-step instructions for filing a grievance:

Clear, concise language

Specific about roles of individuals involved

Should provide recourse if conflict is with one of the individuals specified in the process

What can youth (and staff) expect at each step?

How will everyone know that a grievance has been resolved?

multiple pathways for pursuing resolution
Multiple pathways for pursuing resolution:
  • Verbally
  • In writing
  • Access to outside resources
    • California Foster Care Ombudsman
      • 877-846-1602
  • Connections/referral to local Fair Housing Agency
panelist toby eastman
Panelist: Toby Eastman

Toby Eastman: Director of Programs at Larkin Street Youth Services

  • Larkin Street’s Grievance Procedure contains all of the recommended elements
  • The process arose naturally from the agencies philosophies and practices for working with youth
larkin street youth services
Larkin Street Youth Services:

Larkin Street’s programs are:

  • Youth centered
  • Youth development oriented
  • Conflict resolution is seen as
    • An opportunity for client growth
    • An opportunity for program growth
panelist emily gay
Panelist: Emily Gay

Emily Gay is Regional Manager for Contra Costa and Solano Counties for First Place for Youth.

  • First Place has over 10 years of experience serving youth
  • First Place rarely needs to utilize its grievance procedure
quick review
Quick Review
  • Programs are subject to Fair Housing Law
  • Youth have the right to a grievance procedure
  • Policies should be equitable, credible, and accessible
  • Recommended elements
  • Providers’ experience
thp plus statewide implementation project announcements
THP-Plus Statewide Implementation Project Announcements
  • 2009 THP-Plus Institute: Delivering Essential Services in a Challenging Time
    • July 28, 2009, California Endowment, Los Angeles
  • Participant Tracking System
    • Reports Menu available in April
    • Quarterly Reports by 4/15/09
  • AB 12: California Fostering Connections to Success Act
    • visit
Questions or comments?

Enter questions on your screen now by clicking the “Question and Answer” arrow, typing your question, and clicking “Send.”

Or direct later questions or comments to:

Reed Connell

John Burton Foundation

(415) 693-1326