Basic Rights and Reporting Policy


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Basic Rights and Reporting Policy

  1. 1. BASIC RIGHTS AND REPORTING AGREEMENT Our agency will recognize and respect the constitutional, civil, and human rights of the individuals (foster parents, child residents, staff, etc.) for whom we provide services. Furthermore, it is the duty and responsibility of both agency staff and foster parents to ensure that children’s rights are protected. Agency staff, foster parents, volunteers, etc. will agree to abide by minimum standards (State Laws) and agency confidentiality policies (See Confidentiality Policy) in respecting the rights of employees, volunteers and/or children in our care. Various forms of “Rights and Reporting” are discussed in more detail below. CONFIDENTIALITY Agency staff and foster parents agree to maintain privacy and security of confidential information obtained during the course of serving this agency and foster children and/or child residents. Maintaining confidentiality regarding children’s backgrounds, family situations, reasons for removal, records, etc. is mandatory. The same confidentiality requirements apply to information obtained for employment purposes, volunteer purposes and/or foster parent certification. Information gathered on employees, volunteers, and/or foster parents is to remain “strictly confidential”. Information to remain confidential includes, but is not limited to salary information, criminal background records, CANRIS records, medical information, etc.. HIPPA REQUIREMENTS Included in confidentiality requirements are laws for the State of Texas, as well as the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA – See & Complete HIPPA forms). HIPPA requires the following: - Hold the medical information received in strict confidence. - Do not disclose or divulge this information unless first authorized to do so in writing. - Do not reproduce the information nor use this information for any purpose other than the performance of your duties - Upon request or termination of your relationship with the agency, return all notes, documents, and materials originating from your duties as a foster parent, employee, volunteer, etc. CLIENT’S RIGHTS, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS, STAFF RIGHTS These rights include, but are not limited to the following: - The right to be treated with dignity and respect; - The right to receive sufficient clothing, food, shelter, and recreation: - The right to be free from physical and sexual abuse, verbal harassment/abuse and neglect: - The right to privacy and freedom from intrusion: - The right to be free of coercion regarding participating in public events, fund raising events, etc.; - The right to continued contact and communication with family; - The right to continued contact and communication with siblings; - The right to continued contact and communication with peers; - The right to continued visitation with siblings, family members & family friends; - The right to participate in community activities; - The right to receive and place telephone calls; - The right to receive and send mail; - The right to receive and give gifts; - The right to practice, or not to practice, a religion of his/her choice (excluding a religion that prevents an individual from accessing and obtaining standardized medical care and treatment, or a religion that involves the sacrifice of a living creature); - The right to an age-appropriate education; Latest Revision 06/01/09 Page 1 of 3 file: CPA Policies/Forms/Parent Files/Basic Rights & Reporting
  2. 2. - The right to professional, age-appropriate services, and treatment; - The right to be involved in service planning processes; - The right to express opinions on issues concerning services to be provided or needed; - The right to be free from physical punishment; - The right to be free from any harsh, cruel, unusual, unnecessary, demeaning, or humiliating discipline or punishment; - The right to a competent guardian, if biological parents are unable or unwilling to assume the role; and - The right to file complaints, grievances and appeals. MANDATED REPORTING Agency staff, foster parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, etc. are “mandated reporters” under Texas Law. This means that when you have reasonable cause to believe a child (anyone under the age of 18), anyone with a disability, or anyone over the age of 65 has been abused or neglected, you are required to make both a written and verbal report to the agency case manager or program manager. SERIOUS INCIDENT REPORTS A serious incident is defined as any non-routine occurrence that has an impact on the care, supervision, and/or treatment of a child or children. This includes, but is not limited to, suicide attempts, injuries requiring medical treatment, runaways, commission of a crime, and allegations o abuse and/or neglect or abusive treatment. The following types of serious incidents must be reported to the TDFPS Licensing Division and the child’s parents or managing conservator within 24 hours: 1. Any incident where there are indications that a child in care may have been abused or neglected as defined by the Texas Family Code. 2. Abusive activity among children in care: a. Non-consensual sexual activity between children of any age. b. Consensual sexual activity between children when there is a significant difference in size or developmental level of the children. c. Child-to-child behavior that results in observable physical injury and causes material impairment. 3. Abusive treatment by caregiver including non-accidental caregiver action, which, if chronic or intensified, could cause substantial harm to a child. This treatment includes, but is not limited to a. Slapping the face. b. Sexual Verbalizations. c. Exposing the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals. d. Inappropriate kissing. e. Provision of sexually oriented material to a child other than that used for appropriate sex education or counseling. f. Touching a child in inappropriate ways. g. Providing drugs or alcohol to a child. 4. Incidents that result in critical injury or permanent disability of a child. A critical injury is defined as any life-threatening injury or one that results in hospital intensive care or the need for life=threatening injury or one that results in hospital intensive care or the need for life-resuscitation methods. Examples include, but are not limited to any injury that is labeled as “critical” by medical personnel. 5. Any attempt by a child to take his own life, using means or methods capable of causing serious injury or means or methods that the child believes capable of causing serious injury. Jonathan’s Place personnel must report to TDFPS Licensing Representative within 24 hours after learning of an allegation that a person who directly care for or has access to a child has abused drugs within the past seven days. Latest Revision 06/01/09 Page 2 of 3 file: CPA Policies/Forms/Parent Files/Basic Rights & Reporting
  3. 3. INCLUDE INFORMATION IN REPORTS TO LICENSING All reports to Licensing of child death, suicide attempts, and incidents in which a child experiences substantial bodily harm must include the complete documentation of any emergency medications, restraints, and/or seclusions which were implemented within 48 hours prior to the incident. Any serious incidents report of an injury resulting from a short personal restraint that is made to Licensing must include documentation of the restraint and the precipitating circumstances and specific behaviors, which led to the restraint. WHO TO CONTACT Foster parents, volunteers, employees, etc. should contact the agency Case Manager and/or Program Director at the following location for initial reporting purposes: Jonathan’s Place P.O. Box 140085 Dallas, TX 75214 972.303.1335 State law requires that abuse and/or neglect be reported. You can file an anonymous “reason to believe” or “reason to suspect” report by contacting: Abuse Hotline Texas Department of Family & Protective Service 1.800.252.5400 ********************************************************************************** I have read, reviewed and discussed Jonathan’s Place policies and procedures regarding reporting requirements. I agree to review and comply with all reporting requirements as referenced in this document. THE CLIENT DATE THE CLIENT DATE THE AGENCY DATE Latest Revision 06/01/09 Page 3 of 3 file: CPA Policies/Forms/Parent Files/Basic Rights & Reporting