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Program Design and Management Program Governance

By Judith Matthews,2014-08-13 12:07
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Program Design and Management Program Governance ...

    This is the sample Grievance Procedure for Head Start Programs, from the Center for Community Futures’ Policies On Diskette package. Page 1 of 5

Program Design and Management: Program Governance

Policy ID: PG20

Subject: Grievance Procedures

Performance Objective: The program implements these procedures for managing grievances.

Operational Procedures:

The program uses the three grievance procedures below.

(SAMPLE)

A. Grievance Procedure: Parent and/or Community Complaints RE: Center Agencies. The grievance

    procedure is a problem-solving mechanism in which every attempt is made to resolve issues at the lowest level of authority, with the least possible amount of program disturbance. A grievance is a written complaint alleging that Head Start Regulations, Program Policies and Procedures (if applicable), and/or Center Agency policies and procedures:

     1. were not followed; or

     2. were administered in a discriminatory (unequal) fashion; or

     3. were administered in an arbitrary and capricious (unfair) fashion.

    Situations may arise that are not covered by any existing policy and/or procedure but seem to merit action; these situations would be addressed in most cases by the development of new policies and procedures that apply to that type of situation in the future.

    1. Before a grievance can be filed by a parent or community member, direct discussion must take place

    between the person(s) whom the complaint involves. They must make more than one attempt to

    resolve any problem or conflict. All parties involved should note the date and time of the informal

    discussions.

    2. Failing resolution at that level, the person with the complaint must attempt to resolve problems or

    concerns at the center level with supervisors. More than one meeting must occur prior to the issue

    becoming a grievance.

    3. If the informal discussion process fails, the grievance or complaint must be prepared in writing and

    given to the individual about whom the complaint is made. The staff person about whom the

    complaint is made will have a maximum of five working days to respond after receiving the written

    complaint.

    4. If the complaint is not resolved, or if no action occurs within five working days, the complaint may be

    presented in writing to the supervisor, who has five working days to hold at least one meeting and to

    make a recommendation.

    5. If the complaint is not resolved, or if no action occurs within five working days, the complaint may be

    presented in writing to the Center Agency Head Start Director, who has five working days to hold at

    least one meeting and to make a recommendation.

    This is the sample Grievance Procedure for Head Start Programs, from the Center for Community Futures’ Policies On Diskette package. Page 2 of 5

    6. If the complaint is not resolved, or if no action occurs within five working days, the complaint may be

    presented in writing to the Center Local Policy Committee, which has ten working days to schedule at

    least one meeting and to make a recommendation.

    7. If a satisfactory resolution to the grievance is not made at the Center Local Policy Committee level,

    the Center Agency Executive Director will review the matter and will give a response within five

    working days.

    8. If the finding is appealed to the Board of the Center Agency in which the complaint originated, the

    Board (or a standing committee of the Board) has a maximum of ten working days to review the

    matter. If the Board of the Center Agency determines that this grievance procedure was followed, the

    matter is closed as far as the Center Agency is concerned and the recommendation of the Center

    Agency Executive Director shall remain in effect.

9. The following concepts will be used for the written grievance procedure:

    a. Information is submitted in writing, signed and dated;

    b. No anonymous complaints will be accepted or considered;

    c. Witnesses may be called at the discretion of the parties involved;

    d. Supporting information may be submitted;

    e. The content of all meetings are kept confidential, unless the complainant discusses the

    process with persons outside of the process. In such a case, staff may discuss the issue with

    the same persons.

    f. Mediators or other neutral parties may be asked to assist in resolving differences anytime

    after Operational Procedure #5, above.

    g. Efforts are made to keep the grievance local, involving as few people as possible.

    h. Grievances alleging criminal acts or immediate danger to children are dealt with immediately

    by program officials, parents, and other authorities as appropriate.

    10. Once a person has taken a grievance through all of the steps, the grievance may not be returned to the

    lower level of authority to begin all over again.

    11. The grievance procedure applies to Center Agencies unless an alternate version is developed and

    approved by the Agency and Policy Council.

    12. The hierarchy of authority to resolve parent and/or community grievances is as follows:

    1. Originator (parent or community person) and staff person.

    2. Supervisor.

    3. Center Director.

    4. Center Parent Committee.

    5. Program Director.

    6. Policy Council (or Grievance Committee).

    7. Agency Executive Director.

    8. Agency’s Board of Directors.

     * * *

    This is the sample Grievance Procedure for Head Start Programs, from the Center for Community Futures’ Policies On Diskette package. Page 3 of 5

B. Grievance Procedure RE: Grantee Head Start Agency

    A grievance is a written complaint alleging that an employee of the (Grantee) Head Start Agency is violating Head Start Regulations, that Head Start procedures:

     1. were not followed; or

     2. were administered in a discriminatory (unequal) fashion; or

     3. were administered in an arbitrary and capricious (unfair) fashion.

    Situations may arise that are not covered by any existing policy and/or procedure but seem to merit action; these situations would be addressed in most cases by the development of new policies and procedures.

    1. Before a grievance can be filed by the originator, direct discussion between the originator and staff

    person(s) whom the complaint involves must make more than one attempt to resolve any problem or

    conflict. Each party involved should note the date and time of the informal discussions.

    2. Failing resolution at that level, informal consultation with the originator and with the supervisor of

    the staff person to whom the complaint is directed must take place more than once to resolve such

    complaint. The meeting may include the Head Start Director and/or supervisor(s) if appropriate.

    3. Failing resolution at that level, informal consultation with the Policy Council Grievance Committee

    must take place to resolve the complaint.

    4. Failing resolution at the informal level, the complaint must be prepared in writing and another

    meeting must take place between the originator and the staff person. The Agency Head Start Program

    Manager may facilitate this process.

    5. Failing resolution at that level within five working days, the complaint may be presented in writing to

    the Policy Council Grievance Committee, which has ten working days to review the matter and to

    make a recommendation.

    6. Failing resolution at that level, or if no action is taken within ten working days, the complaint may be

    presented to the Head Start Program Manager who has five working days to hold at least one meeting

    and to make a recommendation.

    7. Failing resolution at that level, or if no action is taken within five working days, the complaint may be

    presented to the Executive Director, who has five working days to hold at least one meeting and to

    make a recommendation.

    8. Failing resolution at that level, the Governing Board can be asked to review the matter. If it is

    determined that the grievance procedure was followed in accordance with this policy, then the

    grievance is closed as far as the Agency is concerned.

9. Failing resolution at the Governing Board, the grievance may proceed to ACYF.

10. The following concepts will be used for the written grievance procedure:

    a. Information is submitted in writing, signed and dated;

    b. No anonymous complaints will be accepted or considered;

    c. Witnesses may be called at the discretion of the parties involved;

    d. Supporting information may be submitted;

    This is the sample Grievance Procedure for Head Start Programs, from the Center for Community Futures’ Policies On Diskette package. Page 4 of 5

    e. The content of all meetings are kept confidential, unless the complainant discusses the

    process with persons outside of the process. In such a case, staff may discuss the issue with

    the same persons.

    f. Mediators or other neutral parties may be asked to assist in resolving differences anytime

    after Operational Procedure #5, above.

    g. Efforts are made to keep the grievance local, involving as few people as possible.

    h. Grievances alleging criminal acts or immediate danger to children are dealt with immediately

    by program officials, parents, and other authorities as appropriate.

    11. Once a person has taken a grievance through all of the steps, the grievance may not be returned to the

    lower level of authority to begin all over again.

* * *

C. Grievance Procedure RE: Grantee/Executive Director.

     The purpose of this procedure is to help solve problems and to resolve differences, not to produce findings of “guilt” or “innocence.” A grievance is a formal, written complaint alleging that the Grantee

    Executive Director is personally violating Head Start Regulations, or that Head Start policies and procedures:

     1. were not followed; or

     2. were administered in a discriminatory (unequal) fashion; or

     3. were administered in an arbitrary and capricious (unfair) fashion.

    Situations may arise that are not covered by any existing policy and/or procedure but seem to merit action; these situations would be addressed in most cases by the development of new policies and procedures.

    1. Before a grievance can be filed by the originator, direct discussion between the originator and the

    Executive Director must make more than one attempt to resolve any problem or conflict. Each party

    involved should note the date and time of the informal discussions.

    2. Failing resolution at that level, informal consultation with the Policy Council Grievance Committee

    must take place to resolve such complaint.

    3. Failing resolution through the informal consultation process, a written grievance is prepared. Within

    five working days, the Executive Director must respond to the written grievance.

    4. If there is no resolution, the County Administrator’s Office or the Grantee Governing Board can be

    asked to review the matter.

5. Failing resolution at the Governing Board, the grievance may proceed to ACYF.

6. The following concepts will be used for the written grievance procedure:

    a. Information is submitted in writing, signed and dated;

    b. No anonymous complaints will be accepted or considered;

    c. Witnesses may be called at the discretion of the parties involved;

    d. Supporting information may be submitted;

    e. The content of all meetings are kept confidential, unless the complainant discusses the

    process with persons outside of the process. In such a case, staff may discuss the issue with

    the same persons.

    f. Mediators or other neutral parties may be asked to assist in resolving differences anytime

    after Operational Procedure #5, above.

    This is the sample Grievance Procedure for Head Start Programs, from the Center for Community Futures’ Policies On Diskette package. Page 5 of 5

    g. Efforts are made to keep the grievance local, involving as few people as possible.

    h. Grievances alleging criminal acts or immediate danger to children are dealt with immediately

    by program officials, parents, and other authorities as appropriate.

    7. Once a person has taken a grievance through all of the steps, the grievance may not be returned to the

    lower level of authority to begin all over again.

Related Regulations: 1301.31 a 7; 1304.50

Related Review Question/s: PDM1D

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