CLIENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
If you believe that you have been treated unfairly or a mistake has been made about your eligibility for services, you have the right to request a review of the matter by a supervisor and/or the SMILE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICER. This means that you will be given an opportunity to present your side for a review by a person(s) at this agency who will assure that you are treated fairly. Your right to a review applies to any of the following:
1. Any decision by a SMILE Caseworker concerning eligibility or eligibility redetermination for services, or the amount, continuation, termination, or reduction of services.
2. Failure by the SMILE Caseworker to act with reasonable promptness on a request for services.
3. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, and/or disabling condition.
The grievance procedure shall be as follows:
Step 1 You (the client) present the grievance to the SMILE Caseworker's supervisor immediately, or as soon as reasonable possible. The supervisor will review the files, and then present an explanation of the reason for the Caseworker's decision.
Step 2 Should you decide that the reply of the immediate supervisor is unsatisfactory, you will be directed to the Program (Department) Director. The Program Director shall make every effort to resolve the complaint informally within two (2) days of the grievance.
Step 3 Should you decide that the reply of the Program Director is unsatisfactory; the matter is presented to the EO Officer for continued attempts at resolution. If the EO Officer cannot resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you will be invited to participate in an informal conference which will be scheduled within five
(5) days of your contact with the EO Officer or as requested by you. The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for an early resolution of the problem with the least amount of difficulty for you. You shall be advised of your rights to have witness present at the conference (authorized agent) to submit any evidence relevant to establishing the facts and circumstances of the dissatisfaction, to offer evidence or testimony, and to cross examine any witnesses, including agency personnel involved in the dispute.
Step 4 If the conference does not lead to informal resolution of your grievance, the EO Officer will take action to file a request for appeal to the appropriate state and/or federal agencies as may be required by funding agency's regulations.
I certify that I have received a copy of the grievance procedures and aware of my rights and responsibilities as a client.