7.1 Children’s Division’s Fair Hearing Process:
The Children’s Division shall provide access to a fair and impartial grievance process to address licensure, case management decisions, and delivery of service issues, 210.566 RSMo. The Fair Hearing process is to be used for the following:
- foster/relative home license status denial, issuance or revocation;
- adoptive home approval or denial;
- foster/adoptive care (FA) license approval, denial or revocation;
- adoption or legal guardianship subsidy.
The Regional Director or Designee will promulgate the formal review of the resource home as outlined in, Guide for Conducting a Review of a Resource Home, Section 6 Chapter 7 Sub-section 7, before implementing the Fair Hearing process.
Level A, Level B, Medical, Large Family Resource Home, Respite, and Level B Respite, are vendor types not licenses. The decisions to deny or revoke are not open for appeal as these are contractual services decisions and not licensure decisions.
The foster home shall be placed on Administrative Hold until the complete grievance process has reached its conclusion with the final decision of the Division Director, and the 90 day time frame the applicant/provider has to file an appeal in their circuit court has expired RSMo 208.100.
Administrative Hold is considered a non-punitive action and is not open for appeal in the fair hearing process.
No close reason of revocation or denial shall be entered in FACES until after:
- The 30 day time frame for the provider to request a Fair Hearing has passed.
- The final Director decision after the Fair Hearing is received.
- The 90 day time frame following the final Director decision that the applicant/provider has to file an appeal in their circuit court.
To deny a license renewal is to act upon a license already in existence, and is considered a revocation.
The Fair Hearing Process involves the following steps:
- The worker will complete the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20. This form provides a standardized format for transmitting recommendations regarding negative licensing action for administrative approval.
- After obtaining all the required administrative approval on the CS-20, the worker will send the foster/relative/adoptive or foster/adoptive care applicant/resource provider the Notification of Resource Adverse Action, CS-20a,using certified mail through the United States Postal Services. The instructions for the CS20-a are located on CD desk top forms. The Application for Fair Hearing, CD-53, and Withdrawal of Request for Fair Hearing, CD-54, will be included in the same mailing as the CS-20a.
- A written request for a Fair Hearing, CD-53, must be received by the Children’s Service Worker, within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the provider/applicant received or refused the written Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action, CS-20a.
- Obtain immediate supervisor’s signature on Application for Fair Hearing, CD-53, indicating agreement with agency position.
- Once the Children’s Service Worker has received a written request from the applicant/resource provider requesting a Fair Hearing, the Children’s Service Worker shall complete the following:
- Advise the Regional Director/Designee of this request;
- Forward the CD-53 to the Division of Legal Services, DLS, Hearings Unit within one (1) working day after the date of the hearing request was received; and
- If legal representation is required by the Division, a Case Referral Form for legal representation shall be sent to the DLS, Litigation Unit.
- Schedule the informal meeting within ten (10) working days of receiving the CD-53.
- The worker must submit a Hearing Packet that includes a copy of the DLS Case Referral Form, the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action, CS-20a, advising applicant/resource provider of adverse action, and three copies of the Application for Fair Hearing, CD-53, to the DLS Hearings Unit, within one (1) working day after the date of the hearing request.
- Allow the applicant/resource provider (or his/her legal counsel or designee) access to foster/adoptive/relative home or foster/adoptive care case record, with the Children’s Service Worker/Supervisor present.
- The Children’s Service Worker shall provide one copy of case record materials that directly relate to licensing/approval status upon request to the applicant/resource provider (or his/her legal counsel or designee).
- Upon receiving a request for a hearing, the worker will attempt to resolve the issues informally with the applicant/resource provider while concurrently preparing for the Fair Hearing. This Informal meeting is scheduled to take place within ten (10) working days of the worker receiving the CD-53 from the applicant/resource provider.
- Participants in the meeting should include the applicant/resource provider, the worker, the worker’s supervisor, Circuit Manager/Designee, and appropriate Regional Director/Designee. The purpose of this meeting is to review information provided by the applicant/resource provider and Division staff to see if the issue can be resolved prior to the Fair Hearing.
- If the issue is resolved as a result of this informal meeting a written request using the Withdrawal of Request for Fair Hearing, CD-54 must be submitted for the Fair Hearing process to cease.
- The CD-54, will be completed when the applicant/resource provider or Children’s Division requests a Fair Hearing withdrawal. This would include when the applicant/resource provider is requesting withdrawal from a previously requested hearing and/or when the Children’s Division determines that information is inadequate to substantiate the agency’s proposed action and the agency wishes to rescind the decision.
- The Children’s Service Worker shall immediately send the completed and signed Withdrawal of Request for Hearing, CD-54, to the DLS Hearings Unit within one (1) working day.
- If the required written request is not received within the required 30 day time frame, proceed with closing the vendor with close reason of revocation. If this was an initial application denial and the written request is not received within the required time frame, select “deny” on the Application screen in FACES.
- If the issue was not resolved at the informal meeting and the applicant/resource parent did not withdrawal their request for a hearing, the worker will confer with the Division’s DLS legal counsel, as necessary, and provide him/her with any information necessary for hearing presentation.
- The worker will appear as a witness at the state hearing and present the basis for recommendation, citing licensing rules and assessment guidelines.
- The hearing officer will submit to the Division Director the proposed decision and order containing all the facts presented at the hearing.
- The DLS Hearings Unit at the Division of Legal Services will issue a copy of the final decision to the applicant/resource provider and Children’s Service Worker. Upon receipt of a notice of a desire to appeal the final decision, the DLS Hearings Unit will furnish the applicant/resource provider or his/her attorney, with the proper form of affidavit for filing the appeal to the circuit court of the county in which he/she resides. The applicant/resource provider has 90 days to file an appeal.
- The worker will wait for 90 days after the notice of the final decision is sent before entering a close reason for the home if the close reason is revocation or denial. The home shall remain on administrative hold during this time period. If no appeal is filed, the worker will proceed to enter the close reason.
- If an appeal is filed timely with the circuit court, no close reason is to be entered until the final decision of the circuit court. The home will remain on Administrative Hold until the final decision is made by the circuit court. If the court upholds the closing of the home, the worker will enter the revocation or denial in the system. If the court reverses the Division’s decision to close the home the home will remain open.
- Record the information regarding the case adverse action in the case record. Complete the Vendor Appeal Screen in FACES.
7.1.1 Homes Developed and or Maintained by Contractors
The Children’s Division is the licensing entity for Missouri resource provider homes. The Children’s Division contracts with private agencies to develop resource homes. The private agency developing and or maintaining a resource home makes one of the following recommendations to the Children’s Division:
- License or approve a home;
- Deny issuance of a license or approval of a home they are developing;
- Revoke a current open license or approval of a resource home they are maintaining.
The Children’s Division makes the determination of the recommendation.