SOFA Procedures for Complaints
Procedure For Complaints of Alleged Discriminatory Acts, Policies or Practices in the Foster Care or Adoption Process That Involve Race, Color or National Origin Pursuant To Chapter 5101:2-33-03
- SOFA will provide a written notice of the procedure for any complaints alleging a discriminatory act, policy or practice involving RCNO in the foster care or adoption process. A copy of this complaint procedure will be provided to any person, applicant, or individuals, within seven days of the applicant’s first contact with SOFA.
- Any person, applicant or individual who believes that SOFA, any other public or private Ohio adoption or foster care agency, or the Ohio Department Job and Family Services have policies or procedures that result in any discriminatory act may file a complaint.
- In addition, any such person including by not limited to an employee or former employee of a PCSA, PCPA, or PNA or a member of a family which has sought to become a foster caregiver or adoptive parent who believes that he or she was intimidated, threatened, coerced, discriminated against or otherwise retaliated against in some way because he or she made a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing in connection with an allegation that SOFA engaged in discriminatory acts, policies, or practices as it applies in the foster care or adoption process may file a complaint.
- The complaint shall be filed within two years from the date of the occurrence or the alleged discriminatory act; or two years from the date upon which the complainant learned or should have known of a discriminatory act, policy or practice. Individuals who may file a complaint include but are not limited to the following:
- A foster or adoptive parent or other member of a foster or adoptive family
- A prospective foster or adoptive parent or other family member
- An employee or former employee of SOFA or of any other Ohio PCSA, PCPA, or PNA
- Individuals who wish to file a complaint must complete the “Discrimination Complaint Form” (JFS 02333). This form may be filed with:
Phillip D. Wurster, SOFA Director
3315 Centennial A-1
Sylvania, Ohio 43560
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Bureau of Civil Rights
30 E. Broad Street, 37th floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0423
Any other PCSA, PCPA or PNA in Ohio
- If the complaint alleging discrimination involving RCNO in the foster care or adoption process and is filed with SOFA’s Director or with any other PCSA, PCPA, or PNA, the Director or other public or private agency must forward the complaint within 3 working days of receipt of the complaint to the Bureau of Civil Rights of ODJFS for investigation.
- ODJFS must complete the investigation within 90 days of receipt of the complaint, unless unusual circumstances prevent it from completing the investigation within that timeframe.
- If SOFA is the subject of the complaint, SOFA shall not initiate, conduct, or run concurrent investigations surrounding the complaint or take any further action regarding the complainant or the subject of the complaint until the issuance of the final investigation report by ODJFS, unless approved by ODJFS.
- SOFA shall cooperate fully with ODJFS during the course of the investigation if SOFA is the subject of the complaint. SOFA shall submit any information requested the by ODJFS not later than fourteen days from the date of the request, unless otherwise agreed upon.
- No person who has filed a complaint alleging a discriminatory act, policy or practice involving RCNO in the adoption process of SOFA, or an employee or former employee, due to the individual making a complaint, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in the investigation of a complaint shall be intimidated, threatened, coerced, or retaliated against by any employee or contractor of SOFA.
- SOFA shall provide a written notice of the procedures for any complaints of discrimination in the adoption or foster care process that involve RCNO within thirty days of the effective date to all individuals who have approved adoptive or foster care homestudies or who are participating in the adoptive homestudy process on the effective date of this rule.
- ODJFS will provide a copy of the investigation report to the complainant and to the agency that is the subject of the complaint.
- No provision of this policy shall prohibit an individual from filing a complaint with the United States department of health and human services (HHS) office for civil rights (OCR) alleging discrimination that involves RCNO in the foster care or adoption process of SOFA or ODJFS.