Client Rights Policy and Grievance Procedure

150 Cross Street
Akron, OH 44311

As a contract agency of the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board through the Ohio Department of Mental Health, people who use or apply for or are treated through our services are protected through a set of rights and procedures through Ohio Administrative Code, 5122-26-18, effective March 1, 2012.

All employees of the agency are familiar with the specific client rights and grievance procedure and can explain the client rights to a person who receives services from this agency, however, there is a specific person called the Client Rights Advocate who oversees the complaint and grievance process. It is that person’s responsibility to accept and oversee the process of any grievance filed by a client or other person or agency on behalf of a client.

At Community Support Services, Inc., the Client Rights Advocate is:

Bruce Winer
640 Wolf Ledges
Akron, OH 44311
Phone: 330.253.9388, ext. 461
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

When an individual is a new client to the agency, they will have their client rights explained to him or her. Those rights will again be examined during the treatment plan yearly review. The rights are also posted in a conspicuous, public area of each building operated by the agency and anyone may request a copy of these rights upon request.

In the case of services that are of an informational, referral, consultation, educational and prevention nature, as described in Chapter 5122-29 of the Administrative Code, persons receiving those services may have a copy and explanation of the client rights policy upon request.

In a crisis or emergency situation, the person using or applying for the services shall be verbally advised of at least the immediate pertinent rights, such as the right to consent to or to refuse the offered treatment and the consequences of that agreement or refusal. Full verbal explanation of the client rights policy may be delayed to a subsequent meeting.

The following definitions may help in understanding the grievance process. These definitions are in addition to or supersede the definitions in rule 5122-24-01 of The Ohio Administrative Code.

Client: An individual applying for or receiving mental health services from a board or mental health agency.

Client Rights Specialist: The individual designated by a mental health agency or board with responsibility for assuring compliance with the client rights and grievance procedure rule as implemented within each agency or board. For these purposes the individual holds the title of Client Rights Advocate.

Contract Agency: A public or private service provider with which a community mental health board enters into a contract for the delivery of mental health services. A board which is itself providing mental health services is subject to the same requirements and standards which are applicable to contract agencies, as specified in rule 5122:2-1-05 of the Administrative Code.

Grievance: A written complaint initiated either verbally or in writing by a client or by any other person or agency on behalf of a client regarding denial or abuse of any client’s rights.

Reasonable: A standard for what is fair and appropriate under usual and ordinary circumstances.

Services: The complete array of professional interventions designed to help a person achieve improvements in mental health such as counseling, individual or group therapy, education, community psychiatric supportive treatment, assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and goal setting, clinical review, psychopharmacology, discharge planning, professionally-led support, etc.

Client Rights Assistant: The individual who receives the first level of complaints from the client at each major location of Community Support Services away from the 150 Cross Street site, e.g., 640 Wolf Ledges (Bruce Winer); Edgerton Group Home (Beverly Saunders), 117 Edgerton Rd.; Maggie Carroll Smith Group Home (Linda Marcinko), 1770 Second Street; Reymann House (Pat Henderson), 403 Canton Rd.


The grievance procedure of Community Support Services, Inc. applies to individuals receiving services as described in the Client Rights Policy. At any point if the griever needs assistance with their grievance, that assistance will be available to them. All staff can assist a person with the filing of a grievance if necessary.

There are a specific set of rights afforded to each person who participates in or applies for services at any contract agency of the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board, through the Ohio Department of Mental Health.


Each client has the following rights as listed in Administrative Rule 5122 29 07 in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(15).

1. All who access mental health services are informed of these rights

a. The right to be informed of the rights described in this rule prior to consent to proceed with services, and the right to request a written copy of these rights.

b. The right to receive information in language and terms appropriate for the person’s understanding.

c. The right to be fully informed of the cost of services.

2. Services are appropriate and respectful of personal liberty

a. The right to be treated with consideration, respect for personal dignity, autonomy and privacy and within the parameters of relevant sections of the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.

b. The right to receive humane services.

c. The right to participate in any appropriate and available service that is consistent with an individual service/treatment plan (ISP), regardless of the refusal of any other service, unless that service is a necessity for clear treatment reasons and requires the person’s participation.

d. The right to reasonable assistance, in the least restrictive setting; and

e. The right to reasonable protection for fiduciary, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, humiliation, inhumane treatment, assault or battery by any other person.

3. Development of Individualized Service Plans (ISP)

a. The right to a current ISP that addresses the needs and responsibilities of an individual that specifies the provision of appropriate and adequate services, as available, either directly or by referral; and

b. The right to actively participate in periodic ISP reviews with the staff including services necessary upon discharge.

4. Declining or Consenting to Services

b. The right to give full informed consent to any service including medication prior to commencement and the right to decline services including medication absent an emergency.

c. The right to be advised of and refuse observation by techniques such as one-way vision mirrors, tape recorders, televisions, movies or photographs, or other audio and visual technology. This right does not prohibit an agency from using close-circuit monitoring to observe seclusion rooms or common areas, which does not include bathrooms: and

d. The right to decline any hazardous procedures.

5. Restraint or Seclusion

The right to be free from restraint or seclusion unless there is imminent risk of physical harm to self or others.

6. The right to reasonable privacy and freedom from excessive intrusion by visitors, guests and non-agency surveyors, contractors, construction crews or others.

7. Confidentiality

a. The right to confidentiality unless a release or exchange of information is authorized and the right to request to restrict treatment information being shared; and

b. The right to be informed of the circumstances under which an agency is authorized or intends to release, or has released, confidential information without written consent for the purposes of continuity of care as permitted by division (A)(7) of section 5122.31 of the Ohio Revised Code.

8. Grievances

The right to have the grievance procedure explained orally and in writing, the right to file a grievance, with assistance if requested; and the right to have a grievance reviewed through a grievance process, including the right to appeal a decision.

9. Non-Discrimination

The right to receive services and participate in activities free of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, color, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, developmental disability, genetic information, human immunodeficiency virus status, or in any manner prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

10. No Reprisal for Exercising Rights

The right to exercise rights without reprisal in any form including the ability to continue services with uncompromised access. No right extends so far as to supersede health and safety considerations.

11. Outside Opinions

The right to have the opportunity to consult with independent specialists or legal counsel at one’s own expense.

12. No Conflicts of Interest

No agency employee may be a person’s guardian or representative if the person is currently receiving services from said facility.

13. Access to Records

The right to have access to one’s own psychiatric, medical or other treatment records, unless access to particular identified items of information is specifically restricted for that individual client for clear treatment reasons in the client’s treatment plan. If access is restricted, the treatment plan shall also include a goal to remove the restriction.

14. Discontinuation of Service

The right to be informed in advance of the reason(s) for discontinuance of service provision, and to be involved in planning for the consequences of that event.

15. Denial of Service

The right to receive an explanation of the reasons for denial of service.


  1. The griever contacts the Client Rights Advocate or any other staff person to assist him or her in writing the grievance. Forms are available in the lobbies of 150 Cross Street and 640 Wolf Ledges and in the Client Rights Assistants’ offices at the Edgerton Group Home (Beverly Saunders), Maggie Carroll Smith Group Home (Linda Marcinko) and Reymann Group Home (Pat Henderson).

    The Client Rights Advocate for Community Support Services, Inc. is:

    Bruce Winer
    640 Wolf Ledges
    Akron, OH 44311
    Phone: 330.253.9388, ext. 461
    Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

    Every effort will be made toward prompt accessibility of the Client Rights Advocate.

  2. With full knowledge of the availability of grievance procedures and client rights, a client may request a staff member, such as his or her counselor or CPST worker, to assist in documentation of an issue of concern.
  3. If the complaint can be managed by the Client Rights Assistant within two (2) working days, the complaint action stops and the client is notified of that resolution.
  4. The Client Rights Advocate receives a copy of all client complaints and their resolutions.
  5. When the complaint is not manageable by the assistant, or the complaint alleges violation of an item included in the Client Rights and Grievance Procedures, a formal grievance is filed with the Client Rights Advocate.
  6. The Client Rights Advocate will attempt to resolve the grievance on behalf of the client, within three (3) working days.
  7. When the Client Rights Advocate, or the client, feels that a further type of intervention is necessary, the Client Rights Advocate and the Program Director of the area being grieved will then investigate the situation and attempt to resolve the grievance within five (5) working days of the filing of the grievance.
  8. At the end of the five (5) day period, the resolution of the grievance must be communicated in writing to the griever, by the Client Rights Advocate.
  9. If the grievance is not resolved satisfactorily, the griever may request that the written grievance be submitted within three (3) working days to the Chief Executive Officer of Community Support Services, Inc.
  10. The Chief Executive Officer, as an impartial observer, will meet with the client in an attempt to resolve the grievance. If the grievance is resolved at this point, the client receives a written copy of the resolution.
  11. If the client is still not satisfied, the Chief Executive Officer will convene a hearing about the complaint. The complainant may request agency or legal representation at this hearing and may bring witnesses. The Chief Executive Officer, or Client Rights Advocate, and either one Client Rights Assistant, the Vice President of Rehabilitation Services or the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board Client Rights Coordinator will comprise the hearing committee. If the complainant is someone other that the client, any client specifically involved in the grievance process must sign a release. At the end of the hearing, the Client Rights Advocate will respond in writing to the client.
  12. At whatever point the grievance is resolved, the Client Rights Advocate will respond in writing to the client about the resolution of the grievance. The final response must occur within twenty (20) working days of the initial filing of the grievance.
  13. At any point in the proceedings, the client may ask to meet with those involved in the resolution of the grievance.
  14. If at any point, the griever is not satisfied, he or she has the option to register a complaint with:


    January 24, 2012

    Client Rights Coordinator
    County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board
    100 W. Cedar St. Suite 300
    Akron, OH 44307
    330-762-3500 or 330-564-4053
    Fax: 330-252-3024
    Ohio Relay: 1-800-750-0750

    Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board
    Riffe Center
    77 S. High St. 16th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Fax: 614-387-1109

    Ohio Legal Rights
    50 W. Broad St., Suite 1400
    Columbus, OH 43215-5923
    1-800-282-9181 (Ohio only)
    Fax: 614-644-1888
    TTY: 614-728-2553
    TTY: 1-800-858-3542

    Ohio Counselor, Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapist Board
    50 W. Broad St. Suite 1075
    Columbus, OH 43215-5919
    Fax: 614-728-7790

    Ohio Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services
    30 W. Spring St. 6th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-2241
    TDD: 614- 644-9140
    Fax: 614-752-8645

    Ohio Medical Board
    30 E. Broad St., 3rd Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-6127
    Fax: 614-728-5946
    Complaint forms: 800-554-7717
    Licensure verification: 800357-7720

    Ohio Department of Mental Health
    Client Advocacy Coordinator

    30 E. Broad St., 8th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-3430
    877-275-6364 (for consumers and families)
    Fax: 614-466-1571
    TTY: 614-752-9696

    Ohio Civil Rights Commission
    Akron Regional Office
    161 S. High St., Suite 205
    Akron, OH 44308-1602
    Toll Free: 1-888-278-7101
    330-643-1488 (TTY)

    Ohio Attorney General’s Office
    Medicaid Fraud Unit
    150 East Gay St., 17th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215
    TTY: 614-466-1393
    Fax: 614-644-9973

    Ohio Board of Psychology
    77 S. High St., Suite 1830
    Columbus, OH 43215-6108
    Fax: 614-728-7081
    Toll Free: 877-779-7446

    Ohio Board of Nursing
    17 S. High St. Suite 400
    Columbus, OH 43215-7410
    Fax: 614-466-0388

    Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA Ohio)
    700 Morse Rd. Suite 220
    Columbus, OH 43214
    Fax: 614-844-5537

    Client Assistance Program for Vocational Rehabilitation
    C/O Ohio Legal Rights
    50 W. Broad St., Suite 1400
    Columbus, OH 43215-5923
    TTY: 614-728-2553
    TTY: 800-858-3542
    Fax: 614-644-1888

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    Cleveland District Office
    A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building

    1240 E. 9th Street, Suite 3001
    Cleveland, OH 44199
    TTY: 800-669-6820
    Fax: 216-522-7395

    Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services

    30 E. Broad St., 32nd Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215

    Office of the Americans With Disabilities
    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

    Civil Rights Division
    Disability Rights Section - NYA
    Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
    ADA Info Line 800-514-0301 (V)
    800-514-0383 (TDD)

    Ohio Governor’s Council on People With Disabilities
    150 E. Campus View Blvd.
    Columbus, OH 43235-4604
    614-438-1393 ext. 1393 (Voice/TTD)
    800-282-4536 Ext. 1393
    Fax: 614-985-8967

    US Department of Health and Human Services
    Office for Civil Rights Regional Office
    233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 240
    Chicago, IL 60601
    TDD: 312-353-5693
    Fax: 312-886-1807

    Ohio Department of Health
    Division of Performance Improvement
    246 N. High St. 7th floor
    Columbus, OH 43215
    FAX: 614-644-8526
    TTY: 614-728-9169

    NAMI Ohio
    747 East Broad St.
    Columbus, OH 43205
    TTY: 614-224-1498
    Toll Free TTY: 866-924-1478
    Fax: 614-224-5400

  15. If the griever contacts one of the outside entities above, all relevant information about the grievance shall be provided, upon request, to one or more of those organizations.
  16. Written copies of the grievance procedure are located in the lobbies of 150 Cross Street and 640 Wolf Ledges, and in the staff offices at Edgerton, Maggie Carroll Smith, and Reymann group homes. A written copy of the grievance procedure is available to anyone upon request by contacting the Client Rights Advocate.
  17. When the Client Rights Advocate is the subject of the grievance, please contact James Roberts, Clinical Team Leader.
  18. Each staff person, including administrative, clerical and support staff has a clearly understood, specified, continuing responsibility to immediately advise any client or any other person who is articulating a concern, complaint or grievance, about the name and availability of the agency’s Client Rights Advocate and the complainant’s right to file a grievance.
  19. The agency Chief Executive Officer shall authorize the Client Rights Advocate to take all necessary steps to assure compliance with the grievance procedure.
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Community Support Services, Inc.
150 Cross Street Akron, Ohio 44311
(330) 253-9388

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