CLIENT RIGHTS The following policy establishes Client Rights at The Hills Youth and Family Services. These rights are basic to quality childcare and cannot be altered or suspended by staff. Clients and parents/guardians should be acquainted with what to expect from the staff and program at The Hills.
- EQUAL TREATMENT Right: Clients have the right not to be discriminated against because of age, race, gender, language, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or physical or other disabilities. Discussion: The law requires that all citizens be treated equally and not discriminated against because of their status. This does not mean that programmatic decisions cannot be based on the particular needs of the individual.
2. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Right: Clients have the right to participate in religious activities of their choice, subject to the availability of such activities. Woodland Hills shall not compel clients to participate in any religious activity. Discussion: The Hills will make a reasonable effort to provide various guest ministers, priests and other religious leaders to attend to the clients.
3. PERSONAL POSSESSIONS Right: Clients have the right to keep and use personal possessions so long as these possessions do not endanger the safety of staff and clients, disrupt programs and activities, encourage deviant values or appeal to the vulnerability of clients (i.e. weapons and drugs). Personal items are allowed only as defined by the Inventory Intake List. Discussion: Electronics such as: tablets, cellphones, televisions, and iPods are not allowed. Bicycles, jewelry, musical instruments and other large, expensive or potentially disruptive items may be restricted based on considerations of facility safety or order. Upon intake all personal items will be searched to insure safety and security.
4. CONTROL OF CONTRABAND/SEARCHES Right: During searches the privacy rights of clients are maintained within program guidelines. Discussion: If contraband is suspected of entering the facility, it is The Hills’ policy to conduct searches of clients and program areas.
5. MAIL AND TELEPHONE Right: Clients have the right to correspond freely through the mail. Staff may not read incoming or outgoing mail, but may open mail in the client’s presence to inspect it for contraband. (This includes packages and other bulk items received by the client.) Exception: If mail is received from another correctional facility, the client and staff will review the mail together. This mutual review will occur as the mail may put the client in a vulnerable position by people that don’t have their best interest at heart. 4321 Allendale Avenue Duluth MN, 55803 – 218-728-7500 (phone) – 218-728-7501 (fax) – email. Discussion: Staff will deliver mail. Clients will be provided access to a telephone as described in the Woodland Hills policy and procedure manual on telephone use. Client telephone days are twice a week at allotted times or as deemed necessary by the Case Manager.
6. ACCESS TO ATTORNEYS Right: Clients have the right to confer with an attorney in private. Discussion: It is permissible to require visitors who assert that they are attorneys to produce some evidence of the fact, such as a State Bar Membership Card
7. ACCESS TO COURTS Right: Clients have the right to request a court review. Discussion: Clients may request a court review from their referring agent.
8. FREEDOM FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OR REVIEW Right: Clients shall not be required to make public statements of gratitude to the program or be required to perform or appear at public gatherings. Also, unless a client and his/her parents (or legal guardians) give their written consent, The Hills shall not publicly use reports or pictures in which the client can be identified. Discussion: On occasion, the media and/or The Hills seek to highlight significant events that occur in the lives of our clients. Clients may only participate in these media or public speaking opportunities if their parent/guardian has given consent. The client always has the choice to participate or not.
9. CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS Right: Clients have the right to expect that their records will not be released to anyone other than: The Hills treatment staff, to include contracted professionals; the juvenile court and probation department; the client’s attorney; other persons found by the juvenile court to have a legitimate interest in the records; and parents (by written consent). Discussion: Confidentiality of records is critical. Any information, which could, directly or indirectly, identify an individual as a Hills client, should be disclosed only to authorized persons or agencies. The Hills’ staff are expected to follow the Minnesota Data Privacy Act and HIPAA regulations
10. MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE Right: Clients have the right to basic and necessary medical and dental care, both routine and emergency. Discussion: The Hills’ RN is on site five days a week to provide sick care. Emergency care will be provided by Essentia Health Care Systems. Dental care is provided on an as-needed basis. When the nurse is not available, medical care is provided at Essentia health, West Duluth or the Emergency Room/ Urgent Care at Essentia Health Care Systems. After business hours, medical concerns are addressed by Woodland Hills’ RN. If the RN is unavailable, services are provided by the Essentia Health Nurse online, Urgent Care or the Emergency Room.
11. PROTECTION FROM PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM Right: Clients have the right to be protected from physical and psychological harm. They have the right to adequate food, clothing and shelter, and shall not be deprived of these in the interest of treatment or discipline. Clients shall not be administered tranquilizers and other drugs in the interest of treatment, discipline or order. Repetitive, purposeless, 4321 Allendale Avenue Duluth MN, 55803 – 218-728-7500 (phone) – 218-728-7501 (fax) – email degrading work is prohibited. Clients have the right to be free from abuse, neglect, inhumane treatment and sexual exploitation. Discussion: Every Hills staff member has an affirmative obligation to take every reasonable precaution to protect youth from harm. This includes proper supervision, adhering to safety procedures, following health precautions, abiding by licensing standards, PREA standards, and accreditation standards.
12. VISITORS Right: Clients have the right to receive visitors, limited only by considerations of facility security and order. Clients have a corresponding right to refuse to receive visitors. They have a right to reasonable communication and visitation with adults outside the facility (which may include a parent, extended family member, sibling, a legal guardian, a case worker, an attorney, a therapist, a physician, a religious advisor, or a case manager in accordance with their visitation plan). Discussion: The Hills may place reasonable restrictions on the number of visitors and time and place of visits as necessary to ensure the safe and orderly operation of the program. Limitations on the right to receive visitors shall not be imposed for disciplinary reasons. Visitors who are disorderly, intoxicated or create disturbances may be prohibited from visiting or asked to leave the premises.
13. REASONABLE OBSERVANCE OF CULTURAL AND ETHNIC PRACTICE Right: Clients have the right to reasonable participation and observance of cultural and ethnic practices. Discussion: The Hills will make reasonable effort to provide cultural activities to clients and allow client participation in cultural/ethnic activities in the community.
14. PUBLIC EDUCATION Right: Clients have the right to an education. Discussion: The Hills partners with ISD #709 to provide educational services to The Hills’ youth. When appropriate, clients may attend school in the Duluth community. This is determined by education and treatment staff in conjunction with referring agents and parents/guardians.
15. HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT Right: Clients have the right to a healthy environment based on respect. Discussion: The Hills’ clients have the right to positive and proactive adult guidance, support and supervision. They have the right to courteous and respectful treatment. They have the right to be free from restraint or seclusion except when they are in imminent danger to hurt self or others. Clients also have the right to a reasonable degree of privacy as allowed by the facility. They have the right to daily showering and the use of culturally appropriate hygiene products. They have the right to nutritious and sufficient meals and sufficient clothing and housing. They have the right to live in clean, safe surroundings.
16. TREATMENT PLANNING Right: Clients have the right to participate in the development of their treatment, case or educational plans. Discussion: Clients are involved in the development of their treatment plans, case plans and educational plans. Parents/guardians and referring agents are also involved in these plans. 4321 Allendale Avenue Duluth MN, 55803 – 218-728-7500 (phone) – 218-728-7501 (fax) – email.
17. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE (CLIENT) Right: The Hills’ clients have the right to a grievance plan. If a client has a complaint, suggestion, or wants to express a concern about any aspect of his/her care during their stay in the facility, he/she will put the issue of grievance in writing. Staff will not attempt to influence a client’s statements about the facility in the grievance or during the investigation resulting from the grievance. Grievance forms will be provided to the client who wants to file a grievance. Clients can turn the grievance in to staff or place it in a locked box located throughout the buildings. Clients can expect a hearing and a response within five business days. The Program Directors will hear the issue of grievance, unless he or she is the one being grieved upon. In that case, the Director of Regulatory Compliance will be the hearing officer. If the issue is not resolved, then another administrator will hear the issue. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at this level, the client may contact their referring agent for further recourse.
18. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE (PARENT/GUARDIAN) Right: Parents or guardians of clients have a right to a grievance plan. Grievance Plan: If a parent/guardian or legal representative of a client at The Hills would like to make a formal complaint or suggestion, or express a concern about a client’s care, they may file a grievance. The grievance should be put in writing and addressed to the appropriate Program Director. The Program Director(s) will investigate the grievance and respond to the party that filed it within five (5) working days. If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the parent/guardian or legal representative, the decision may be appealed to the Director of Regulatory Compliance or the Director of Equity. He/she will conduct their own investigation and results of that investigation given to the concerned party within five (5) working days.