Ohio's Families and Children Rule Review Site

5101:2-5-11 Complaint handling.

Posted: August 26th, 2020

This rule is no longer open for comment. However, here you can view an archived, read-only version of the rule and any associated comments.

Please note: This rule is in pre-clearance for 14 days to prepare for 5 year review.

(A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply:

(1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency.

(2) A person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate.

(B) Whenever ODJFS receives any report concerning the operation of an agency that alleges child abuse or neglect has occurred or is occurring, ODJFS shall immediately refer the report to the appropriate public children services agency.

(C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, other than an abuse or neglect investigation, ODJFS shall contact the administrator or designee of the agency and explain the nature of the complaint.

(D) An agency shall cooperate with ODJFS in the investigation of any complaint and with the implementation of any required corrective action plans whenever an investigation finds a violation of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code as applicable to the functions performed by the agency.

(E) Upon completion of the investigation of a complaint, ODJFS shall conduct an exit interview with the administrator or designee. The purpose of the exit interview is to inform the administrator of the findings of the investigation. Any areas of noncompliance will be presented in writing on a citation of noncompliance and explained to the administrator or designee during the exit interview. The signature of the administrator or designee on the citation shall signify only that the administrator or designee has received the citation.

(F) No agency shall recommend denial or revocation of a foster home certificate or discharge, demote, suspend, reduce board payments to a foster home, or threaten to recommend denial or revocation of a foster home certificate, discharge, demote, suspend, or in any manner discriminate against any foster caregiver or employee based on the foster caregiver or employee taking any of the following actions:

(1) Making any good-faith oral or written complaint to ODJFS regarding a violation of any Administrative Code rules applicable to the functions performed by the agency.

(2) Instituting or causing to be instituted any proceeding against the agency under this chapter.

(3) Acting as a witness in any proceeding under this chapter.

(4) Refusing to perform work that constitutes a violation of any Administrative Code rule applicable to the agency's certified functions.

(G) If the director of ODJFS determines that a person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate, the director may petition the court of common pleas in the county in which the person or organization is operating without a certificate for an order enjoining the person or organization from operating without a certificate.

(H) If both of the following are the case, the director of ODJFS may petition the court of common pleas of any county in which an agency that holds a certificate issued under rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code is operating for an order to prevent the agency from receiving additional children into the agency's care or an order removing children from the agency's care:

(1) ODJFS has evidence that the life, health, or safety of one or more children in the care of the agency is at imminent risk.

(2) ODJFS has issued a proposed adjudication order pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to deny renewal of or revoke the agency's certificate.


Effective: 07/07/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 04/17/2014 and 07/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5103.03, 5153.16
Rule Amplifies: 5101.24, 5103.02, 5103.03, 5153.16
Prior Effective Dates: 12/30/66, 10/1/86, 7/2/90 (Emer.), 10/1/90, 1/1/91, 9/18/96, 1/1/03, 8/22/05, 8/1/09

0I Approve
5I Agree0I Disagree
A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inve...
Richard Tvaroch
09-07-2020 (3:03pm)
This rule defines how ODJFS investigates alleged rule violations in the facilities that they license and Ohio’s PCSAs. Because of the potential consequences, which could include a loss of public trust and the closing of a facility, ODJFS’ handling of these investigations must be beyond reproach. To this end, this rule should be amended to: • Establish a mandatory time frame for the initiation of these investigations. • Limit the scope of these investigations to the review of issues related solely to the rule(s) the Agency/ facility is alleged to have violated. • Mandate that the required notification of the nature of the complaint be provided in writing and include the date that ODJFS received the complaint, a description of the allegation(s), and a summary of the specific rule(s) that the Agency is alleged to have violated. • Require that any areas of compliance also be presented in writing and explained during the exit interview. Currently, ODJFS is not required to address areas of compliance, only noncompliance. • Establish a mandatory time frame for the completion of these investigations.
Show related text
In regards to: A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply: (1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency. (2) A person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate.
4I Agree0I Disagree
(A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inv...
Tim Schaffner
09-08-2020 (12:02pm)
This rule defines how ODJFS investigates alleged rule violations in the facilities that they license and Ohio’s PCSAs. Because of the potential consequences, which could include a loss of public trust and the closing of a facility, ODJFS’ handling of these investigations must be beyond reproach. To this end, this rule should be amended to: • Establish a mandatory time frame for the initiation of these investigations. • Limit the scope of these investigations to the review of issues related solely to the rule(s) the Agency/ facility is alleged to have violated. • Mandate that the required notification of the nature of the complaint be provided in writing and include the date that ODJFS received the complaint, a description of the allegation(s), and a summary of the specific rule(s) that the Agency is alleged to have violated. • Require that any areas of compliance also be presented in writing and explained during the exit interview. Currently, ODJFS is not required to address areas of compliance, only noncompliance. • Establish a mandatory time frame for the completion of these investigations.
Show related text
In regards to: (A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply: (1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency. (2) A person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate. (B) Whenever ODJFS receives any report concerning the operation of an agency that alleges child abuse or neglect has occurred or is occurring, ODJFS shall immediately refer the report to the appropriate public children services agency. (C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, other than an abuse or neglect investigation, ODJFS shall contact the administrator or designee of the agency and explain the nature of the complaint. (D) An agency shall cooperate with ODJFS in the investigation of any complaint and with the implementation of any required corrective action plans whenever an investigation finds a violation of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code as applicable to the functions performed by the agency. (E) Upon completion of the investigation of a complaint, ODJFS shall conduct an exit interview with the administrator or designee. The purpose of the exit interview is to inform the administrator of the findings of the investigation. Any areas of noncompliance will be presented in writing on a citation of noncompliance and explained to the administrator or designee during the exit interview. The signature of the administrator or designee on the citation shall signify only that the administrator or designee has received the citation. (F) No agency shall recommend denial or revocation of a foster home certificate or discharge, demote, suspend, reduce board payments to a foster home, or threaten to recommend denial or revocation of a foster home certificate, discharge, demote, suspend, or in any manner discriminate against any foster caregiver or employee based on the foster caregiver or employee taking any of the following actions: (1) Making any good-faith oral or written complaint to ODJFS regarding a violation of any Administrative Code rules applicable to the functions performed by the agency. (2) Instituting or causing to be instituted any proceeding against the agency under this chapter. (3) Acting as a witness in any proceeding under this chapter. (4) Refusing to perform work that constitutes a violation of any Administrative Code rule applicable to the agency's certified functions. (G) If the director of ODJFS determines that a person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate, the director may petition the court of common pleas in the county in which the person or organization is operating without a certificate for an order enjoining the person or organization from operating without a certificate. (H) If both of the following are the case, the director of ODJFS may petition the court of common pleas of any county in which an agency that holds a certificate issued under rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code is operating for an order to prevent the agency from receiving additional children into the agency's care or an order removing children from the agency's care: (1) ODJFS has evidence that the life, health, or safety of one or more children in the care of the agency is at imminent risk. (2) ODJFS has issued a proposed adjudication order pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to deny renewal of or revoke the agency's certificate. Effective: 07/07/2014 R.C. 119.032 review dates: 04/17/2014 and 07/01/2019 Promulgated Under: 119.03 Statutory Authority: 5103.03, 5153.16 Rule Amplifies: 5101.24, 5103.02, 5103.03, 5153.16 Prior Effective Dates: 12/30/66, 10/1/86, 7/2/90 (Emer.), 10/1/90, 1/1/91, 9/18/96, 1/1/03, 8/22/05, 8/1/09
4I Agree0I Disagree
(C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, ot...
Shelby Cully
09-08-2020 (9:29pm)
Consider including a requirement that the notice be written and include specific information concerning the allegations against the agency. This serves two purposes. First it acts similar to due process giving the agency an opportunity to understand the allegations/concerns against them. Then the agency can properly and timely attend to the issue. Second this will assist in a timely investigation as the agency would be able to ensure the proper workers were involved and that the State was given the proper documentation for their investigations. in addition, it would be prudent to add a requirement that any new allegation be reported in writing to the agency. This would ensure that if the investigation uncovers new concerns that the agency can also timely address those concerns. If the State does not do this then bad actors or actions may unknowingly continue during the investigations.
Show related text
In regards to: (C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, other than an abuse or neglect investigation, ODJFS shall contact the administrator or designee of the agency and explain the nature of the complaint.
3I Agree0I Disagree
(A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inv...
Shelby Cully
09-08-2020 (9:30pm)
There appears to be some confusion as to whom this rule applies. Here the term used is agency. Under the definition section that would apply to a PCSA, private child placing agency (PCPA) or private non-custodial agency (PNA) certified by ODJFS. Taking that along with 5101:2-5-03 that would mean this section applies only to PCSA, PCPA and PNA which operate children's residential center(s), group home(s), residential parenting facilities or children's crisis care facilities. If this is not an accurate interpretation, then I would suggest adding clarification language as some PCSAs have been informed this applies to all PCSAs.
Show related text
In regards to: (A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply: (1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency.
3I Agree0I Disagree
A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inve...
Mary Wachtel
09-09-2020 (10:35am)
This rule could be strengthened in several ways: by establishing time frames for both the initiation and completion of investigations, and by ensuring that the required notification is communicated in writing and includes key information such as when ODJFS received the complaint, the nature of the allegation, and the rules/ORC that were allegedly violated. We agree that questions regarding the scope of the investigations should be considered and addressed.
Show related text
In regards to: A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply:
3I Agree0I Disagree
(C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, ot...
Marilyn Pape
09-09-2020 (11:19am)
This required notification should be provided in writing and include the date that ODJFS received the complaint, a description of the allegation(s), and a summary of the specific rule(s) that the Agency is alleged to have violated.
Show related text
In regards to: (C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, other than an abuse or neglect investigation, ODJFS shall contact the administrator or designee of the agency and explain the nature of the complaint.
3I Agree0I Disagree
(E) Upon completion of the investigation of a complaint, ODJFS shall conduc...
Marilyn Pape
09-09-2020 (11:21am)
It should also be required that any areas of compliance also be presented in writing and explained during the exit interview. Currently, ODJFS is not required to address areas of compliance, only noncompliance.
Show related text
In regards to: (E) Upon completion of the investigation of a complaint, ODJFS shall conduct an exit interview with the administrator or designee. The purpose of the exit interview is to inform the administrator of the findings of the investigation. Any areas of noncompliance will be presented in writing on a citation of noncompliance and explained to the administrator or designee during the exit interview. The signature of the administrator or designee on the citation shall signify only that the administrator or designee has received the citation.
2I Agree0I Disagree
(A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inv...
Marilyn Pape
09-09-2020 (11:25am)
Time frames for both the initiation and completion of these investigations should be established.
Show related text
In regards to: (A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply: (1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency. (2) A person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate.
3I Agree0I Disagree
(A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an inv...
Marilyn Pape
09-09-2020 (11:31am)
The scope of these investigations should be limited to the review of rule(s) the Agency/ facility is alleged to have violated. No more meandering investigations.
Show related text
In regards to: (A) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) may begin an investigation if either of the following apply: (1) ODJFS has knowledge of rule noncompliance or receives a complaint alleging that an agency is in violation of any of the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-5, 5101:2-7, 5101:2-9, 5101:2-33, 5101:2-39, 5101:2-42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2-47, 5101:2-48, 5101:2-52 or 5101:2-53 of the Administrative Code relative to the functions performed by the agency. (2) A person or organization is operating a function that requires certification pursuant to rule 5101:2-5-03 of the Administrative Code without a certificate.
2I Agree0I Disagree
(C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, ot...
Tina Rutherford
09-09-2020 (3:13pm)
Suggested Language for section "C" to ensure clarity and transparency: C (1): The explanation of the nature of the complaint shall be a written summary that includes, at a minimum, the following: C (1) (a): The date that ODJFS received the complaint. C (1) (b): A list of the rule(s) that the agency is alleged to have violated.
Show related text
In regards to: (C) At the commencement of a site investigation by ODJFS of a complaint, other than an abuse or neglect investigation, ODJFS shall contact the administrator or designee of the agency and explain the nature of the complaint.