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Library: Policy

340:75-16-38. Rights of a child in an inpatient behavioral health service facility

Revised 9-15-16

(a) Child's rights.

(1) A child is not subjected to unreasonable silence rules, group punishment for inappropriate individual acts, profanity, verbal abuse, or threats of unnecessary or unauthorized physical force by staff, or "make work"; provided nothing herein prevents a child from performing routine housekeeping tasks or maintenance work directly related to a vocational program, such as specific skill training.

(2) Except in situations that pose a serious threat to a child's life or health, a child has the right to refuse medications.Refused medications cannot be administered unless a court order is obtained authorizing its forcible administration.Necessary medication, prescribed by a physician, may be forcibly administered by staff trained in the administration of medication who are familiar with the child's condition.  • 2

(b) The facility strictly prohibits all forms of corporal punishment, abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment of a child as required by state law and Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) policy.The facility agrees to comply with the terms of DHS policy on maltreatment investigations per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:2-3-32 through 340:2-3-37, and immediately reports as provided in policy any abuse, neglect, or maltreatment of a child to the DHS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

(c) The facility agrees to cooperate in any investigation made pursuant to a report of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, and makes available to the investigator all records pertaining to an incident of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, including personnel records when needed.

(d) The facility operates a system for the resolution of grievances by a child regarding the application of any written or unwritten policy or rule of the facility, or any decision, behavior, or action by the facility, its agents, or employees.The grievance system used by the facility complies with the DHS grievance policy for private and public agencies per OAC  OAC 340:2-3-45 through 340:2-3-47 and 340:2-3-49, and is approved by the Office of Client Advocacy (OCA).The facility submits to OCA, on a monthly basis, a copy of any grievance filed during that month by children who are in DHS custody.

(e) The facility provides, whether on or off-campus, education and training for each child that conforms with the course of instruction approved by the State Board of Education, per Section 11-103 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes (70 O.S. § 11-103).The facility ensures educational opportunities are available that satisfy each child's special educational requirements, per 70 O.S. § 13-101 et seq., and all applicable federal laws.Services are provided or arranged for by the facility for a child who the facility, the school system, or DHS deems is in need of services.  • 3

(f) A child's religious preferences are respected and each child has reasonable opportunity to practice the religion of his or her choice.

(g) The facility allows a child visitation with parents, other family members, and legal guardians, unless otherwise ordered by the court of jurisdiction.In emergencies, based upon demonstrable evidence, the child's physician may disapprove visitation by specific family members and legal guardians.The facility involves the child's assigned child welfare (CW) specialist in the decision to disapprove visitation and in determining the need for subsequent denials.Disapproval of visitation is not extended beyond the next court review of the child's case without a court order.In every instance of disapproved visitation, the facility fully documents the reasons for disapproval and promptly notifies and informs the child's assigned CW specialist of the reasons.The facility maintains a written schedule of reasonable visiting days and hours, a copy of which is provided to each child's parent or legal guardian.The visitation schedule accommodates the special needs of working family members.Attorneys are permitted to visit privately with a child during business hours and at all other reasonable times by arrangement with facility administration.The facility may ask attorneys to verify the existence of an attorney-client relationship.In no case is attorney visitation denied when visitation was requested by the child.A child is permitted reasonable access to an unmonitored telephone to make or receive calls from attorneys, family members, and legal guardians who were not denied visitation by the court or the child's physician.

(h) The facility allows a child to send and receive written correspondence.The facility ensures delivery of incoming mail and posting of outgoing mail within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.Written correspondence is not read or censored, but may be inspected for contraband.When mail is opened for inspection of contraband, it is done by the resident in the presence of facility staff.Correspondence may be denied, based upon demonstrable evidence by the child's physician in specific instances where it is clearly documented the correspondence is from someone whose continued relationship poses, or may pose, a decided detriment to the child's care and treatment.In each case involving the denial of written correspondence, the facility physician fully documents reasons, promptly notifies and informs the child's assigned CW specialist of the reasons.   • 1 The facility actively involves the child's assigned CW specialist in the decision of subsequent denial.In cases where correspondence is denied, the facility promptly returns the correspondence to the sender.

(i) Medications, such as stimulants, tranquilizers, or psychotropics, may be administered only as a part of a program of medically approved therapy, are included in the child's individual plan of care, and are listed in the facility's formulary.Prior to the implementation of the order of such medication, the child's assigned CW specialist and the child are informed of the benefits and hazards of the medication.  • 2 When the child's assigned CW specialist cannot be located, the facility informs the assigned CW specialist's supervisor or district director or his or her designee.The administration or dispensing of such drugs is monitored by a licensed psychiatrist according to accepted medical standards.The use of medication for punishment, experimentation and research, staff convenience, control, or program management is prohibited.


Revised 9-15-16

1. Upon notification of the physician's order to deny the child's correspondence, the child's assigned child welfare specialist notifies the court of jurisdiction and child's attorney.

2 For procedures related to the administration of psychotropic medication, refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-88 Instructions to Staff.

3. For more detailed information regarding education policy refer to OAC 340:75-6-50.

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