(a)  The area board shall bear ultimate responsibility for the assurance of client rights.

(b)  Each area board shall establish at least one Client Rights Committee, and may require that the governing body of a contract agency also establish a Client Rights Committee.  The area board shall also develop and implement policy which delineates:

(1)           composition, size, and method of appointment of committee membership;

(2)           training and orientation of committee members;

(3)           frequency of meetings, which shall be at least quarterly;

(4)           rules of conduct for meetings and voting procedures to be followed;

(5)           procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of existing and proposed methods and procedures for protecting client rights;

(6)           requirements for routine reports to the area board regarding seclusion, restraint and isolation time out; and

(7)           other operating procedures.

(c)  The area-board-established Client Rights Committee shall oversee, for area-operated services and area-contracted services, implementation of the following client rights protections:

(1)           compliance with G.S. 122C, Article 3;

(2)           compliance with the provisions of 10A NCAC 27C, 27D, 27E, and 27F governing the protection of client rights, and 10A NCAC 26B governing confidentiality;

(3)           establishment of a review procedure for any of the following which may be brought by a client, client advocate, parent, legally responsible person, staff or others:

(A)          client grievances;

(B)          alleged violations of the rights of individuals or groups, including cases of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation;

(C)          concerns regarding the use of restrictive procedures; or

(D)          failure to provide needed services that are available in the area program.

(d)  Nothing herein stated shall be interpreted to preclude or usurp the authority of a county Department of Social Services to conduct an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or the authority of the Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities to conduct investigations regarding alleged violations of client rights.

(e)  If the area board requires a contract agency to establish a Client Rights Committee, that Committee shall carry out the provisions of this Rule for the contract agency.

(f)  Each Client Rights Committee shall be composed of a majority of non‑area board members, with a reasonable effort made to have all applicable disabilities represented, with consumer and family member representation.  Staff who serve on the committee shall not be voting members.

(g)  The Client Rights Committee shall maintain minutes of its meetings and shall file at least an annual report of its activities with the area board.  Clients shall not be identified by name in minutes or in written or oral reports.

(h)  The area board Client Rights Committee shall review grievances regarding incidents which occur within a contract agency after the governing body of the agency has reviewed the incident and has had opportunity to take action.  Incidents of actual or alleged Client Rights violations, the facts of the incident, and the action, if any, made by the contract agency shall be reported to the area director within 30 days of the initial report of the incident, and to the area board within 90 days of the initial report of the incident.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 122C‑64; 143B‑147;

Eff. May 1, 1996.