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RULE §350.217Procedures for Investigation and Resolution of Complaints

(a) After receipt of the complaint, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Director of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) will assign a staff person to conduct an individual investigation, on-site if necessary, to make a recommendation to the HHSC Director of ECI for resolution of the complaint. The child's and family's confidentiality is protected during the complaint resolution process.

  (1) The complainant will have the opportunity to submit additional information, either orally or in writing, about the allegations in the complaint.

  (2) All relevant information will be reviewed and an independent determination made as to whether a violation of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act occurred.

(b) The HHSC Director of ECI will resolve the complaint within 60 days of the receipt date.

(c) An extension of the time limit under subsection (b) of this section shall be granted only if exceptional circumstances exist with respect to a particular complaint.

(d) Complainants shall be informed in writing of the final decision of the HHSC Director of ECI. The HHSC Director of ECI's written decision to the complainant will address each allegation in the complaint and contain:

  (1) findings of fact and conclusions; and

  (2) reasons for the final decision.

(e) To ensure effective implementation of the HHSC Director of ECI's final decision and to achieve compliance with any corrective actions, the HHSC Director of ECI will assign a staff person to provide technical assistance and appropriate follow-up to the parties involved in the complaint as necessary.

(f) In resolving a complaint in which there is a finding of failure to provide appropriate services, the HHSC Director of ECI will remediate the denial of those services, including, as appropriate, the awarding of monetary reimbursement or other corrective action appropriate to the needs of the child and the child's family; and appropriate future provision of services for all infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

(g) When a complaint is filed, the HHSC Director of ECI will offer mediation services as an alternative to proceeding with the complaint investigation. Mediation may be used when both parties agree to it. A parent's right to a due process hearing or complaint investigation will not be denied or delayed because the parent chose to participate in mediation. The complaint investigation will continue and be resolved within 60 days even if mediation is used as the resolution process.

(h) If a written complaint is received that is also the subject of a request for an administrative hearing under 40 TAC Chapter 101, Subchapter E, Division 3 (relating to Division for Early Childhood Intervention Services) or a request for a hearing under §350.227 of this chapter (relating to Opportunity for a Hearing) concerning the requirements of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, or contains multiple issues, of which one or more are part of those hearings, the part of the complaint that is being addressed in those hearings is set aside until the conclusion of the hearings. However, any issue in the complaint that is not a part of such action must be resolved within the 60-day timeline using the complaint procedures.

Source Note: The provisions of this §350.217 adopted to be effective September 1, 2011, 36 TexReg 5387; amended to be effective June 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 3356; amended to be effective June 30, 2019, 44 TexReg 3280; transferred effective March 1, 2021, as published in the Texas Register February 5, 2021, 46 TexReg 941; amended to be effective March 17, 2022, 47 TexReg 1277

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