Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Rights and Responsibilities




Table of Contents


Any individual or his/her representative may file a discrimination complaint with the county, district, or State Office of the Department of Human Services, or with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Complaints may also be filed with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. A complaint may be filed at both the state and the federal levels, separately or concurrently, at any time during the process. The complaint may concern discriminatory practices or actions on the part of DHS. The complaint may also involve practices or actions by other agency related institutions, organizations, contractors, medical care vendors or practitioners that participate in the Families First program by providing aid, care, or services. DHS will investigate each complaint promptly to determine whether or not it is justified and, if justified, what corrective action is appropriate.


Following the receipt of a complaint, the following actions should be taken:


        Instruct the complainant to submit the complaint in writing, preferably on Form HS-2631, Civil Rights Complaint. The complainant, his/her representative or a Title VI Coordinator may complete the form. A verbal complaint may be taken, but must subsequently be recorded on Form HS-2631. Unless a complaint is already being filed at the state or federal level, it is preferable that all complaints be filed initially at the local level within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory act.


If the complainant is not willing to complete the official form, he/she may write a letter setting forth his/her grievance and a staff member will complete the form. If the complainant refuses to file an official written complaint, record the complaint in the eligibility and case management system.


        Record the complaint in the Title VI Complaint Log. List complainant identification and type/status of the complaint.


        Send the original copy of the complaint to the Compliance Officer in Nashville.


Compliance Officer

Citizens Plaza Bldg. - 15th Floor

400 Deaderick Street

Nashville, TN 37243 Bulletin 33, FA-07-14


Include all pertinent information. Give a copy of the complaint to the complainant, and retain one for local files. The local Title VI Coordinator must notify the State Compliance Officer immediately when any complaint is filed.


        Mail a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint within five calendar days of the date that the complaint was received.


        Conduct a fact-finding investigation within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint. The local Title VI Coordinator is responsible for this initial investigation. When the complaint applies to discriminatory actions on the part of contracting agencies, individuals, or institutions from which assistance or service is purchased or secured by the Department, the complainant will be interviewed to secure as much information as possible. The interview will examine the nature of the complaint, the precipitating circumstances, and identify the date the alleged act occurred.


        Report investigation findings to Department management within five days of completion of the investigation. If the report includes a finding of violation of Title VI, include any proposed remedial action in the Initial Investigation of Civil Rights Complaint Form HS-2632.


        Give the written findings to the complainant within five calendar days after the above report is completed. At this time, inform the complainant of his/her right to appeal at the state or federal level if there is disagreement with the investigation findings or the proposed remedial action. Include appeal form and instructions for filing.



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