Civil Rights Dissemination of Information and Applicant/Recipient Case Record Documentation
The Civil Rights Dissemination of Information And Applicant/Recipient Case Record Documentation section includes the following information:
State and Federal laws were enacted to ensure that no individual(s) shall be excluded from participation, be denied, or be subjected to discrimination, in public assistance and social service programs, because of:
· National origin,
· Political affiliation,
· Marital status,
· Ethnic group identification,
· Sexual Orientation or
· Domestic Partnership
These bases of discrimination are also referred to as “protected groups” or “protected classes”. If a complainant identifies him or herself as sharing a characteristic of one of these groups, they are considered a “member of a protected group or class”. For complaint processing purposes, a complainant does not need to validate or prove their “membership” in one of these classes.
To ensure compliance with these laws, certain policies and procedures relating to civil rights were developed and are described in this chapter.
It is the policy of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to ensure that all persons receive equal access and participation in all available assistance and service programs, and that these services are provided free of charge and without undue delay. HHSA’s policy reflects the commitment to prohibit discrimination based on the above. HHSA must inform all applicants and recipients of their civil rights. This policy also extends to any HHSA contractor, subcontractor or vendor providing services to HHSA applicants and/or recipients.
All HHSA programs, including those administered by Family Resource Centers (FRC) and sites contracted to provide Employment services, have an on-site Civil Rights Liaison (CRL).
The CRL receives regular training relevant to Civil Rights issues and responsibilities. The CRL is also provided with a Civil Rights Liaison Handbook which contains material necessary to effectively handle civil rights complaints, issues, questions, and services.
Duties of the CRL include:
· Attending quarterly meetings with the Civil Rights Coordinator (CRC), and
· Working closely with the CRC to ensure compliance with Civil Rights Regulations, and
· Contacting the HHSA CRC, as needed, for assistance with any Civil Rights matters.
All HHSA programs, including those administered by Family Resource Centers (FRC) and sites contracted to provide Employment services, must prominently display the following posters, which provide information on discrimination, in all reception areas:
· “Equal Under the Law” (CDSS Publication 86)
O Must include name and telephone number of both Civil Rights Coordinator and assigned Civil Rights Liaison; and
· “And Justice for All” (USDA Form AD-475B)
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Publication 13, titled “Your Rights Under California Welfare Programs”, must be available in all lobbies and reception areas. FRCs must also distribute this publication at:
· Intake with informational intake packet; and
· Annual redetermination with renewal packet
CDSS Publication 13 must also be available to clients in alternate formats such as in cassette tape, CD, large print and Braille. Each CRL can assist the client(s) in obtaining the pamphlet material in alternate forms if requested.
In addition to English, the CDSS Publication 13 is currently available in the following translated languages:
Publication 13 - Large Print is available in English and Spanish only.
Publication 13 may be
O Accessed directly from the CDSS website at:
O Ordered free of charge from the CDSS warehouse by following the instructions explained in County Forms Catalog, PUB 69 using form GEN 727B (04/99) - County Forms Order, with Instructions.
Note: All versions of the Publication 13 must be made available to clients in the lobby of the office they are requesting/receiving services from. In addition, the following must be in the reception area at all times:
O Large Print Publication 13 – English and Spanish
O Alternate Formats of Publication 13:
§ Braille – Must be kept at front desk with reception staff
§ CD version
O English, Spanish and applicable 5% languages
O Must be kept at front desk with reception staff
Reception staff must be aware of the availability of these items at all times and provide to clients as needed/requested.
Applicants/recipients who require communication in languages other than English must be provided with forms and notices in their primary language, whenever possible. Clients must be notified that language services (either oral or written communication) are available and provided free of charge. If material must be explained to the client or translated into the client’s primary language, the specific method used to communicate with the client in their primary language must be clearly documented in CalWIN case comments.
The HHSA Language Identification Chart (LIC) lists commonly encountered languages grouped by specific geographic regions of the world. The LIC is intended to help all staff serving applicants/recipients in HHSA programs identify the language of clients whose primary language is other than English. The LIC must be made available in the reception area of all lobbies where clients are requesting/receiving HHSA services.
If staff is unable to determine the primary language of a non-English speaking applicant/recipient, staff will show the LIC to the non-English speaker who will then point to his or her language, which also indicates that an interpreter will be called.
Example of what the message underneath each language says:
Point to your language.
An Interpreter will be called.
If interpreter services are required, staff will consult the on-site CRL who will locate an HHSA approved interpreter. The CRL can contact the HHSA CRC to assist in providing interpreter references, if necessary.
All contacts with an applicant/recipient must be documented in CalWIN case comments. Case comments must be entered to document how the applicant/recipient’s language interpretation needs were met, including client’s acceptance or denial of language services. Bilingual staff must specify in case comments that they used their bilingual skills to meet the language needs of non-English speaking applicant/recipients.
Example of appropriate documentation entries in CalWIN case comments:
The documentation entry does not require a lengthy detailed narrative. It can consist of short phrases such as:
· “client prefers Spanish for written and oral communications”
· “conducted in Farsi by MSW Jones #456”
· “client offered free interpretive services/accepted”
In addition, when staff accepts as case verification written documentation that is not written in English, they must provide a description/narration of what the non-English statement and/or document contains in case comments. This description/narration in case comments must clearly specify the content of the specific statement/document.
Significant Client Contact
Substantive/significant contacts are defined as contacts in which any of the following are discussed:
· rights or
The setting of appointments is a substantive contact. Non-substantive contacts are matters such as asking directions, greetings, etc.
Once staff has been informed that the client wants an interpreter, an interpreter must be offered and provided at each substantive client contact. Staff shall not conduct substantive program-related conversations with the client until qualified interpretive services are available. This would include any public contact staff, whether in person or on the phone, who has a substantive contact with the client.
Documentation regarding substantive and/or significant contacts must include the:
· Name of the worker providing the services,
· Language in which the services were provided, and
· Nature of the information provided.
Consent form 20-49 HHSA “Civil Rights-Interpreters” must be obtained from the applicant/recipient when individuals other than HHSA employees or HHSA approved interpretation vendors are used as interpreters. Interpreters in this capacity are chosen and provided by the applicant/recipient to provide interpretation.
In addition to the applicant/recipient, the chosen interpreter must sign and date the form acknowledging his/her confidentiality. This must be documented in case comments for the case record and form 20-49 HHSA must be filed into the paper or electronic case file, as appropriate.
Reminder: The 20-49 is not required for any interpreters provided by HHSA, which would include HHSA bilingual staff as well as HHSA approved interpretation vendors.
Upon obtaining information that identifies an applicant/recipient as having a disability requiring auxiliary aids, staff must enter case comments regarding the request and actions taken to accommodate the client(s).
The following table provides an overview of the required case documentation and timeframes related to interpretive services offered to Limited English Proficient (LEP) clients: