2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 10. Children
§10-601.6. Office of Juvenile System Oversight - Powers, duties and authority.
A. The Office of Juvenile System Oversight shall have the responsibility of investigating and reporting misfeasance and malfeasance within the children and youth service system, inquiring into areas of concern, investigating complaints filed with the Office of Juvenile System Oversight, and performing issue-specific systemic monitoring as directed by the Commission on Children and Youth of the children and youth service system to ascertain compliance with established responsibilities.
It shall be the duty of the Office of Juvenile System Oversight to conduct not less than one but not more than two regular, periodic, unannounced inspections of state-operated children's institutions and facilities and to review the reports of the inspections of the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Health and any agencies which accredit such institutions and facilities.
B. The Office of Juvenile System Oversight shall:
1. Have the authority to examine and copy all records and budgets pertaining to the children and youth service system and to interview the residents of such facilities and shall have access to all facilities within the children and youth service system for the purpose of conducting systemic oversight and complaint investigations;
2. Have the authority to subpoena witnesses and hold public hearings;
3. Establish, in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Act, Sections 1801 through 1813 of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes, a voluntary program for foster parents to mediate complaints concerning the rights of foster parents, as provided for in Section 1-9-119 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, that relate to certain actions, inactions or decisions of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, or child-placing agencies that may adversely affect the safety and well-being of children in the custody of the state;
4. Receive any complaint alleging that an employee of the Department of Human Services or a child-placing agency has threatened a foster parent with removal of a child from the foster parent, harassed a foster parent, or refused to place a child in a licensed or certified foster home, or disrupted a child placement as retaliation or discrimination towards a foster parent who has:
a.filed a grievance pursuant to Section 1-9-120 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes,
b.provided information to any state official or Department employee, or
c.testified, assisted, or otherwise participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing against the Department or child-placing agency.
The Office of Juvenile System Oversight shall forward the complaints to the Office of Client Advocacy for investigation pursuant to subsection D of Section 1-9-112 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes. The Office of Juvenile System Oversight shall work with the Office of Client Advocacy to ensure the complaints are investigated and resolved in accordance with the grievance procedures provided in Section 1-9-120 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any complaint by a foster parent regarding the result of a criminal, administrative, or civil proceeding for a violation of any law, rule, or contract provision by that foster parent, or the action taken by the Department or a child-placing agency in conformity with the result of any such proceeding;
5. Issue reports to the Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, any appropriate prosecutorial agency, the director of the agency under consideration, and other persons as necessary and appropriate; and
6. Provide recommendations to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth on or before May 1 of each year.
C. The Office of Juvenile System Oversight shall not release information that would identify a person who makes a complaint to the Office, unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders release of the information for good cause shown.
Added by Laws 1982, c. 312, § 6, operative July 1, 1982. Amended by Laws 1990, c. 288, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1990; Laws 1998, c. 364, § 1, emerg. eff. June 8, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 302, § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 2000; Laws 2006, c. 205, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2006; Laws 2008, c. 293, § 1, emerg. eff. June 2, 2008; Laws 2009, c. 104, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2009; Laws 2014, c. 257, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2014.
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