CSTC Parents/Legal Guardian Grievances

Parents/legal guardians are informed at the child’s admission of their right to report problems (complaints) and grievances, have them investigated, and resolved promptly.  CSTC staff also provides contact information to parents/legal guardians who choose to report their grievance to an outside authority.


The opinions and any dissatisfaction expressed by parents/legal guardians will be treated with respect by all staff.  The decision of a parent/legal guardian to file a complaint or grievance will not interfere with the provision of quality care for a patient.


Policy 508 Under Patient Rights & Confidentiality
This policy provides the formal process for parents/legal guardians of patients at CSTC to resolve concerns and/or complaints.  CSTC will ensure opportunities parents/legal guardians to have input regarding the care provided and encourages parents/legal guardians to resolve concerns and or complaints informally whenever possible.


Parents/legal guardians are encouraged to discuss and resolve concerns and complaints with the Program Director.  The Program Director will attempt to resolve the issue or provide information regarding the appropriate authority to address the complaint.  Parents/legal guardians may also contact CSTC's CEO Office for assistance.  On some occasions, parents/legal guardians may feel the informal process is inadequate, or may have a concern or complaint of a more serious nature.  Should a parent/legal guardian wish to file a formal grievance, the following procedure should take place:


  1. If the complaint cannot be resolved through the response of the Program Director, the parent/guardian may complete a formal Parent/Legal; Guardian Grievance Form.
  2. The Grievance Form may be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer - CEO Office or designee. The CEO or designee will contact the parent /legal guardian within three days of receiving the complaint to clarify the issue and discuss possible resolutions. 
  3. Within 10 days, following a review of the issue, a written response will be sent to the grievant.  The response will include a summary of the investigation, the initial disposition of the grievance, and a statement that, if the grievant is dissatisfied with the decision, an appeal may be made.
  4. All written responses to the grievant will include a signature line for the grievant to state his/her satisfaction with, or desire to appeal, the resolution of the grievance.  If the grievant does not indicate an intention to appeal within 20 days of the date of the written response, CSTC will consider the matter resolved.
  5. If the grievant chooses to appeal the decision, the CEO or designee will facilitate accessibility to the Mental Health Division Director.
  6. Within 14 days, the Mental Health Division Director will provide the grievant with a written response.
  7. If the grievant chooses to appeal the decision, the CSTC CEO or designee or the Mental Health Division Director will assist the grievant to access the DSHS Fair Hearings Process.
  8. A parent/legal guardian may choose to bypass the procedure for investigating and resolving grievances. The following is a list of some outside authorities that may be contacted:
  • BHO ombudsman for their region,
  • Guardian ad Litem for their child,
  • Child Protective Services for Pierce County,
  • Disability Rights of Washington,
  • The Joint Commission


2.1. CSTC will promptly assist family members/guardians to initiate a grievance, providing them with a copy of the hospital’s grievance procedure.

2.2. The grievant may choose a person to support them through the grievance process.  This support person could include the Parent Advocate, BHO representative, other family member, other advocate or personal support person.

2.3. Grievances must be put in writing, dated and signed by the grievant.  If a grievance is submitted orally, a staff member will assist the grievant in preparing a written statement.

2.4. A staff person will not participate in accepting, investigating or deciding any grievance in which they are the object of the grievance.