Human Rights

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What we do

The Department’s Office of Human Rights, established in 1978, has as its basis the Rules and Regulations to assure the rights of individuals receiving services from providers licensed, funded, or operated by DBHDS.  The Regulations outline the Department’s responsibility for assuring the protection of the rights of consumers in facilities and programs operated funded and licensed by DBHDS.

Title 37.2-400, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, and the Office of Human Rights assure that each consumer has the right to:

  • Retain his legal rights as provided by state and federal law;
  • Receive prompt evaluation and treatment or training about which he is informed insofar as he is capable of understanding;
  • Be treated with dignity as a human being and be free from abuse and neglect;
  • Not be the subject of experimental or investigational research without his prior written and informed consent or that of his authorized representative.
  • Be treated under the least restrictive conditions consistent with his condition and not be subjected to unnecessary physical restraint or isolation;
  • Be allowed to send and receive sealed letter mail;
  • Have access to his medical and mental records and be assured of their confidentiality; 
  • Have the right to an impartial review of violations of the rights assured under section 37.2-400 and the right to access legal counsel; and
  • Be afforded the appropriate opportunities… to participate in the development and implementation of his individualized service plan.

Mission:

The Office of Human Rights assists the Department in fulfilling its legislative mandate under §37.2-400 of the Code of Virginia to assure and protect the legal and human rights of individuals receiving services in facilities or programs operated, licensed or funded by the Department (Regulations to Assure the Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from Providers Licensed, Funded, or Operated By The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services 2017).

The mission of the Office of Human Rights is to monitor compliance with the human rights regulations by promoting the basic precepts of human dignity, advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in our service delivery systems, and managing the DBHDS Human Rights dispute resolution program.


The Office of Human Rights assists the Department in fulfilling its legislative mandate to assure and protect the legal and human rights of individuals receiving services in facilities or programs operated, licensed or funded by the Department. 

Computerized Human Rights Information System (CHRIS) Training

2017 peer to peer reporting guidance

Human Rights Staff Contacts  2017 OHR Staff Directory

File a Complaint
Poster English      Poster Rights Spanish    

Local Human Rights Committees (LHRC)
State Human Rights Committee (SHRC)
How to Get Help  

Guidance for Providers Regarding the Human Rights Policy Review Process

New Providers:

  • The Office of Licensing will  notify you when it is time to contact Human Rights.  They will provide you with the Compliance Verification Form as well as a link to the current human rights regulations.
  • The Provider must develop policies in accordance with the regulations.  When ready, the  Compliance Verification Form, as well as your complaint resolution policies ONLY are to be submitted to the Office of Human Rights, via email to OHRpolicy@dbhds.virginia.gov or regular mail.
  • The Office of Human Rights will notify you of the status of your complaint resolution policy within 5 working days of receipt of this information.  If approved, you will be referred via email to your assigned advocate .  If not approved, guidance for compliance will be provided.
  • Your advocate will  assign you to a Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC). He/she will schedule a visit to your program within 30 days of your initial license to review  all of your human rights policies for compliance and provide training on CHRIS reporting.

For Existing Providers:

  • Service Modifications: Please submit the Compliance Verification Form for Existing Providers to OHRpolicy@dbhds.virginia.gov and notify your current advocate of the modification. If you will  be providing services in a different region, the advocate will connect you with the Regional Advocate in the new region who will then assign you to an LHRC and coordinate with you to conduct any business in that region, as applicable. Please let your current advocate know if you have any questions.  Thank you.

Regulations:

Title12 -Agency35-Chaper115


Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC)

Virginia Code section 37.1-84.3 regulates the appointment of Health Care Providers to the State Human Rights Committee and to Local Human Rights Committees (beginning July 1, 2005). For more information, please see the memorandum

2017 LHRC Bylaws

2017 LHRC Cooperative Agreement

LHRC Training-Full Presentation

Section Specific Modules:

Regional LHRC Information:

LHRC Meetings & Minutes: this site is under construction.  If you are looking for something you cannot find, please contact your regional advocate for assistance. 



State Human Rights Committee

Virginia Code section 37.1-84.3, regulates the appointment of Health Care Providers to the State Human Rights Committee and to Local Human Rights Committees.  More information is available here.

Request for Variances

The State Human Rights Committee considers requests for variances to The Regulations to Assure the Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from Providers Licensed, Funded, or Operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services at its meetings.  Please contact your Regional Advocate for assistance with this process.