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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.
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.How to Get Help
Guidance for Providers Regarding the Human Rights Policy Review Process
- 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.
- 2021 Statewide Training Schedule [docx]
- COVID Vaccine Guidance Memo dated 2/10/21 [docx]
- Annual Seclusion and Restraint Reporting Memo 12/1/2020.
- 2020 Statewide Training Schedule [docx]
Human Rights Regulations (2017)
Abuse and Neglect Investigations
Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC)
- LHRC review request Next Friend
- LHRC review request form - Restrictions 5/6/2020
- LHRC review request form-Human Research
- LHRC review request form BTP
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
Section Specific Modules:
- Authorized Representatives
- Behavioral Treatment Plans
- Complaint and Hearing Process
- LHRC Composition and Responsibilities
- Restrictions on Freedom of Everyday Life
Regional LHRC Information:Meeting dates and locations are subject to change in response to COVID-19. Please contact your Regional Advocate with questions.
- LHRC 2020 Meeting Dates Region 1
- LHRC 2020 Meeting Dates Region 2
- LHRC 2020 Meeting Dates Region 3
- LHRC 2020 Meeting Dates Region 4
- LHRC 2020 Meeting Dates Region 5
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.
- SHRC By-Laws
- Directory SHRC
- 2018 SHRC Meeting Schedule
- 2019 SHRC Meeting Schedule
- 2020 SHRC Meeting Schedule
- Minutes (Draft) July 13, 2018
- Minutes SHRC June 15,2018
- Minutes SHRC April 20,2018
- Minutes SHRC March 10,2018
- Minutes SHRC January 26,2018
- Minutes (Draft) June 9, 2017
- Minutes SHRC April 21 2017
- Minutes SHRC March 10, 2017
- Minutes SHRC January 27, 2017
- Minutes can be found at
- SHRC Minutes 12 11 2015
- SHRC DRAFT Minutes 12 11 2015
- SHRC Minutes 10 22 23 2015
- SHRC Minutes 09 11 2015
- SHRC Minutes 12 11 12 2014
- SHRC Minutes 10-24-14
- July 2014
- June 2014
- January 14
- March 7
- April 18
- September 12
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.