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«Section I: Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Policy Mississippi, DFCS Policy Section I 3-25-14 LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP) I. LIMITED ENGLISH ...»

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E. Use of Family and Friends as Interpreters Some LEP persons may prefer or request to use a family member or friend as an interpreter. However, family members or friends of the LEP person will not be used as interpreters unless specifically requested by that individual and after the LEP person has understood that an offer of an interpreter at no charge to the person has been made by the facility. Such an offer and the response will be documented in the person’s file. If the LEP person chooses to use a family member or friend as an interpreter, issues of competency of interpretation, confidentiality, privacy, and conflict of interest will be considered. If the family member or friend is not competent or appropriate for any of these reasons, an MDHS-DFCS bilingual staff member will assure that competent interpreter services will be provided to the LEP person.

No minor or alleged perpetrator of the abuse and neglect will be used to interpret, if the family member or friend is not competent or appropriate under the circumstances, MDHS-DFCS shall provide interpreter services in place of or, if appropriate, in addition to the person selected by the LEP individual in order to ensure confidentiality of information and accurate communication.

F. Providing Written Translations

1. When translation of vital documents is needed, those documents will be submitted for translation to the Interpreter Program Supervisor at the DFCS state office who will then have them translated into frequently-encountered languages. Original documents being submitted for translation will be in final, approved form with updated and accurate legal information.

2. MDHS-DFCS will set benchmarks for translation of vital documents into additional languages over time.

G. Timely, Competent Language Assistance

The Mississippi Centralized Intake Unit (MCI) shall utilize their on call list of interpreters in order to assist LEP persons who need to make a report of abuse or neglect to MDHS-DFCS. Once the report is taken the MCI worker shall document in the report summary if the client is LEP and that interpreter services will be needed. The area social work supervisor and county worker shall then refer to the interpreter assigned to their region for further assistance.

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contact information, languages for which each interpreter is qualified, regions each interpreter is responsible for, and hours of availability.

H. Language Assistance Standards MDHS-DFCS shall require that MDHS-DFCS staff interpreters and translators, bilingual/multilingual staff, interpreters from community organizations and contractors providing language assistance services, including interpretation and translation, are capable of competently performing their duties. Competency of language assistance service providers may be established by a variety of means including self-attestation of the interpreter after having reviewed the interpreter competency standards. Whether selfattestation or another means is used to establish competency, MDHS-DFCS shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the individuals providing the interpretation and translation are capable of facilitating effective communication between LEP persons and MDHSDFCS.

MDHS-DFCS shall require that all applicable sub-recipients and contractors/volunteers are informed of the LEP requirements. MDHS-DFCS shall further ensure that contractors/volunteers who provide services directly to clients and applicants on behalf of MDHS-DFCS complete an individualized assessment corresponding to the requirements herein, including, but not limited to, the provision of language assistance services, training for staff, and complaint procedures. MDHS-DFCS shall provide information to and oversee the applicable sub-recipients and contractors as necessary to monitor compliance with these requirements.

Standards for interpreter competency shall include the following:

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I. Monitoring Language Needs and Implementation On an ongoing basis, MDHS-DFCS will assess changes in demographics, types of services or other needs that may require reevaluation of this policy and its procedures. In addition, MDHS-DFCS will regularly assess the efficacy of these procedures, including but not limited to mechanisms for securing interpreter services, equipment used for the delivery of language assistance, complaints filed by LEP persons, feedback from community organizations, etc.

J. Complaint Procedures

Information is available to a client regarding complaint procedures. The forms are available in each county office and the DFCS Connection Website at http://dfcsmacweb/DFCSWEB/ and the MDHS Website at http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/.

All questions and complaints will be forwarded to the MDHS-DFCS Language Assistance Coordinator at the DFCS state office for review and response. See Appendix B English and Appendix C Spanish.

K. Prohibition Against Retaliation and Intimidation MDHS-DFCS shall not retaliate, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any person who has filed a complaint, assisted, or participated in any manner in the investigation of matters addressed in this policy.

L. Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy MDHS-DFCS prohibits discrimination and/or the exclusion of individuals from its facilities, programs, activities and services based on the individual person’s race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or inability to speak English. A notice of MDHS-DFCS non-discrimination policy will be posted in each county office.

M. Monitoring

To ensure effective language assistance and access to services, the MDHS-DFCS language assistance coordinator shall monitor the provision of language assistance services to LEP individuals. The monitoring program shall include site visits to offices that shall either be randomly selected or shall target offices which produce a Mississippi, DFCS Policy Section I 3-25-14



disproportionate number of complaints about the adequacy of language services. The site visits will determine whether language assistance services are provided to LEP persons when they visit MDHS-DFCS offices or contact an office by telephone.

These site visits shall include:

1. Unannounced site visits conducted every six (6) months; and

2. Review LEP individuals’ case records to assess whether primary languages are properly recorded in all case records and whether such persons are provided adequate language assistance services;

3. Assess MDHS-DFCS staff and contractors’ knowledge about MDHS-DFCS’ language assistance policies and procedure;

4. Review the accuracy of the list(s) containing the availability of bilingual staff, interpreter, and other resources;

5. Request feedback from LEP individuals and advocates;

6. Review the posting of signs in the offices;

On a statewide basis, the monitoring plan shall include:

7. Review complaints filed by LEP individuals to determine adequacy of language assistance services;

8. Review the development and distribution of translated MDHS-DFCS documents.

N. MDHS-DFCS Sub-Recipients and Contractors MDHS-DFCS shall require that all applicable sub-recipients and contractors are informed of the LEP requirements and shall further ensure that contractors who provide services directly to applicants and participants on behalf of MDHS-DFCS complete an individualized assessment and implement a written policy corresponding to the requirements herein, including, but not limited to, the provision of language assistance services, training for staff, and complaint procedures. MDHS-DFCS shall provide information to and oversee the applicable sub-recipients and contractors as necessary to monitor compliance with these requirements.

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O. MDHS-DFCS Internal Data Collection MDHS-DFCS shall maintain a centralized record-keeping system that facilitates coordination between MDHS-DFCS programs, divisions, branches, and units and assures the ready availability of data regarding the provision of language assistance services to LEP individuals.

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IV. APPENDICES Appendix A – I Speak Cards Appendix B – Complaint Form-English Appendix C – Complaint Form-Spanish

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Hello, my name is _________________________________

I speak limited English. I need competent language assistance in Spanish to have full and effective access to your programs.

Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, public agencies are obligated to provide competent language assistance to limited-English-proficient individuals. Social and health service agencies may call HHS Office for Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019 for more information. Food Stamp and WIC agencies may call USDA Office of Civil Rights at 1-888-271-5983. All other agencies may call U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, at 1-888-848-5306.

Hola, mi nombre es ____________________________

Hablo muy poco inglés. Necesito ayuda en español para poder tener acceso completo y efectivo a sus programas.

Bajo el Titulo VI del Decreto de Derechos Civiles de 1964, las oficinas públicas están obligadas a proporcionar ayuda competente, en su propio idioma, a las personas con limitaciones en el inglés, Para más información, las oficinas de servicios sociales y de salud pueden llamar a la Oficina de Derechos Civiles del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHH) al l-800-368-1019. Las oficinas de estampillas para comida y del Programa de Nutrición Suplemental Especial para Mujeres, Bebés, Niños (WIC) pueden llamar a la Oficina de Derechos Civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA) al 1-888-271-5983. Todas las otras oficinas pueden llamar a la División de Derechos Civiles del Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos al l-888-848-5306.

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To: Mississippi Department of Human Services Civil Rights Compliance Officer 750 North State Street, 6TH floor, Resource Development Unit Jackson, Mississippi 39202 Complainant’s Name: _________________________________________________________________

Complainant’s Contact Information*

Mailing Address: Phone Number(s):

__________________________________________ Home: ____________________________

__________________________________________ Work: ____________________________

__________________________________________ Cell: ____________________________

E-Mail address: _____________________________

*We will use any information provided to contact you unless you ask us not to.

Date(s) of Unfair Treatment: ___________________________________________________________

Tell us how you believe you have been treated unfairly by the Department of Human Services or anybody providing services on behalf of the Department of Human Services. Please state below the basis on which

you believe these unfair actions were taken. See page 2, for additional space to respond:

____ Race/Color: __________________________________________________________________

____ National Origin: ______________________________________________________________

____ Sex: ________________________________________________________________________

____ Religion: ____________________________________________________________________

____ Age: ________________________________________________________________________

____ Disability: ___________________________________________________________________

____ Political Beliefs: ______________________________________________________________

Mississippi, DFCS Policy Section I 3-25-14



Nondiscrimination--What if you think you have been treated unfairly? This section tells you what to do. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Under Food Stamp Act and USDA policy, discrimination is prohibited also on the basis of religion or political beliefs. To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA or HHS. Write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202)720-5964 (voice and TDD).

Write HHS, Director, Office for Civil Rights, Room 506-F, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 or call (202)619-3257(TDD). USDA and HHS are equal opportunity providers and employers.

Note: If this complaint involves the Food Stamp Program or the Food Nutrition Program, you may send your complaint directly to the USDA, Regional Director, Civil Rights Office 61 Forsyth Street, SW Room 8T36 Atlanta, GA. 30303 or call (404)562-0532 (voice) and (202)720-6382 (TDYY). If you file your complaint with DHS, it will be forwarded to the USDA for a response.

Please explain any relevant information to your complaint. (Attach additional pages if needed) ______________________________________________________________________________





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