BHDS Complaint Line Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of the Complaint Line?

How does someone contact the Complaint Line?

Are there other ways to report complaints?

What types of complaints should be reported?

How are abuse, neglect and inadequate care defined?

Why should someone contact the Complaint Line?

Who can call the Complaint Line?

When should citizens, facility residents and/or employees call the Complaint Line?

What happens when someone calls the Complaint Line?

How are callers protected?

What should NOT be reported?

What happens after OSIG reviews a complaint?

What if a caller is out of state?

 

What is the purpose of the Complaint Line?

The Office of the State Inspector General’s (OSIG) Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BHDS) unit operates a toll-free telephone line to encourage residents, patients, authorized representatives, citizens and state employees to report situations where abuse, neglect or inadequate care is suspected in any program or facility operated, licensed or funded by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

Return to Top of Page


How does someone contact the Complaint Line?

Citizens, facility residents, patients, authorized representatives and employees of any program or facility operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS may call the Complaint Line toll-free at:

1-833-333-OSIG (6744) (toll-free in Virginia)

804-625-3255 or 804-625-3258 (outside Virginia)

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

(Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays)

Return to Top of Page


Are there other ways to report complaints?

Yes, complaints may be emailed to OSIGBHDSComplaints@osig.virginia.gov.

You may also fill out the online form.

Return to Top of Page


What types of complaints should be reported?

The following instances – occurring in any program or facility operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS – should be reported:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Inadequate Care

Return to Top of Page


How are abuse, neglect and inadequate care defined?

Abuse is defined as any act or failure to act by an employee or other person responsible for the care of an individual in a facility or program operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS that was performed or failed to be performed knowingly, recklessly or intentionally, and that caused or might have caused physical or psychological harm, injury or death to an individual receiving care or treatment for mental illness, intellectual disability or substance abuse.

Neglect is defined as failure by a person, program or facility operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS responsible for providing services related to the nourishment, treatment, care, goods or services necessary to the health, safety or welfare of an individual receiving care or treatment for mental illness, intellectual disability or substance abuse.

Inadequate Care is defined as failure to provide appropriate and sufficient care.

Find additional information at LIS Virginia Law.

Some examples of abuse, neglect or inadequate care include:

  1. Rape, sexual assault or other criminal sexual behavior;
  2. Assault or battery;
  3. Use of language that demeans, threatens, intimidates or humiliates the individual;
  4. Misuse or misappropriation of an individual’s assets, goods or property;
  5. Use of excessive force when placing an individual in physical or mechanical restraint;
  6. Use of physical or mechanical restraints on an individual that is not in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and policies, professionally accepted standards of practice or their individualized services plan; and
  7. Use of more restrictive or intensive services to punish an individual that is not consistent with his or her individualized services plan, for example:
  8. Failure to administer medications according to the MAR/physician’s orders;
  9. Failure to follow or deliver supports (care/treatment) as outlined in the Individual Support Plan or Behavioral Support Plan;
  10. Failure to provide adequate nutritional needs or failure to adhere to restricted diets.

Return to Top of Page


Why should someone contact the Complaint Line?

Contacting the Complaint Line is encouraged if a citizen, facility resident, patient or employee suspects abuse, neglect or inadequate care is occurring or has occurred in any program or facility operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS.

Return to Top of Page


Who can call the Complaint Line?

Any Virginia citizen, facility resident, patient or employee may call the Complaint Line to report suspected abuse, neglect or inadequate care occurring in any program or facility operated, licensed or funded by DBHDS.

Return to Top of Page


When should citizens, facility residents and/or employees call the Complaint Line?

Citizens, residents, patients and employees are encouraged to call the Complaint Line when abuse, neglect or inadequate care has first been witnessed, identified or suspected.

Return to Top of Page


What happens when someone calls the Complaint Line?

Callers to the Complaint Line will speak to a BHDS staff member who will assign a case number. The BHDS staff member will ask specific and detailed questions regarding the nature of the complaint.

A caller should have the following information available when contacting the Complaint Line:

  • Circumstances of the incident;
  • The facility or provider(s) involved;
  • All available evidence; and
  • Dates, times, names and places.

Return to Top of Page


How are callers protected?

Complainants will remain anonymous unless a caller chooses to share his or her contact information with OSIG. (Please note that choosing to remain anonymous may limit OSIG’s ability to ensure proper handling and disposition of the complaint.)

Return to Top of Page


What should NOT be reported?

The Complaint Line does not accept complaints related to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) or of state fraud, waste and/or abuse. Instead, please contact the State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline’s toll-free telephone number (within Virginia) at (800) 723-1615, or submit an online complaint form at OSIG Citizen Services.

Return to Top of Page


What happens after OSIG reviews a complaint?

OSIG complaint reports are not published on the OSIG website because of their sensitive nature. Redacted copies of reports may be released through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) upon request.

Return to Top of Page


What if a caller is out of state?

The toll-free number for the Complaint Line works only for in-state callers. Out-of-state callers should call OSIG at (804) 625-3255 or (804) 625-3258.

Return to Top of Page


Need more information?

For more information about the Complaint Line, please contact OSIG at (804) 625-3255 or (804) 625-3258 or visit BHDS online. The Complaint Line is subject to FOIA; learn more here

Return to Top of Page