Administrative Abuse & The DSHS
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Administrative Abuse & The DSHS: Some Tips On How To Handle It

The sad and undeniable fact of being a DSHS client is having to contend with abusive workers and administrators. Our first piece of advice to clients reading this page is:


Why? Because....

All journals written by workers are admissable in court.

The state WILL USE these journals as exhibits against you if you disagree with one of their decisions and request a fair hearing.

Your worker may have a personal prejudice against you, in which case he/she may write biased statements about you.

March 22, 2000 - Computer Journals and Your Rights

You have right to request copies of these journals, because they are a part of your case file and they're written about you. If you don't ask, however, workers at your local office definitely won't offer. In fact, most clients don't even know they exist, usually until it's too late... often at a fair hearing, where you'll be shocked to learn of their existence.

Requesting copies of your case file's journals is a very sensible thing to do. It's important to know what's being said about you. Here in WA. State they are called "ACIS Notes". The journal keeping system went online in May 1996 in our state. We had to request ours through the fair hearing coordinator, who also doubles as the public disclosure officer. In our opinion, having the person who handles fair hearings also disclose case files is a bad idea, for obvious reasons.

That time you were distraught when talking to your worker, the time when he/she attacked you with point blank questions, the time when you may have lost your temper with him/her....all of those things and more are written in these journals. Preventing a tragedy from happening begins with knowing what's being said about you by the workers of the agency that's "managing" your life. If you haven't seen them yet, demand to see them NOW. (Of course, this depends largely on your workers "availability".) Also, if you plan to take your court battle with DSHS to a higher court, you'll need these often-time slanderous journals, whether you're representing yourself or not. From our experience the DSHS is not always cooperative with getting the journals to you in a timely fashion once a lawsuit has begun, so once again, request them now, before a problem starts.


Another important point to remember when representing yourself, is to request that all important matters and decisions be put into writing. Things said over the phone can't be proven, and we have made it our policy to keep phone conversations to a minimum. It makes a lot more sense to be able to say you have something written to show and prove than to talk about a phone call made on a certain date and time, etc., which could always be denied by the person you spoke with.

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