Applicant Grievance/Appeal Process

This policy applies to all FIFNC Chapters and Programs, including our chapters in Central Carolina, Durham, Five County, Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln, Johnston County and Wake County as well as the Lifetime Connections, Lifeline Project and Time Bank programs.

While it is always a source of regret, situations may arise when an individual and/or family wish to appeal a decision made by or file a grievance with First In Families (FIF). Every attempt will be made to resolve the issue at the Chapter or Program level without a formal grievance process.

When individuals and/or family members have an unresolved problem or complaint with First In Families, they should be given the name and telephone number of the Chapter Director or Program Coordinator by the person to who they have first expressed their concern (for instance, the Resource Consultant). That person should also immediately advise his/her supervisor of the situation. If the issue(s) cannot be resolved informally at this level, the Chapter Director or Program Coordinator will inform the individuals and/or family members of the option to file a written Appeal through the Processes outlined below.

For concerns with service through an FIF Chapter:

(1) A written statement of appeal should be submitted to the local Chapter Director. If an individual needs assistance in submitting a written appeal, he/she should call the Chapter Director to request that assistance be made available. This statement shall include, but does not have to be limited to, the following information:

  • description of the specific FIF decision being appealed
  • why the decision is being appealed
  • what specific result is requested in response to the appeal
  • name, address and phone number of the individual(s) submitting the appeal, and their relationship to the person/family making the appeal (if appropriate)

Additional information may also be submitted.

Within five (5) working days of the receipt of such an appeal, the FIF Chapter Management Team or a representative committee thereof ("the FIF Committee" comprised of no fewer than two Management Team members), shall review the appeal and make a determination as to whether the decision being appealed should be upheld or overruled. If the decision is overruled, the FIF committee will determine what steps will be taken to modify the original decision made by the designated staff. The decision of the FIF Committee and its justification shall be conveyed in writing to the person(s) making the appeal and to the FIFNC State Director, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal.

(2) If the appeal is resolved to the satisfaction of the individual(s) making the appeal, the individual(s) shall sign a statement to this effect.

(3) Should the individual(s) not be satisfied with the decision of the FIF Committee, the written statement of appeal should then be submitted to First In Families of North Carolina (FIFNC) State Director, Betsy MacMichael.

Additional information may also be submitted in support of the appeal.

Within five (5) working days of the receipt of such an appeal, the State Director of FIFNC and/or a sub-committee of its Board of Directors (FIFNC committee) shall review the appeal and make a determination as to whether the decision made by the FIF Committee should be upheld or overruled.

If the decision is overruled the State Director and/or the FIFNC Committee will determine what steps will be taken to modify the FIF Committee's decision. The decision of the State Director and/or the FIFNC Committee shall be made in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal to the person(s) making the appeal, including the reason(s) for the decision. This decision is final.

(4) If the appeal is resolved to the satisfaction of the individual(s) making the appeal, the individual(s) shall be asked to sign a statement to this effect.

For concerns with service through Lifeline Project, Time Bank, or Lifetime Connections:

(1) A written statement of appeal should be submitted to the Program Coordinator of Lifeline Project, Lifetime Connections, or the Time Bank. If an individual needs assistance in submitting a written appeal, he/she should call the Coordinator to request that assistance be made available. This statement shall include, but does not have to be limited to, the following information:

  • description of the specific FIF decision being appealed
  • why the decision is being appealed
  • what specific result is requested in response to the appeal
  • name, address and phone number of the individual(s) submitting the appeal, and their relationship to the person/family making the appeal (if appropriate)

Additional information may also be submitted. The Program Coordinator will send the written Appeal to the State Director of FIFNC.

(2) Within five (5) working days of the receipt of such an appeal, the State Director of FIFNC and/or a sub-committee of its Board of Directors (FIFNC committee) shall review the appeal and make a determination as to whether the decision made by the Program Coordinator should be upheld or overruled. If the decision is overruled the State Director and/or the FIFNC Committee will determine what steps will be taken to modify the Program Coordinator's decision. The decision of the State Director and/or the FIFNC Committee shall be made in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal to the person(s) making the appeal, including the reason(s) for the decision. This decision is final.

If the appeal is resolved to the satisfaction of the individual(s) making the appeal, the individual(s) shall be asked to sign a statement to this effect.

Adopted by full Board of Directors: September 10, 2011.