Complaints policy

Down Syndrome Victoria is committed to ensuring any complaints regarding the services provided are managed in accordance with the requirements of the Disability Act 2006 and in accordance with the guidelines for Complaints Management under the Office of the Disability Services Commissioner. Down Syndrome Victoria encourages a culture of open communication which is both responsive and accountable in relation to any grievance or complaint.

Definition of a complaint:

For the purpose of this policy a complaint means an expression of unhappiness or dissatisfaction with a situation or any products or services or failure to provide services.
A complaint can:

  • relate to a specific occurrence or episode,

  • be an issue that has had an impact on an individual or a group.

Complaints will be managed in accordance with the following principles

  • That mutual respect, responsiveness, accountability and transparency underpin the processes by which Down Syndrome Victoria seek to resolve any complaints / grievances.

  • That Down Syndrome Victoria members and customers benefit from a service which encourages feedback and the raising of any issues of concern.

  • That encouraging a culture in which ‘it’s ok to complain’ provides the feedback necessary to enable Interchange to develop and improve services.

  • Information about complaint resolution for clients and care givers

Down Syndrome Victoria will promote a culture in which it’s ok to complain through the display of the Disability Services Commissioner campaign brochure ‘It’s ok to complain’
Participants, members and volunteers will be reminded on a cyclical basis, through the organisational newsletter, of the existence and purpose of the Disability Services Commissioner and Down Syndrome Victoria's Complaints Policy and Procedures and how to obtain a copy of the policy.

Recording a complaint

Any member, customer, volunteer or their advocate can lodge a complaint about the service. The staff member receiving the complaint has an obligation to make their Manager aware of the complaint.

All complaints will be documented in writing on reception by the Manager. If there are complaints of a serious nature, the Executive Officer will ask that the complaint be put in writing to the organisation using the standard DSV Complaint Form.

Complaints will be recorded in accordance with the requirements for complaints management outlined by The Office of Disability Services Commissioner

Member/customer privacy will be respected and protected in relation to the recording, management and resolution of the complaint.

Complaints management/resolution

The Executive Officer will investigate the complaint within 2 working days of having been made aware of it.

The investigation may include where appropriate:

  • Contact with the person or the representative making the complaint

  • Discussions with Down Syndrome Victoria staff and/or volunteers directly involved in the issue

  • Discussions with any witnesses or outside agencies involved

  • A review of the circumstances leading to any event or situation related to the issue

  • Discussions with all parties to enable the negotiation of a resolution of the issue and strategies to avoid recurrence

  • A review of any policy or documents related to the issue

  • A written report outlining the nature of the complaint, the impact on the member/customer, the proposed resolution, and the action taken.

Where a complaint is believed to be unfounded or showing a misunderstanding, it will still be recorded and the appropriate comments will be written on the report.

Where a complaint has been lodged in writing, a written report will be sent to the person who has made it.

Any formal complaint made will be reported to the Board of Managment to enable them to monitor the organisations response, ensure a member/customer focused approach and minimise the risk to the organisation.

Mediation

A complaint to the Disability Commissioner can be lodged at any time during this process but more specifically where a person believes that a disability service provider has not properly investigated, or taken action on, a complaint which has been made to the disability service provider.
Current contact details of the Disability Services Commissioner will be provided in newsletter, information given to new clients/ families and available on request from Down Syndrome Victoria.
Where appropriate Down Syndrome Victoria may participate in mediation between members/customers, our service and the Office of the Disability Commissioner in order to come to resolve any ongoing grievance.

Reporting complaints

The Executive Officer will record complaints using the template provided as requested by the Disability Services Commissioner’s Office.

A ‘non- identifying’ report of all complaints received will be sent electronically to that office on an annual basis within the required timelines as specified by the DSC.