By listening to feedback from our clients we can improve our services. We want to hear your views and experiences. You may wish to forward positive feedback or a compliment when you have received good service provided to you or your family. It is helpful to hear when we do things well to assist us in maintaining quality services.
You can use this guide to send us comments, compliments, concerns and complaints in the following ways:
- Face to Face
- Contacting the Business Unit Directly
- Phoning the CYPS Complaints Unit on 6207 5294
- By using our Online Client Feedback Form
- Phoning: 13 3427 during business hours and requesting to speak with a Manager of the Business Unit you wish to Compliment or voice a Complaint.
- Emailing us at OCYFS@act.gov.au
- Writing to us at PO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601
We define a complaint as an expression of negative feedback or dissatisfaction with the services provided by, or on behalf of, the Community Services Directorate (CSD).
Clients and community members have the right to provide feedback on services, ask for explanations or make complaints.
You have a right to complain if you are:
- A client of CSD
- Complaining on behalf of a client of our Directorate
- Entitled to receive a service from CSD but the service is not provided
You can expect to:
- Be treated respectfully, fairly and in confidence without having the delivery of client services compromised
- Have the matter dealt with as soon as possible
- Be informed of progress
- Be told of the outcome
Your Complaint will be managed in accordance to the Complaints Policy
If someone complains on your behalf, we will ask for a written confirmation from you telling us that they are acting on your behalf and why. Children and Young People will be responded to in accordance with the Complaints Policy. No matter how you complain, by phone, email or letter, your complaint will receive the attention required.
Some clients prefer to make a written complaint so they can keep a copy.
Responding to your complaint is usually best resolved by talking to the person in the area who provides the service or has made the decisions concerning you or your family.
If you are dissatisfied after this you can talk to the team leader or manager or ask to be referred to the Business Units complaint area.
The complaint area will try to clarify the issues of your complaint, the main concerns you want us to look into and the expectations you have with regard to the complaint issues raised and the outcome you are seeking.
We will usually offer to sort out the complaint informally within the Business Unit first by looking into the matter, discussing it with you and doing what we can to resolve the problem.
Some people choose an informal approach which can sometimes be a better and quicker way of addressing the issues. It does not mean that the complaint is taken less seriously. Please let us know at the beginning if you wish to make an informal or formal complaint as this will determine if a formal response is required.
We encourage you to try and address your complaint informally but if you feel this is inappropriate please advise a formal complaint and response is required.
We will always attempt to resolve complaint issues within the Business Unit first prior to referring for an independent review.
If you choose to lodge a formal complaint you can expect the following:-
- a written acknowledgement of the complaint within two (2) working days following the receipt of the complaint
- that a senior officer will be appointed to investigate the complaint
- a written response to the complaint issues within twenty (20) working days unless an extension has been agreed to in consultation with you. This can sometimes occur when there are complex issues to investigate
- information on how to take matters further if you are dissatisfied with the formal response.
Parents and families can provide feedback or raise a complaint regarding services provided by Child and Youth Protection Services, or one of our partners, in connection to your child in care through the Parents and Families: Feedback and raising concerns guide.
Complaint management and feedback guide, Policy and Procedures Manual [PDF 467KB] provides an outline of the processes relating to complaints management. It provides a framework that promotes a consistent approach to dealing with, and resolving complaints across the range of Business Units in the Directorate.
CYPS, Uniting and ACT Together joint complaints framework have a number of documents which outline the process for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints. This framework complements existing complaints management policies for CYPS, Uniting and ACT Together.
Escalation of your complaint, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome, can be done through a number of options. These include:-
- Internal Review Process
- Human Rights Commission - Children and Young People
- Human Rights Commission - Public Advocate
- Complaint Management and Platform Policy
If you believe a formal decision made by the Directorate is not correct you can ask for this decision to be reviewed by the relevant ACT External Review Agency.