TA Patterson Complaint Procedure and Conflict Resolution Process
This policy sets out a process by which individuals, who are in receipt of service from our agency, can bring forward their concerns and/or have issues resolved. By developing this policy TA Patterson is demonstrating:
- Our commitment to a process of resolving issues through discussion up to and including a formal complaint
- Ensuring individuals that their concerns will be heard and dealt with in a timely, fair and respectful manner.
- Our desire to make our complaint resolution process transparent, simple and clear.
The agency is genuinely interested in feedback from those receiving services in one of our programs and has developed this process to provide a way for individuals to express their concerns and have their issues resolved. Our complaints process is tiered and offers both an informal and formal option. Whenever possible, individuals will be encouraged to begin with expressing their concern informally before elevating the process to initiating a formal complaint.
- Speak directly to the counsellor or staff member who is involved in the situation
- Speak with that staff member’s supervisor or the Executive Director
- Request a facilitated meeting with the individual involved. The client is allowed to bring one support person (family or friend) to this meeting or discussion.
If the concern or complaint has not been resolved through the informal process, the individual may file a formal complaint.
Filing a formal complaint:
Where the concern/or issue has not been resolved through the informal process, a formal complaint may be filed.
- A Complaint Form can be accessed from our website or obtained from our head office.
- A completed Complaint Form should include all the details of the concern/issue, including: date(s), time (s) when the incident took place, a brief description of the concern, names of any person involved or witnesses and any specific resolution that the individual may be seeking.
- The completed Complaint Form can be mailed to our head office, faxed, emailed or left at the reception desk of our head office to the attention of the Executive Director.
- Once received by the Executive Director, any Complaint Forms will be responded to within two (2) business days, where the individual has left contact information.
The Executive Director will review the Complaint Form and initially respond to the complainant within the two business days, acknowledging that the complaint has been received and is under review.
The Executive Director will speak with the complainant directly about the concern, as required to clarify details on the form.
The Executive Director will speak with all those involved in the concern described on the Complaint Form to gather information.
Once the preliminary inquiry is completed, the Executive Director will determine a process to best achieve the resolution; the options include further investigation or mediation.
- TA Patterson may choose to conduct an investigation in order to respond to a Complaint Form. The concern and/or issue that gave rise to the complaint must have occurred within the three (3) months immediately before the date the Complaint Form was received.
- The Executive Director will review the Complaint Form, and if appropriate, order an investigation – including determining who will be assigned to complete the investigation. The investigation will begin no later than five (5) business days after the Executive Director has made the order.
- The investigation will be conducted by one of the following: The Supervisor, Executive Director or designate. The investigator will be selected on the basis of individuals identified as parties to the complaint, for example; complaints involving a Team Member will typically be investigated by the Supervisor, complaints involving the Supervisor will typically be investigated by the Executive Director, and complaints involving the Executive Director will typically be investigated by a designate.
- The investigator will meet separately with all parties involved and will keep detailed documentation of each interview.
- The investigator will prepare a summary and validate it with interviewees to confirm accuracy. Once the summary is confirmed as accurate, a detailed report of the complaint, the response and any additional relevant information will be submitted for review.
- The Supervisor, Executive Director or designate will review the information submitted by the investigator and determine the follow-up action required, which may include but is not limited to; dismissal of the complaint, action to achieve resolution requested by complainant, and further mediation.
If mediation is required, the intention would be to allow the opportunity for all parties to communicate face-to-face, in a structured meeting, to discuss the concerns and/or issues in an effort to come to an agreement.
- Each party may be accompanied at the mediation meeting by another individual who is neutral to the complaint but who they wish to have support them through the process. That person may not include official legal representation.
- If an understanding, apology, or other form of resolution is achieved through mediation the agreement will be put in writing and will be signed by all parties. The Supervisor or Executive Director will keep this documentation in a secure file.
- If resolution is not achieved between all parties, the Mediator will outline the next steps in the process which may include the complaint and all proceedings up to this point being referred to outside regulating body.