Complaints Policy and Procedures
- Complaints should be made initially to the Co-ordinator or if she / he is not available the volunteer in charge. If the complaint cannot be resolved then brief written notes, including the circumstances leading to it, should be made; the complainant should sign the notes. A record must be kept of all complaints and how they were dealt with, even if they are resolved.
- These notes will be given to the Co-ordinator as soon as possible, who will investigate the circumstances and make signed and dated notes.
- The Co-ordinator will then discuss the matter with the complainant and attempt to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all concerned.
- If this is not possible, the complainant will be invited to submit details in writing within 7 days to the Chair of the Management Committee, who will acknowledge receipt of the complaint. She / he will investigate the complaint and send a full written reply within 30 days or explain why further time is necessary. The reply will:a) Set out the complaint so that the complainant can be sure it has been understood.
- Describe the events and circumstances surrounding them.
- Say whether or not the complaint is thought to be fair, giving reasons
- N.B. If such an admission could have legal / insurance implications, the Chair should take legal advice or contact the insurers before writing.
- If the complaint is deemed to be fair, the Centre will send an apology and explain lessons learnt and actions being taken to avoid a recurrence.
- Notify the complainant that if they are not happy with the decision they must notify the Chair, within 14 days of receiving the reply, if they wish to take it further. The complainant can either ask to see the Management Committee or refer the matter to NACCC through their complaints procedure, having been given the necessary information.
- If the complainant wants their complaint heard at a Management Committee meeting, they will be entitled to bring a friend who can speak for them, as can the person from the Centre who is the subject of the complaint. Three members of the Committee (excluding the Chair) shall hear the complaint, allowing both the complainant and the person against whom the complaint has been made, to have their say. If the criticism is against the running of the Centre, this is likely to be the co-ordinator. All previous notes and the Chair’s investigation will be taken into account. A written decision will be sent to all involved within 14 days of the meeting as (a) – (d) above, again mindful of legal and insurance implications. This will be a final decision, but the complainant should be informed that he / she can make written representations to:
National Association of Child Contact Centres
26 – 34 Friar Lane
within 14 days of the date of the local Committee’s decision, indicating in what way the Centre has breached the Code of Practice or fallen short of expected standards. If the Co-ordinator resolves the problem at stage 3, then she/he shall report the matter at the next Management Committee meeting. Written records of all complaints will be held by the Chair of the Management Committee including the response of the insurers / legal advisers and transferred to his / her successor as a strictly confidential file.