Appeal & Complaint Procedure
Client Appeal & Complaint Procedure for Consumers of Service, Client Family Members, or their Adcovates and Professionals
The society respects the right of children, youth adults, families, and caregivers to be heard, informed and involved in decision making in matters affecting them. In keeping with this, all clients and others of the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society (PRACSS), and in the case of minors, their parents/guardians have the right complain about any PRACSS decisions impacting their lives.
Consumers of services will be informed of the complaint procedure as part of their visit to PRACSS to access services.
Allegations of misconduct, poor practice, or violation of clients’ rights by PRACSS personnel are reported to the program supervisor without delay, or the Executive Director. Complaints of physical or sexual abuse of children or youth are to be reported to MCFD, RCMP and where required, licensing. The program supervisor or the Executive Director investigates all other complaints.
At the time of intake/orientation, all consumers of services, and their parent/guardian will be informed of their ability to express concerns or complaints. Staff’s role is to explain that consumers of service can appeal an internal decision or complaint about an action by writing to, or taking their complaint if unhappy with result:
- The person with whom they have the complaint; then
- A staff member with whom they feel comfortable; then
- The program supervisor; then
- The Executive Director, or his/her delegate
Complaints should be as specific as possible, providing key information and facts. This will assist the complaint resolution process. Parents, guardians, social workers, other professionals and others representing a program participant have the right and are encouraged to voice their questions, concerns or complaints.
Consumers of service, family members, or other advocates have the right to request to have anyone they wish present as a support person when making a complaint.
It is the responsibility of the program supervisor to keep the Executive Director, or those acting in a senior management role, informed of complaints and appeals.
As well, consumers will be informed of external routes of appeal available to them. At present, this may be accomplished by providing the brochure from the Office for Children and Youth, or Health Canada for Patient Travel, and the like. Staff will assist as necessary.
Children/youth alleging misconduct, poor treatment, or abuse will be assisted in making the complaints in writing. Adults will be encouraged to put serious complaints in writing, and will be assisted if needed.
Allegations and significant complaints of infringement of rights will be documented, and a copy sent to the Executive Director. In addition, a copy of the report will be filed in the clients’ file and a central file program file. If the content of the report is of a private personal nature, it will be filed in the employees’ file.
The complaint is to be given a response within 5 (five) working days of the complaint being received.
The Executive Director, or someone acting in the Executive Director’s capacity is to be informed immediately; as soon as he or she can be contacted by phone, or as soon as possible, that a complaint of a serious nature has been made. The person accused will be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint.
Complaints constituting criminal activity must be forwarded to the police; they should not be dealt with by the complaints process. An internal investigation will be commenced, again with the accused person being given the opportunity to respond. If the misconduct is serious and proven, the accused person will be asked to leave the organization.
With serious allegations, the Society will inform the funders.
Serious breaches of professional conduct, such as violence, being intoxicated while at work, drugs, illegal activity, sexual misconduct, and the like, could result in immediate suspension pending investigation and are dealt with internally.
Complaints’ actions, which do not entail a serious breach of professional conduct, are dealt with or mediated by the program supervisor or Executive Director. A meeting is called involving the person making the complaint and anyone he or she wishes to have present, the staff member, and the supervisor.
If the situation is not satisfactorily resolved with the Executive Director, the consumer of the service will have the right to approach the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will ensure that the consumer, or his or her parent/guardian/advocate is provided with the names of the members of the Board of Directors. The Board will respond within 5 (five) working days. The Executive Director will provide all relevant information, to date, to the Board of Directors.