Complaints/Feedback

September 2015

INTRODUCTION

A complaints/feedback process is an important part of providing quality support that is responsive to people’s needs and that supports continuous improvement in service delivery. The information received through a complaints/feedback process can assist Community Living Port Colborne~Wainfleet (CLPCW) to take steps to better support individuals and/or improve administrative practices.

POLICY

People receiving services their families/advocate, employees and others need a process to register complaints/feedback with CLPCW. The Board is accountable for the operation of the Association and must be aware of serious problems that arise in the delivery of service to the people we support and their families and in our relationship with the community at large. This policy ensures that the Board will have knowledge of serious complaints.

Normal procedure allows the staff and complainant to determine an agreeable solution to problems. If the normal process fails, this policy and supporting procedure will provide the complaintant with formal communication to the Board.

Community Living membership, service recipients, their family/advocate, employees and the interested public, shall be made aware of procedure(s) for filing complaints.

Community Living staff are responsible for addressing complaints related to the operation and delivery of programs and services. Complaints that cannot be resolved by employees must be forwarded, in writing by the complainant, to the Executive Director for resolution. The Executive Director will acquaint the Board with the number and general nature of written complaints addressed by staff and will make the Board aware of those complaints which, in his/her judgment, are serious and/or may require Board action.

Complaints that are not resolved by staff will be moved to the Board for review and where possible, a collective action.

Complaints related to policy or complaints in which the complainant believes the Board should be involved, must be in writing and addressed to the President of Community Living. The Board President will determine whether to address the complaint to the Chair of the Complaint Committee or to the full Board.

The Executive Director shall be responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining procedures in support of this policy

FEEDBACK

Feedback may be positive or negative and is related to the services and/or supports that are provided by CLPCW. Feedback may be solicited such as information and comments collected through a satisfaction survey or a comment box, or unsolicited, such as a letter from a person or family member about the services and supports that we provide.

Feedback may be received by any person on behalf of CLPCW. A copy of the feedback shall be forwarded to the responsible manager for review. An answer to the feedback is not mandatory, however, depending on the situation the manager responsible may deem it appropriate to respond to the individual. Should an answer be deemed appropriate and if the person has chosen to supply his or her contact information, the person may expect the response within 15 business days.

COMPLAINT

Complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction related to the services and/or supports that are provided by the Association. A complaint may be expressed by a person receiving services or a person acting on their behalf, or by the general public. A complaint may be made formally, such as a letter, or informally, such as a verbal complaint expressed to a staff person. A complaint does not include feedback on matter unrelated to CLPCW and the services and supports we provide.

Community Living Port Colborne will do everything it can to prevent any conflict of interest or any type of coercion/intimidation from impacting on the Complaint/Feedback process by:

a) Ensuring that the staff involved in the process will not have a direct involvement in the program or person involved in the complaint

b) Ensuring there is no external factors that may contribute to conflict of interest between the staff member and the person giving feedback

c) Assuring people expressing a concern or providing feedback will not experience any type of intimidation or coercion during the process and if they do experience any negative impact, they can bring their concerns forward to the Executive Director. If the concern is with Executive Director, they may bring their concern forward to the chair of the Board.

d) If it is found that there is a conflict of interest there will be an alternative staff member who will step in to complete the process

e) If there is a complaint that there is coercion/intimidation from anyone within the association directed to the person providing feedback or a complaint, an investigation will be conducted. If the allegation is found to be true the association will make efforts to protect the person and address the concerns with the person that was the source of the coercion/intimidation.

f) Ensure that a person who submits a complaint or provides feedback is not at risk of having their services and supports negatively impacted or withdrawn, as a consequence of submitting the complaint/feedback.

g) CLPCW will take all complaints seriously and review/investigate all matters; however, we will not attempt to resolve complaints that are determined to be frivolous or vexatious.

(Refer to Policy 106 – Employee Conflict of Interest)

Review and Analysis

In order to promote continuous quality improvement, CLPCW will conduct a review and analysis of the complaints and feedback received to evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and procedures, on an annual basis. The results of the review and analysis will be used to consider the need to revise any other policies and procedures of the organization.

Reporting to the Ministry of Community & Social Services:

If at any time during the Complaint/Feedback process the association feels that police intervention is required they will terminate the investigation and report the concern to the Niagara Regional Police (i.e. suspected or alleged abuse or other actions that requires reporting as outlined in Ontario Regulation 299/10). In the event of police involvement all reporting requirements outlined by MCSS legislative guidelines must be followed.

If any complaint is deemed to be reportable under Regulation 299/10 the association must ensure all appropriate documentation is completed and submitted using the Serious Occurrence Reporting Form (Policy 112)

In addition, CLPCW will include information about its complaints/feedback process as part of the ministry’s annual risk assessment process when requested by the ministry.

COMPLAINT/ PROCEDURE

Scope:

This procedure provides a process for supported individuals and their families, advocates, employees and others to register complaints with Community Living Port Colborne-Wainfleet. (CLPCW). Employee complaints related to the Collective Agreement, terms and conditions of employment and employment contracts are not covered by the policy and this procedure.

Complaints or appeals related to decisions which change program or individual support for an individual should be addressed with the Appeal Procedure.

General:

* Existing and new individuals receiving service will receive a copy and explanation for the Complaint/Feedback Policy and this procedure.

* Existing families receiving service and new families will receive copies.

* Current members of Community Living will be sent copies by mail.

* New members will receive copies as part of an information package.

* Employees will be informed of the policy and procedure by posting within our facilities.

* Copies will be provided, as requested, to the interested public.

Process:

* Complaints of employee/staff actions or decisions would normally begin with Step 1.

* Complaints related to Community Living policy or Board action or where the complainant believes the Board should be involved, would begin at Step 2.

* If you are unsure of the first step, please begin the process at Step 2, and the Executive Director will assist you.

* You should proceed to the next step if you do not receive your response within the stated time.

Step 1

Present your written complaint to the Manager having responsibility for that program/service area. The Manager will respond to your complaint, in writing, within five working days.

Note: Anonymous written complaints will not be responded to.

Step 2

If unresolved or unsure of the proper step, present your written complaint to the Executive Director. The Executive Director or designate will respond to your complaint, in writing, within ten working days.

Step 3

If unresolved, or to make a complaint/feedback directly to the Board, mail your written complaint/feedback to the President of the Board of Directors, 100 McRae Ave., Port Colborne, ON L3K 2A8. The President will review and make note of the complaint and place it with the Chairperson of the Complaints Committee or place it before the Board of Directors. The President or Executive Director will respond within five (5) days following the Board meeting.

Step 4

If the complainant is an individual receiving support, or a parent or other family member, the complaint can be referred to the Ministry of Community & Social Services. The Executive Director will provide you with the name and mailing address of a Ministry contact.