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Complaints

Nelson CARES Society
All Programs


PURPOSE: To ensure that the right to formally lay complaints and appeals are clearly communicated to clients and community members. This policy does not address responses to critical incidents.


POLICY:  Nelson CARES Society is committed to maintaining good relationships with its clients, neighbours and the community. Every complaint will be received and dealt with respectfully and responded to in a timely manner. The human rights of all parties will be respected throughout the complaints process.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS:

  • Complaints do not necessarily signal crisis
    The society’s approach to complaints is tempered by a belief that complaints are a natural outcome of providing services. Complaints offer an opportunity for change and improvement.
  • Wherever possible, complaints should be resolved by the affected parties
    Parties affected by a complaint should, whenever possible, participate in addressing and resolving the complaint amount themselves.
  • Organizations and people act in good faith
    The society will approach complaints with the assumption that all parties are acting in good faith to address situations affecting the quality of services provided.
  • Complaints will be treated with consistency
    Not all complaints will be alike. However, complaints that are similar in nature will be approached in the same or a similar manner.
  • Issues of power will be acknowledged
    Every effort will be made to recognize the power inequity that exists in the situation.
  • The response to complaints will be immediate
    Investigation of a complaint will begin as soon as possible after it has been received, and complaints will be addressed in a timely manner.
  • Complaints will be treated with fairness
    The actions of the society will be guided by what is fair and reasonable, and the validity of complaints will not be prejudged.
  • The action of the complaint will not result in retaliation or barriers to service.
    Complainants’ efforts to resolve complaints and concerns are seen as a positive expression of their rights and will not be treated as a reason or opportunity for restricting their access to services.
  • Complaints will be treated confidentially
    Subject to applicable legal requirements, all complaints will be treated as confidential.

PROCEDURES:

Client/Family Service Delivery Complaints:

  1. When a client (or client’s family member) wishes to complain about the society’s services or facilities, they will be provided with a copy of the Complaint Policy including the Complaint Form  (at the end of this policy).
  2. Staff will advise the complainant to direct his/her complaint using the following steps:

Step 1:    Try to resolve the problem by speaking directly with the staff person involved, if possible.

Step 2:    If Step 1 is not successful, advise the complainant to put the complaint in writing using the Complaint Form and submit it to the Program Supervisor. The Program Supervisor will investigate the complaint and shall respond within 3 working days of the complaint being received.

Step 3:    If unresolved by Program Supervisor, advise complainant to submit written complaint to the Program Manager. The Program Manager will investigate the complaint and shall respond within 5 working days of the complaint being received.

Step 4:     If not satisfied with the resolution, the complainant may appeal the resolution in Step 3 by sending a request for appeal in writing to the society’s Executive Director who will investigate the matter and provide a written conclusion within 20 working days.

Step 5:     SCL-Residential is a licensed program. If a complainant is not comfortable bringing forward a complaint to the Program Manager/Executive Director or is not satisfied with the results of an internal response to a complaint they may contact Licensing Direct.
Licensing Direct contact information:

Phone: 1+877-980-5118
Email: Interior Health Licensing Direct
Fax: 1-250-868-7760

  1. Nelson CARES Society supports the right of all complainants to have he assistance of an advocate or support person of their choice present throughout the process.
  2. Where a complaint involves the actions of the Program Supervisor, the written complaint shall be referred directly to the Program Manager for investigation.
  3. Where a complaint involves the actions of the Program Manager, the written complaint shall be referred directly to the Executive Director for investigation.
  4. Where  a complaint involves the actions of the Executive Director, the written complaint shall be referred to the Board Chair, or in the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair, for investigation.
  5. All complaints and their outcomes shall be documented in the client record and a copy of the complaint resolution will be placed in a confidential “Complaints” file maintained by the Executive Director. The “Complaints” file will be reviewed annually for performance improvement.

Community Complaints:

  1. Nelson CARES Society encourages community members who have concerns/complaints about the society’s services or delivery of services to contact the appropriate Program Supervisor/Coordinator either in person or via telephone to discuss their concerns/complaints.  All concerns/complaints will be heard and responded to in a timely manner.  Resolution of verbal complaints will be recorded and submitted to the Program Manager for review and processing.
  2. If complaint remains unresolved, complainants are advised to submit a written complaint directly to the Program Manager. Complainants may be provided the society’s Complaint Form.  Written complaints may also come in the form of a letter and should, at a minimum, include the following:
    1. The date(s) and time(s) that the incident occurred;
    2. A brief description of the nature of the incident;
    3. The names of all employees and clients involved;
    4. Other details relevant to the complaint.
  1. Nelson CARES society will only accept complaints related to the operations of its programs and services. Nelson CARES Society will not respond on a client’s behalf to complaints made against the client. Any complaint of a legal nature made against a client will be forwarded to the client and/or (if applicable) the client’s Alternate Decision Maker and to any authority designated to act on the client’s behalf with respect to complaints of a legal nature. The client will be told about all legal and advocacy services available to him/her.
  1. The Program Manager will conduct a thorough investigation of the complaint. The investigation will include interviews with the person making the complaint, employees and clients involved. The investigation will also take into consideration all policies, standards and regulations related to the incident. When the Program Manager’s investigation is completed, he/she will determine whether or not the complaint is valid.

A complaint is deemed valid if:

  1. A neighbour or community member suffered damage to her/his property or assets; or
  2. The rights of the person making the complaint are unreasonably violated; and
  3. The complaint is related to the program and its operation.

The Program Manager will respond in writing to the complainant. Responses to complaints will not contain personal client information to which the person complaining is not entitled.

Responses to invalid complains will include:

  1. The reason the complaint has been deemed invalid;
  2. Reference to all applicable policies, standards and regulations used to make the decision;
  3. The contact information for the Nelson CARES Society’s Executive Director to whom an appeal may be made.
  4.  If the appeal remains unresolved from the complainant’s perspective, the names and addresses of external resources to further their complaint will be provided.

Responses to valid complaints will include:

  1. Reference to all applicable policies, standards and regulations used to make the decision;
  2. An apology and/or offer of compensation (if appropriate);
  3. A description of all steps that will be taken to avoid another occurrence of the incident.
  1. The Program Manager will respond to all complaints within 10 working days of receipt of the written complaint. The Program Manager will meet with the complainant(s), at the complainant’s request.
  2. If not satisfied with the resolution, the complainant may appeal the resolution by sending a request for appeal in writing to the society’s Executive Director who will investigate the matter and provide a written conclusion within 20 working days.
  3. If a complaint may result in a potential liability to the program or the society, the Program Manager will notify the Executive Director immediately to seek consultation as to how to proceed with the investigation.
  4. All complaints that may result in legal action against or potential liability to the program or the society may be reviewed by legal counsel, prior to any response being made to the complainant.

Nelson CARES Society All Programs

COMPLAINT FORM COMPLAINTS POLICY:   

Nelson CARES Society is committed to maintaining good relationships with its clients, neighbours and the community.  Every complaint will be received and dealt with respectfully and responded to in a timely manner.  The human rights of all parties will be respected throughout the complaints process.

Please use the following form to outline your complaint.  Submit to the appropriate Program Supervisor/Coordinator/Manager.


 

  1. What is the nature of your concern/complaint?
  1. What are the facts surrounding the circumstance, situation or incident?
  1. What steps have you taken so far to resolve this complaint or concern?
  1. What policy or procedure has not been followed or what decision process has failed you?
  1. What outcome are you hoping for by laying this complaint?

Complainant’s Name(Please print)  _________________________________________

Signature  _______________________________

Date  _____________________________

To download a PDF copy of this form click here.

Note: If there is not enough space provided, please use additional paper.

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