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Feedback and Complaints Policy

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s Feedback and Complaints Policy and Procedure documents are as follows:

Feedback and Complaints Policy

Purpose:

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) is committed to providing services in a manner which respects people’s dignity and best uses the resources available to meet identified needs. EAFWR understands that complaints and disagreements may occur as we work together.

When disagreements occur, it is important that initially they be handled by the persons involved in both a timely and informal way and to the extent that circumstances permit. However, in some situations, this may not be possible because of the nature and complexity of the issue. In these cases greater care and precision both via verbal and written communication may be necessary.

This policy applies to the individual, a person acting on behalf of the individual, the general public as well as any community agencies which may have concerns regarding our services.

Scope:

This policy applies to employees and volunteers of all EAFWR programs serving persons with a developmental disability as well as the persons served by EAFWR.

Responsibility:

a) The Executive Director/delegate has overall responsibility for the ensuring that Feedback and Complaints Policy and Procedure are reviewed annually by employees and volunteers.
b) The Policy and Procedure will be reviewed with the adults served by EAFWR on an annual basis by the relevant staff.

Definitions:

Feedback can be about the good things or the things that EAFWR could be doing better and is about the services that are provided to those we serve. Feedback can be asked for and gathered in a number of ways, for example by a survey or a suggestion box. Feedback can also come through a letter from a person, family or community member, an article in the newspaper or a phone call. All feedback whether positive or negative, formal or informal is important to EAFWR.

Complaints are about someone being dissatisfied about the services or supports provided by EAFWR. A person who is served by EAFWR, a person acting on the behalf of someone served by EAFWR or the general public may have a concern/complaint about the services that the organization provides. A complaint may be made formally (a letter written to the organization) or informally (a complaint is made to a staff person). A complaint is about the specific concern and does not include feedback on things that are not related to the organization and the services and supports that it gives.

Policy:

Employees and volunteers have the right to be informed when a complaint involving them has been made and also have the right and responsibility to be involved in its resolution.

All persons who are served by EAFWR, as well as their families/guardians, upon their initial involvement with EAFWR will receive a copy of the Complaints’ Procedure.

All persons who are served by EAFWR, as well as their families/guardians, will be sent a reminder of the Complaints’ Procedure on an annual basis.

It is both the right and responsibility of a person served by EAFWR and/or his/her family member, friend or advocate to make EAFWR aware of any areas where EAFWR is not doing things properly. It is also encouraged that the person served and/or his family member, friend or advocate participate in the process as outlined in the procedures. It is also encouraged that persons served by EAFWR and/or their families make EAFWR aware of areas in which they are being served in a positive manner.

All feedback of a positive nature will be responded to with the nature (phone call, e-mail etc) and the date of the response to be noted in the Complaints/Feedback Register.

If a formal written complaint or feedback is received, it will be given to the Executive Director who will register it in the Complaints’ Register and make the necessary copies for distribution. The original will be filed in the Complaints/Feedback ‘Register.

All correspondence with the complainant and/or resolution of the written complaint is to be done through the Executive Director.

Great care must be taken to avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest in the resolution of the complaint. Should there be a concern an outside party may be included I the process.

Where indicated, EAFWR shall ensure that a complaint/feedback is reported to:

a) The police (i.e., as in the case of alleged, suspected or witnessed abuse that may be a criminal offence. This is required by Regulation 299/10 under the Services to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008; and/or
b) Reported to the Ministry as a Serious Occurrence through the Ministry’s Serious Occurrence reporting process (based on the nature of the complaint/feedback)

There will be no negative repercussions on the person receiving service should a complaint be lodged.

The Complaints Policy and Procedure will be available in plain language.

The Complaints’ Policy and Procedure will be reviewed and the complaints analyzed by the Leadership Team on an annual basis.

June 4, 2013
Revised July 2013
/QAM Policy Directive 1.0

Feedback and Complaints Procedure
Section I:

Process for the Person Who Is Supported or the Person Acting on His/Her Behalf

The following procedures are to be followed in the event of a complaint about the services/non services provided by Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR).

Step 1: Discussion with the person with whom you have a disagreement.

Start by talking with the person with whom you have a disagreement and try to resolve the problem. You can do this in person by talking or by writing about your disagreement or with the help of a friend or advisor.

If you would like to do it in writing, you may find it helpful to use the letter outline that is attached (attachment #1). The letter can be handed to the staff person or mailed to the address on the letter outline.

Step 2: Discussion with the Supervisor/Coordinator

This step should be taken if you have tried to work out your disagreement with the person involved and it did not work out. If you want to go ahead to Step 2, please phone or use the letter outline (that is attached) in order to let the Supervisor know.

Within 5 working days after knowing about your concern the Supervisor/Coordinator will meet with you. Before this meeting the Supervisor will have talked about what happened with the staff person and may ask the staff person to come to the meeting. If you wish you may bring a friend or advisor to this meeting.

The Supervisor will ask you to describe the problem from your point of view and also may ask you for ideas about how to solve the problem. Within 5 days of this meeting, you will receive a letter from the Supervisor/Coordinator which will let you know that the suggested agreement from the meeting will be put in place. If there is no agreement the Supervisor/Coordinator will explain the reason(s) for his/her decision.

Step 3: Discussion with the Program Manager

This will be the next step if you are not happy with what happened in Step 2. You will be asked to let the Program Manager know about the problem either by phone or in writing. The Program Manager will then meet with you within 10 working days of knowing about your concern. The Program Manager will speak with the Supervisor/Coordinator before the meeting to learn about the steps that the Supervisor has taken to resolve the problem.

The reason for this meeting will be to try and find an answer for your concern. Again, feel free to bring a friend or advisor with you to the meeting. Within 10 working days of the meeting you will receive a letter from the Program Manager which will let you know about any agreement that was reached during the meeting with the Program Manager. If there is no agreement the Program Manager will explain the reason(s) for his/her decision.

Step 4: Discussion with the Executive Director

If you are not satisfied with the decision(s) of Step 3 you may let the Executive Director know about the problem either by phone or in writing. The Executive Director will then meet with you within 15 working days after knowing about your concern. The Executive Director will speak with the Program Manager before the meeting to learn about the steps that the Program Manager has taken to resolve the problem.

The reason for this meeting will be to try and find an answer for your concerns. Again, feel free to bring a friend or advisor with you to the meeting. Within 15 working days of the meeting you will receive a letter from the Executive Director which will let you know about any agreement that was reached during the meeting with the Executive Director. If there is no agreement the Executive Director will explain the reason(s) for his/her decision.

Step 5: Discussion with the Board of Director of EAFWR

This is the step that you take if you are still unhappy with the decision(s) made during your meeting with the Executive Director. During this step you will send the information about your complaint to the Secretary of the Board of Directors c/o EAFWR of phone the Executive Director and let him/her know that you wish to talk to the Board of Directors about your concern.

Within 20 working days of receiving your letter, a meeting will be arranged with a Committee of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director. At this meeting you can share with them your concern(s). You will also be told about the date, time and place that the meeting will take place. Again, if it is helpful to you feel free to bring a friend or advisor along to the meeting with you.

The Board Committee will have been provided with a summary of all the meetings that happened before and what was done about your concerns. Within 20 working days you will receive a letter from the Board Committee explaining their recommendations and decision(s).

Step 6: Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)

If you are still unhappy following Steps 1-5, the final thing you can do is to ask MCSS to review your concern(s). They can be reached at:

Ministry of Community and Social Services
Developmental Services
200-6733 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON, L5N 6J5
Attention: Program Supervisor for EAFWR, Central West

 

Section II:

Process for a complaint from the general public, or other programs with whom we participate in supporting an individual.

Should you have any concerns about how EAFWR is functioning, EAFWR would appreciate your sharing those concerns with us. We need to be aware of these concerns so that we can make every effort to resolve them.

Step 1: Discussion with the person with whom you have the complaint

Start with the person with whom you have a disagreement and attempt to resolve the problem with him/her.

Step 2: Discussion with the Program Manager

The Program Manager upon hearing about your concern may choose to involve other members of staff in an effort to either clarify your concern or to work toward a resolution of the same. It may be necessary that a meeting be arranged between yourself, the Program Manager and other appropriate staff. At the conclusion of your contact with the Program Manager, either by phone or in person, you may request that the Program Manager puts his/her decision in writing. If such a request is made you can expect to receive the requested letter within 10 working days.

Step 3: Discussion with the Executive Director

Should you be dissatisfied with the decision(s) made by the Program Manager you can contact the Executive Director either by phone or in writing.

The Executive Director will make every effort to work with you in an attempt to resolve your concern. Should you request written confirmation of the results of your meeting with the Executive Director you can expect to receive the same within 15 working days.

Step 4: Discussion with the Board of Directors of EAFWR

Should you be dissatisfied with the result(s) of the problem resolution efforts of the Executive Director, you may apply, in writing, to the Secretary of the Board of Directors, c/o EAFWR for an opportunity to meet with a Committee of the Board of Directors, organized to receive concerns from the community. The Committee will meet with you within 20 working days of having received your concern. Your may request their decision(s), in writing, which will be sent within 10 working days.

Step 5: Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)

Should you remain dissatisfied subsequently to your efforts with EAFWR, you may direct your concerns to the office of MCSS. They can be reached at:

Ministry of Community and Social Services
Developmental Services
200-6733 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON, L5N 6J5
Attention: Program Supervisor for EAFWR, Central West

 

Feedback and Complaint Form

 

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