Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

9.5 Complaints Handling

To ensure service provision is in keeping with these Policies and Procedures and other applicable requirements, Amberley OSHC invites comments and complaints from children, parents/guardians, employees and the community.   Amberley OSHC respects and considers all complaints, which require a resolution, seriously and attempts to find a satisfactory resolution wherever possible.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act, 2010 and Regulations 2011
  • Privacy Act 1988 and Regulations 2013
  • “Conflict Resolution” program – Synthesis Trainers and consultants 2011
  • NQS Area: 4.2.1; 4.2.2, 4.2.3; 6.1.1, 6.1.3; 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.5; 7.2; 7.3.
  • Policies:  8.6 – Employee and Volunteer Grievance,  9.3 – Communication with Families, 9.4 – Communication with Community, 9.8 – Parent Conduct, 10.8 – Information Handling (Privacy and Confidentiality)

Procedures

The Nominated Supervisor shall be the first contact for all comments and/or complaints.  However the complainant will have direct access to the Management Committee, and the Nominated Supervisor will permit and, if appropriate, encourage the complainant to do so, if:

  • the complaint is about the conduct of the Nominated Supervisor;
  • the complainant is not comfortable to take the complaint to the Nominated Supervisor;
  • the complainant is not satisfied with the Nominated Supervisor’s handling of the complaint;
  • the complaint is about a matter of Management and Administration Policy.

For this purpose, parents and others will be kept informed of the current contact details of the chair of the Management Committee through the Family Handbook, newsletter or other appropriate form of communication, and otherwise will be available on request.

The Nominated Supervisor will ensure that another educator is present when meeting with any person to discuss a complaint. Using the Complaint Record Form, the Nominated Supervisor will record all details of the complaint, any relevant discussions, and if appropriate, the resolution of the complaint.  Both the Nominated Supervisor, another educator and complainant should sign this form with a copy provided to the complainant on request.

The Nominated Supervisor will seek to resolve all genuine and reasonable complaints in the most appropriate way possible in consultation with the complainant.  Discussions with the complainant are not to be conducted in presence of the children, other employees or parents, and heated discussions are to be avoided as far as possible.

The Nominated Supervisor is to promptly log all complaints, the records of relevant discussions, and the resolution of the complaint in a complaints record book, and is to report to the Management Committee on all entries in this record book at each meeting of the Management Committee.

To protect the privacy of all individuals, and encourage openness and honesty in the handling of complaints, the complaints record form is a confidential document, which will not be accessible to any person, provided that the Nominated Supervisor will provide copies of relevant entries only to a complainant on request.

Any matters of complaint can be referred to Amberley OSHC Management Committee or the relevant Regulatory Body for further guidance and/or assistance.

Managing Complaints

All staff hat have direct contact with clients will handle straightforward, minor complaints.

Where a minor complaint cannot be dealt with within a suitable timeframe, they will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days. The letter will detail what action will be taken, who the responsible person will be and the anticipated time for a response where this is known.

Complaints which cannot be handled by front line staff should be referred to the senior staff in that work area or to the Nominated Supervisor.

The senior staff member or Nominated Supervisor will acknowledge the complaint and will liase with the complainant, in order to keep him/her informed of the progress of the action being taken.

Any follow up complaint to an original request/complaint will progress immediately to the Nominated Supervisor.

Serious complaints involving personal injury, a breach of the law or financial implications will be directed immediately to the Nominated Supervisor and licensee.

Serious complaints that allege criminal activity will be reported to the police.

Should the Nominated Supervisor or licensee consider that a complaint is of a nature that requires the involvement of an independent mediator, facilitator or investigator, a suitable person shall be engaged.

Where appropriate, Amberley OSHC shall advise the office of Early childhood Education of the issue and seek assistance in the resolution process.

 Resolving the Issues

The majority of complaints can and will be resolved by the staff member who initially talks to the complainant.

All staff shall have the opportunity to attend professional development on developing and maintaining effective relationships with parents and other members of the community.

In the event of more complex or serious complaints, the approach will be to consult with the complainant as much as is reasonably practicable during the resolution process.

The aim will at all times be to encourage the complainant to be “part of the solution”.

In cases where the client does not accept the outcome achieved as a result of following this complaints procedure, the complainant shall be advised of alternative options open to them.

These include approaching the office of Early Childhood Education or other appropriate government bodies.

If differences become irreconcilable, the most appropriate action may be to suggest that the complainant no longer attend Amberley OSHC.

Staff Issues

No staff member shall be subjected to any abuse, threats, bullying or harassment under the guise of a complaint.

At all times, the principles of natural justice shall be adhered to in the management of complaints.

Staff shall be monitored during the management of a complaint to ensure that there are no adverse health effects.

Staff shall be given internal, and if necessary external professional counselling to assist them through a serious or difficult complaints process.

Reviewed 20 April 2015, Updated 12 May 2015


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