Concerns / Complaints Handling System

We aim to provide an avenue for open communication where concerns can help provide a higher quality service. Children's safety and well-being are our exclusive commitment.

We encourage you to express your complaints and concerns as:

  • It helps us provide you better service
  • It will ensure we are aware of problems that need to be addressed
  • We have a right to know any breeches that will affect any of our stakeholders

We will address your concern as soon as possible. Staff and management are firmly committed to your right to complain and every effort will be made to protect you from any repercussions, reprisals or victimisation that may occur.

How to Express Your Concerns / Complaints

Informally

  • Discuss the nature or issue of concern directly with your Carer or a Staff member at the agency (phone 03 9576 7000)

Formally

  • Write a letter addressed to the Director (mark it confidential) and post to 613 Hawthorn Rd Brighton East 3187
  • Send Email via our contact form (mark it confidential)

Please consider the following points

  • Nature or issue of concern
  • Names of individuals concerned
  • How do you see this situation being improved or resolved

An Informal Concern

  1. Will be recorded by an Agency Staff Member in the confidential notes area of your profile.
  2. The Agency Staff Member will listen to your concerns and discuss possible solutions.
  3. The Agency Staff Member will exercise the determined solutions.
  4. The Agency staff Member will inform you of the outcome.
  5. The Agency Staff Member will record the outcome in the confidential notes area of your profile.
  6. The Agency Staff Member will diarize to contact you at a specified time to follow up on the long term results.

A Formal Concern

  1. Will be recorded by the Director in the confidential notes area of your profile.
  2. Depending on the nature of the concern it will be addressed in one of the following ways
    • The Director will personally contact you and follow steps 2-6 as previously listed.
    • The Director will bring the concern to the office staffs attention at our weekly staff meeting to discuss a solution then the Director will follow steps 2-6 as listed above.
    • The Director may choose to respond via mail or email.
    • The Director may choose to forward the issue to an independent party for comment and may respond via mail or email.
    • Any criminal or child protection matters will be referred to the relevant authorities.

All concerns will be taken seriously and individuals treated with respect. All complaints will be treated as confidential, unless your name is required by law.

If you feel the concern / complaint requires further attention after either informal or formal action has been taken, you may choose to contact the:

Dispute Settlement Centre

Address: 4/456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000 (GPO BOX 4113)
Phone: 9603 8370 (Free call, STD areas only - 1800 658 528) DSS
Email: dscv@justice.vic.gov.au

Department of Social Services

Service Providers, Carers and Families can contact DSS with complaints about the DSS's service(s), the selection process or the service of another DSS Service Provider. Details of what constitutes an eligible complaint can be provided upon request by DSS. Service Providers, Carers and Families can lodge complaints through the following channels:

Telephone: 1800 634 035

Fax: (02) 6204 4587

Mail: The Department of Social Services Complaints
    PO Box 7576
    Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

If a Service Provider, Carer or Family is at any time dissatisfied with DSS's handling of a complaint, they can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman through the Ombudsman Website or on 1300 362 072.