2. Complaint management process

The primary function of Intake is to determine whether the matter raised is a complaint or an issue.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the department’s products, services, or staff that requires a response or resolution which cannot be managed routinely.

An issue is a matter raised about the dissatisfaction of the department’s products, services or staff that can be managed routinely.

Where complaints are assessed to be complex or sensitive in nature, negotiation is to occur with the Senior Advisor or CU regarding the most appropriate means to progress the matter.

Where necessary, engage an interpreter service to assist the complainant throughout the complaints management process. To access an interpreter, refer to the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland website.

The complainant has the right to a support person at any stage of the complaints management process. Support people may include a friend, advocate, community elder or anyone else the complainant nominates as their support person. CSSC managers, staff of CU and Senior Advisors must explain the confidentiality provisions and requirements of the Child Protection Act 1999 to support persons or an interpreter, if applicable.

Ensure that the complainant is kept informed about the steps involved in the complaints process, anticipated timeframes and any other factors affecting the progress of a complaint. Reasons for delays in responding to complaints will be promptly communicated to the complainant.

Ensure that the decision about a complaint is made as soon as possible following assessment of the complaint.

2.1 Point of service delivery response

CSSC and RIS staff, or if applicable, staff from another Child Safety workgroup, are responsible for managing all low complexity complaints relevant to their service provision and their complainants. It is the role of point of service staff to address any matters as they arise in the course of contact with potential complainants, and to maintain accurate and complete records. It is the responsibility of the Service Centre to advise their region of all complaints raised so that they can be entered into RESOLVE. All complaints need to be recorded in the department’s complaint system RESOLVE.

The CSSC, RIS or other departmental workgroup manager is responsible for managing all complaints that have been brought to their attention, and initiating a process to achieve a timely and appropriate outcome when assessed as a low complex complaint. It is their responsibility to advise their region of the complaints raised to ensure that they are entered into RESOLVE.

2.2 Regional response

Where a matter is assessed to be a medium or high complex complaint it may be referred to the regional Senior Advisor for progression. The senior advisor will either:

  • work collaboratively with the CSSC or RIS to achieve a timely and appropriate outcome
  • refer the matter to the CU, where they believe there is a conflict of interest, or a perceived conflict of interest, or there has been a previous attempt to address the matter and the complainant remains dissatisfied

In consultation with the CU, at any stage in the complaint management process, a regional level officer may seek to refer the matter to the CU, if they believe impartiality or a perceived conflict of interest may exist.

All complaints need to be recorded in the complaint management system RESOLVE.

2.3 Complaints Unit response

Where a matter is referred to the CU, the staff of the CU will where appropriate, work collaboratively with the CSSC or RIS, the Senior Advisor, or other departmental workgroup, to address the matter in a timely and appropriate manner.

Where a complainant contacts the CU directly, the CU will determine the level at which the response to the matter will occur. Where a Senior Advisor, CSSC or other workgroup contacts the CU, negotiation will occur to determine the appropriate response.

If a complaints management process has already occurred in the CSSC, RIS, other Child Safety workgroup or region, and the complainant remains dissatisfied with the complaints management process undertaken, they can request an internal review. The request for an internal review should outline the reasons the complainant is dissatisfied with the complaints process used to manage their complaint. If the complainant’s request does not include such information, it should be requested by the officer allocated the complainant’s request for an internal review. If there are not sufficient grounds to support an internal review, then the CU will advise the complainant and the region.