The purpose of this Complaints Policy is to ensure that any complaints about Beyond the Orphanage (BTO), its directors, staff, volunteers, any person acting on behalf of BTO or as a consultant to BTO are acknowledged, acted on, recorded and used to contribute to the improvement of future practice. BTO is committed to a robust complaints handling process which is fair, timely and efficient. BTO is also committed to ensuring any ‘whistleblower’ does not experience any discrimination as a consequence of reporting systemic or personal misdemeanours. BTO recognises that ‘the right to redress’ as enshrined in the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection is an intrinsic element in organisational accountability to its stakeholders and the wider community in which it operates.
2.0 Scope of Policy
This policy is intended to apply to any expressions of dissatisfaction with the operation of BTO made by anyone who is a recipient of its service, is affected by its service or is a partner in service delivery. It also applies to any staff member, volunteer, contractor or consultant who has a complaint about any aspect of BTO’s operation.
Given the close relationship between BTO and its overseas partner programs, this policy is also intended to provide the template for a complaints handling policy for partner programs and to ensure that the processes in all affiliated organisations are aligned. In turn, this will ensure the Directors are aware of any issues in country and that there is every opportunity to resolve the complaints in a fair and timely manner and modify practice for better outcomes when appropriate.
3.0 Publishing the complaints policy
The BTO Complaints Policy will be available as a download from the BTO website. New directors, staff and volunteers will be given a copy of the Complaints Policy as part of the induction process.
4.0 How complaints are made
As BTO is a small organisation any complaints will be directed to the Chairman of the Board. Complaints can be made
- by writing to the Chairman of the Board, Beyond The Orphanage, c/o the Australian Office at Level 10, 179 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
- by email at complaints[@]beyondtheorphanage.org. The BTO website has a contact page which invites feedback including complaints. The email is linked directly to that of the Chairman of the Board.
- Phone 1300 673 651
5.0 How complaints will be handled
If the complaint is of a minor nature the Chairman will deal with it by either directly speaking to the complainant or responding by email or letter. The matter will be recorded in the complaints register and Board members circulated a brief summary of the nature of the complaint and the outcome.
If the matter raised is of a more serious nature as for example a concern about poor practice, dishonest or unethical behaviour the Chairman will
- Communicate to the complainant by email, mail or phone that the matter is being dealt with and include an estimated response time.
- Consult with other Board members and if necessary, convene an ad hoc Board meeting to decide on the appropriate course of action.
- If the complaint has not been resolved within a 30 day period, the complainant will be contacted with a progress report.
- Once the matter is resolved the complainant will be informed of the outcome of the complaint and given an opportunity to indicate whether any action taken is satisfactory.
- Where any response to a complaint identifies a need to modify practice, the Board will ensure that this involves consultation with those concerned to ensure that there is understanding of why the changes were needed.
- Dissatisfied complainants will be informed of the option of referring their complaint to the ACFID Code of Conduct Compliance Committee.
All complaints will be recorded in the complaints register. An annual review of recorded complaints will be undertaken by a designated Board member who will report the outcome of the review to the Board.
A complainant’s name and personal details will not be revealed to anyone outside BTO without the complainant’s permission.
7.0 Application to Beyond The Orphanage overseas
Partner programs funded by BTO will be required to implement the BTO Complaints Policy with the Manager of each program taking responsibility for reporting any complaints to the BTO Board in his/her monthly reports.
Related Policy: BTOF Child Protection Policy Section 13 Reporting abuse
This policy has followed the ACFID Complaints policy template and referenced the ACFID Complaints-handling within signatory organisations document.