Communicating your concerns

Touching Base Inc. is committed to providing high quality services to people with disabilities, sex workers and other community stakeholders.

We encourage our clients to make comment, congratulate us on our services or to lodge a complaint if we have failed to provide a satisfactory service.

  • Touching Base Inc. strives to provide appropriate services in a manner which enhances the independence, confidence and dignity of all clients.
  • It is the policy of Touching Base Inc. to support a client’s right to be heard in relation to the service they are receiving or requiring, and to be supported in making a formal complaint about the service.
  • We will also accept informal suggestions from clients regarding the improvement of delivered services.
  • Touching Base Inc. will objectively view any formal complaint as a valuable indicator of the need for possible improvement in the provision of quality services.
  • Touching Base Inc. ensures that its policies, practices and procedures reflect & protect the rights of the client in order to ensure no-one is discriminated against, abused or harassed, and that complaints are able to be made without fear of victimisation.
  • Touching Base Inc. will ensure that every client has fair and timely resolution of complaints
  • Amendments to the Civil Liability Act 2002 mean that an apology does not constitute an admission of, guilt, fault or liability, and will not be relevant to the determination of guilt, fault or liability, in connection with civil liability of any kind.
Definition of a Complaint:

Touching Base Inc. will consider anything as a complaint which clients think is unfair or which makes them dissatisfied with the service

Our system provides for 3 levels of Complaints – informal, formal and external.

  • A “Complaint” is any dissatisfaction with a product or service offered or provided.
  • The “Complainant” is the person making a complaint.
  • A “Dispute” is a pursued unresolved complaint
Right to make an Informal Complaint:
  • Clients and/or carers have the right to raise complaints, issues and problems that they have with any aspect of the service, and to have these resolved equitably and fairly, in a way that preserves the dignity of the client.
  • Touching Base Inc. will accept any expression of dissatisfaction which a client or key stakeholder has about the service as a ‘complaint’.
  • Advocates and families are encouraged to be part of the complaints handling process, when clients request or want their support.
  • Members of Touching Base Inc. will ensure, where possible, all clients, their families, guardians and advocates understand their right to complain.
  • Touching Base Inc. will continue to provide services where appropriate, throughout the resolution of a complaint.
Steps to Follow when Lodging a Complaint:
  1. The complainant should contact Touching Base Inc. either in writing, via e-mail or by phone and outline/lodge their complaint.
  2. If the complainant wishes to make the complaint in person, they will need to contact Touching Base Inc. to organise a suitable time.
  3. The complainant will be informed of the complaints process and the next available Touching Base Inc. Committee meeting, where the complaint will be tabled for resolution. 
  4. If client needs assistance with communication or they require an interpreter Touching Base encourages them to seek the support of an interpreter or advocacy services. A list of Disability Advocacy Services in NSW & ACT is provided at Appendix A in word or PDF format.
  5. If making a verbal complaint the client may wish to invite a carer, friend, family member or outside advocate for support.
  6. Touching Base Inc. will acknowledge the complaint in writing within 10 working days and document the complaint, including:
    • Name of the complainant
    • Name of advocate or support person if appropriate
    • Nature/Issue of complaint and outcome sought by complainant
    • Short/long term action taken.
  7. To resolve the complaint, Touching Base Inc. will, if deemed appropriate, speak with the client and or any other person who is involved to discuss the situation.
  8. Touching Base Inc. may and will explore any other process deemed appropriate to resolve the complaint and document accordingly.
  9. Touching Base Inc. will inform the complainant of any action/s to be taken to resolve the complaint.
  10. If the client is still not satisfied with the outcome, Touching Base Inc. will refer the client to an external body to assist in the resolution of the complaint.
  11. A complaint can be made to the Disability Services Commissioner if the Complainant believes Touching Base Inc. has not properly investigated or acted upon a complaint.
  12. A Touching Base Inc. client may make a complaint directly to the Disability Services Commissioner or an external body.
  13. At the end of the complaints process a client will be sent a letter documenting the outcome of their complaint, the actions taken and asking for feedback.
  14. The Feedback from the client will be used for future planning and development of a quality service.
Notes for Complainant

At any stage of the process you have the right to involve an advocate or support person to assist you.   All complaints however lodged will be documented and the outcomes of the complaints procedure will be monitored to inform and promote service improvements.

Wherever possible information relating to your complaint will be kept confidential.

Click to download this Policy as a PDF document (79kb) or a Word document (143kb)

CONTACT DETAILS
Postal Address: Touching Base Inc, PO Box 523 Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Email: info@touchingbase.org
Web: www.touchingbase.org
Mobile: 0424 591 409

APPENDIX A

Disability Advocacy Services in NSW & ACT (PDF 44kb)
Disability Advocacy Services in NSW & ACT (Word 78kb)

Revised in 2010 by Denise Beckwith (02) 9370 3100 www.pwd.org.au  e-mail: pwd@pwd.org.au

This policy adopted 1st June 2010