Handling Client and Tenant Complaints
Legislation: AODA, Mental Health Act; Occupational health and Safety Act;
Purpose: AIS strives to provide high quality, effective and accountable services to its clients. Transparent complaint procedures ensure constructive responses and remediation.
Policy: It is the policy of AIS to treat any complaint about the actions of support, administration or property services or Board members with respect and diligence. Tenants are encouraged to first have a conversation with the person with whom they have a disagreement or complaint. In order to effectively respond and gather information, tenants are asked to make complaints and seek resolution as soon as possible. If a resolution with the staff person is not satisfactory, the tenant is asked to make a written complaint addressed to the appropriate supervisor. At each level, the agency response should be within ten days. Likewise, if complaints are not advanced by tenants within a specified time, they shall be deemed to have been abandoned, unless circumstances have interfered with a tenant’s ability to make a complaint. AIS will inform all employees and tenants and Board members of their rights and responsibilities with regard to complaints about AIS services.
- Any employee receiving a complaint in person or over the phone will refer the client or tenant to their Community Support Worker or the appropriate department manager.
If the client or tenant has a complaint about their own Community Support Worker, they should be directed to the program manager.
In most cases, the tenant will be advised to meet with the person involved to seek resolution.
- Employees should make a note of the complaint and actions taken to address the complaint.
- If the complaint involves a manager or administrative staff person, the tenant/client should be directed to the employee’s immediate supervisor.
- Complaints about different agency departments, policies or actions of the Executive Director should be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors.
- When a tenant or client has a complaint regarding services, they will be asked to provide details in a written note.
- The Community Support Worker or an external service provider may support the client in drafting their letter and/or meeting with the Program Manager or Property Manager or Finance Manager to discuss the concern.
- The appropriate manager will acknowledge the complaint in writing and determine next steps. Timeframes for next steps will be discussed with the tenant/client and follow up actions will be documented and communicated to the parties involved.
- Any complaints of criminal behaviour or assault should be directed to the Toronto Police Services for appropriate investigation.
- Where complaints cannot be substantiated and there is no evidence of malicious intent, the client or tenant or agency may seek the assistance of mediation or alternative dispute resolution services.
- If complaints about the agency cannot be resolved internally, an individual may consult with the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office.
- If a complaint is not substantiated and also found to be malicious, the agency will warn the client/tenant about harassing or aggressive behaviours. Repeated unsubstantiated and malicious complaints or accusations that are harmful or threatening to an employee or the Agency may be grounds for discharge from our programs and services.