Complaint Process

Secwépemc Child and Family Services is committed to providing quality service to children, youth, families, and communities. As part of this commitment, the agency’s complaints process is guided by the principles that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect; that confidentiality and privacy of individuals will be respected; and, that there will not be any negative consequences to anyone, including children, youth, and families, as a result of making a complaint in good faith.

Complaints

First, you can try to work out your concerns with the SCFS worker who made the decision you are unhappy with. Phone, email or visit the agency office to discuss your concerns with the SCFS worker to try to solve the problem. Communication is often the most common issue that occurs. Talking to the staff member you have concerns with is usually the quickest, easiest way to try to resolve a problem. You have every right to ask an advocate, friend or relative to accompany you to the meeting to try to work things out. If, within 7 days, this meeting does not resolve your concerns, please contact the worker’s Supervisor/Team Leader to request a meeting to discuss your concerns. Please ensure that your concerns, key facts and events are clear and identify possible solutions. The Supervisor will meet with you and the worker, listen and try to work out a resolution to your concerns.

How to Submit a Complaint

If, after 14 days, you have not been able to resolve your concerns with the worker or Supervisor/Team Leader, you can ask the Executive Director of Secwepemc Child and Family Services to formally review your concerns. The Executive Director and an Elder will meet with you to hear your concerns and try to resolve the issue. At this meeting, please bring an advocate, put your concerns in writing, identify the key facts and events and identify possible solutions from your perspective. The agency will advise you that you can continue with the resolution process to your complaint, or, you may request an Administrative Review. For more information on the Administrative Review process, please contact the Executive Director.

Once the Executive Director and Elder have made a decision:

Within 30 days from the date of your initial complaint, you will receive a letter from the Executive Director. telling you the decision and the reasons for it. Depending on the complaint, there are many possible outcomes, such as:

  • The decision you challenged may be changed
  • You may get an apology
  • The agency may make changes in areas such as policy, practice, staff training or supervision, or
  • The decision or action you complained about could be found to be reasonable and fair, and therefore could not be changed
  • You could be referred to the Office of the Ombudsperson for further review

If you disagree with the decision made about your complaint

Making a complaint does not always mean that an agency decision or action will be changed to your liking, but it does mean that SCFS will review its actions. The letter you receive will give reasons for the decision, and let you know who you can contact if you want an independent review For an Independent Review: If you think the review decision or process has not been fair or proper, you can request an independent review. You can contact the Office of the Ombudsperson for assistance at no cost. Any decision or action that you think is unfair, contact:

Office of the Ombudsperson

Phone: 1-800-567-3247
TTY: 1-800-667-1303
Fax: (604) 660-1691 or (250) 387-0198

Commonly Asked Questions

Who can make a complaint using the complaints process?

  • A child or youth receiving or entitled to receive services.
  • A family member or caregiver about their own treatment or their family member’s treatment.
  • A foster parent complaining on behalf of their foster child.
  • A person acting on behalf of a child or trying to get services on behalf of a child (such as a teacher, doctor, foster family).

Can a foster parent use the complaints process?

Foster parents are covered by special protocols, so concerns about their own care giving situation should be brought to the attention of their agency fostering contact.

What issues can complaints be made about?

  • Being treated with respect and dignity.
  • Sensitivity to a culture.
  • Telling you what to expect in your dealings with the agency.
  • Involvement in case planning and decision-making about a child in care.
  • Quality of agency services.
  • Eligibility for or access to SCCFS services, and/or
  • Quality of agency services.
  • A breach of the rights of a child in care.

Can I have help in making a formal complaint to SCFS?

SCFS encourages you to work with someone to support you when making a complaint. Anyone you choose – a relative, friend, doctor, or anyone else – can join you in making your complaint, or they can make the complaint for you. Also, you can ask the agency for names of people or organizations in your area that can help you. What is an advocate and how can an advocate help me make my complaint? An advocate is anyone who helps you speak up and be included in the process. Sometimes a problem seems very difficult or feels overwhelming. If you feel this way, an advocate might be able to help you. Anyone you choose can be your advocate – family, friends, or community representatives. Or, ask the agency for names and numbers of people and organizations in your area who can act as an advocate or provide support. You can also call the advocates listed below, free of cost.

Representative for Children and Youth

BC’s Representative for Children and Youth supports young people and their families in dealing with the provincial Child Welfare system.

Kamloops Parent’s Legal Centre:

250-434-0663 or 1-866-577-2525

If you need to make a Child Welfare Report:

Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – SCFS 250-314-9669

Afterhours: 250-310-1234