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New Complaints Process to launch in July

Hon Ruth Dyson

Minister for Social Development & Employment

Tuesday, 17 June 2008 Media Statement

New Complaints Process to launch in July

Child, Youth and Family are implementing an improved process for responding to complaints.

"The new system is being implemented to establish a consistent nationwide process that will ensure Child, Youth and Family is a responsive organisation prepared to listen to complaints, investigate them fairly, learn from any mistakes and continually improve their service," said Ruth Dyson, Minister for Social Development and Employment.

"The complaints process needs to be fair, more transparent and more accessible to the clients. That means Children, Youth and Family will have the same processes in all sites and tell people what that process is, so people will receive the same positive treatment right throughout New Zealand.

"The first part of the process is to ensure that Child Youth and Family listen to all concerns at a local level and try to resolve the issues there and then. If the issue remains unresolved, clients can then apply in writing to have an independent Advisory Panel review their complaint.

“This new Advisory Panel creates another level of accountability, but we hope that Child, Youth and Family resolve the issue before it comes to the attention of the Chief Executive and the panel.

“Panel Chair, Mel Smith and panel members Druis Barrett and Jacky Renouf have been appointed on the basis of their credibility, community standing and professional respect and are independent of Child Youth and Family. Their reputations alone lend confidence to the process and I am very pleased that three people with such mana have agreed to contribute their time and effort," said Ms Dyson.

The Complaints Process is part of a larger body of work including a revised Service Charter and the Charter for Children and Young People in Care, which was launched last year. The three initiatives are designed so that the children and families know their rights and understand social workers' commitment to work positively with them.

The revised complaints process will be fully operational by the end of July once staff training is complete.

“It’s important that children and their families are told their rights and reassured that social workers will treat them with care and respect. I am confident that the review of the complaints process and the establishment of the panel, will ensure families and children have an improved way to resolve any issues that arise for them,” said Ms Dyson.


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