VITA is committed to sustaining a positive relationship with our members and their substitute decision makers. VITA encourages open communication with all levels of the organization. VITA also recognizes that our organization and our staff, as well as our members and their family are expected to treat all persons with dignity and respect. Discriminatory, hateful, derogatory or hurtful language towards anyone employed, contracted or supported by VITA will not be tolerated. VITA reserves the right to limit the access of any family member who in our opinion poses a threat or difficult working environment to our staff as a result of their conduct or actions.
The formal complaint procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, promptly, consistently and, wherever possible, resolved to the complainant's satisfaction. The purpose of this policy is also to ensure that the complainant and respondent will not be victimized or discriminated against for taking part in the complaint procedure process as outlined in this policy.
VITA’s responsibility is to:
Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing.
Respond within a stated period of time as stated in this policy.
Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint.
Take immediate and appropriate action.
A complainant's responsibility is to:
Raise concerns promptly and directly with a VITA direct care staff first.
Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date.
Allow VITA a reasonable time to deal with the matter as stated in this policy.
Recognize that some circumstances may be beyond VITA’s control.
All members and families have the right to appeal against any action or decision made in the provision of services and supports. We encourage all families and members to speak directly to staff involved in their support plan to resolve all issues. Should issues not be resolved with the direct care staff, VITA has established the following process in regards to handling and resolving complaints.
Step 1: (Discussion with the Program Supervisor)
The member or family is to discuss the complaint with the specific program supervisor. The resolution will be documented by the supervisor and a copy provided to both the member or substitute decision maker and to the Director of Programs.
Step 2: (Discussion with the Program Director)
Should the issue remain unresolved, the member or family should contact the Director of Programs. Ideally bring their complaint in writing if possible.
If a phone call or email does not resolve the situation a meeting involving as appropriate, the staff, supervisor and Director of Programs along with the member or their substitute decision maker will be scheduled. Such meetings must occur no later than 1 month following the initial complaint.
Step 3: (Discussion with the Executive Director)
If the complaint remains unresolved, the member or substitute decision maker may request a meeting with the Executive Director. Ideally, the member or substitute decision maker will provide in writing the reason for their complaint prior to the meeting. The member or substitute decision maker will contact the Executive Assistant to provide the reason for the meeting and to schedule a date to discuss the matter.
If a phone call or email does not resolve the situation a meeting involving the Executive Director along with other employees as appropriate, the member or their substitute decision maker will be scheduled. Such meetings must occur no later than 1 month following the initial complaint submitted to the Executive Director.
Based on the nature of the resolution, the meeting will be documented and resolution of the complaint forwarded in writing to the member or their substitute decision maker.
Step 4: (Board of Directors)
All operational matters are the responsibility of the Executive Director. Should the member or the substitute decision maker have a complaint regarding the actions of the Executive Director that are in violations of the agency policies or are not operational in nature, a formal complaint can be made to the Board of Directors.
The member or substitute decision maker must prepare a written document outlining the nature of the complaint specific to the Executive Director and non operational matters. The letter should be addressed to the President of the Board. The Board of Directors will review the correspondence and if satisfied that the decision and actions taken by management and the Executive Director were within their responsibilities and operational in nature, the matter will not be further reviewed by the Board and considered final.
At the sole discretion of the Board, they may choose to meet with the complainant to review the matter further. Should the matter not be operational the Executive Assistant will arrange for a meeting between the complainant and Board representation as the Board determines appropriate.
Correspondence to the Board should be addressed VITA Board President and sent to 4301 Weston Rd., Toronto, ON. M9L 2Y3.
Step 5: (Government and funding bodies)
Families and substitute decision makers not satisfied with the resolution provided by the organization have the right to complain or take their action beyond the organization such as to government and funding bodies (Ministry of Community and Social Services).
At the request of any member or substitute decision maker, the contact information for ministry staff will be provided.
Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and VITA maintain confidentiality. However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality. Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.
VITA’s Senior Management team and the Board of Directors will conduct an evaluation of this policy on an annual basis.