1. Scope

Home-Start UK aims to provide a high-quality, responsive service. We welcome every opportunity to monitor and improve the services we provide and having a ‘complaints and compliments’ policy and a clear procedure for resolving complaints is one way of doing this.

This policy covers complaints and compliments relating to the service provided by Home-Start UK. Complaints and compliments relating to a local Home-Start must be directed to and dealt with by that local Home-Start.

2. Complimenting our service

Compliments are valuable, welcome and important and when they are received, either verbally or in writing, they will be recorded. Compliments enable us to:

  • understand that our service is being provided to the satisfaction of all third parties
  • provide positive feedback to our staff
  • influence our organisational and service development
  • inform our quality assurance programme

It is good practice to acknowledge any compliments received.

3. Complaining about our service

We define a complaint as a situation or instance where either an individual or organisation considers that Home-Start UK has fallen short of their reasonable expectations and wishes to express dissatisfaction.

We do recognise that there will be times when we make mistakes and/or get things wrong. In order to learn from such mistakes the Board of Trustees needs to know about these mistakes and encourage people to comment or complain.

Such comments or complaints will always be taken seriously, recorded or responded to as set out in the procedure which forms part of this policy. We recognise that we can learn from our mistakes and improve our service from the learning we capture in the process.

4. Procedure for resolving complaints

Stage 1

We hope that the majority of complaints can be resolved informally by speaking directly to the person or persons involved. If, however, this does not prove possible Stages 2 and 3 are available to support complainants.

If it has not been possible to resolve your complaint at Stage 1 you should move to Stage 2.

Stage 2

We take all complaints seriously and aim to resolve complaints quickly, fairly and effectively. We promise to deal with your complaint sensitively.

We ask all complainants to put their complaint in writing and send this, marked Private & Confidential, to:-

HR Department
Home-Start UK
The Crescent
King Street
Leicester LE1 6RX

or

[email protected] 

Following receipt of the complaint an initial assessment will be made and sent to the appropriate person/department, depending on the subject matter of the complaint.

Home-Start UK is regulated by the Fundraising Regulator, the independent regulator of charity fundraising. The Fundraising Regulator sets and promotes the standards for all fundraising actitivy known as the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Timescale

Your complaint will be acknowledged by the relevant department within 10 working days of receipt. Wherever possible, we will provide a full resolution of your complaint at the same time.

Where your concerns require us to undertake further investigation, and we are not able to provide a full resolution as part of our initial response, we will, within 5 working days of receipt, provide you with an expected timescale for our response and keep you up to date at regular intervals throughout our investigation. We will also tell you who is managing your complaint so you have a point of contact should you need to get in touch with us. You should expect a full response from us within 20 working days from the date we received your complaint.

In order to assist us with our investigation, please provide your contact details and explain your concerns as clearly and as fully as possible. There may be some occasions where we need to seek further information from you in order to investigate your concerns fully and if this is the case your kind response will enable us to resolve your complaint as promptly as possible.

If you are not satisfied by the response at Stage 2 you should move to Stage 3.

Stage 3

If you continue to have concerns you can ask us to review your complaint. At Stage 3 your letter will be acknowledged within 5 working says of receipt and we aim to provide a full written response within 25 working days. If this timeframe is delayed because of annual leave or sickness absence you will be informed of this when your complaint is acknowledged.

This is the final stage in the complaints and compliments procedure. If, following completion of Stage 3, you are still not satisfied this does not affect your right to contact the Charity Commission, or, in the case of fundraising complaints, the Fundraising Regulator.

5. Monitoring of Complaints

All complaints will be recorded regardless of whether or not the complaint was meritorious. This is to enable Home-Start UK to analyse the complaint to determine what actually happened or what could potentially have happened arising out of the issues of which the complaint was made.

Complaints will be tracked by the HR Manager and a report will be prepared by the member of staff responsible for concluding the complaint providing an overview of the complaint and how it was resolved. The report will also set out the findings and recommendations for measures to be taken to prevent further complaints of this nature or to improve/adapt/adjust our services to minimise the likelihood of any further complaints.

Quarterly reviews of any complaints received will be carried out to identify any emergent trends or patterns. If patterns or trends do emerge, this will be recorded and will be considered by the Senior Leadership Team. Measures will be identified to prevent further complaints or minimise the likelihood of such complaints and to continually improve our services. This may include, but is not limited to, adapting paperwork and procedures and carrying out additional training.

6. Review

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis to check it’s effectiveness.