Making a Complaint
There are several ways that you can make a complaint, so it’s really up to you to determine what the easiest way is for you and your particular situation. We encourage you to talk to your MCFD or DAA worker to sort out your disagreement(s). If you’re not comfortable with this, or if you can't sort out the disagreement, that’s okay. There are many other ways to make a complaint. What’s important is that you speak up.
- Fill out the online complaints form
- Send an email to email@example.com (please include your name, city, email, phone number, what your concern or feedback is, how and when we can reach you)
- Contact MCFD or the DAA by phone, letter, fax or in person. Please call toll-free 1 877-387-7027 to be connected with your local minitry office or your DAA. To call a toll-free Telephone Device for the Deaf (TTY) in Vancouver call 604 775-0303 and elsewhere in BC call 1 800 661-8773
- Tell any MCFD or DAA worker you want to make a complaint and they will give you the contact information for the complaints specialist
Don’t forget that you can have an advocate help you make a complaint. At any time you can also have a language interpreter to help you talk to the complaints specialist. You can also have a sign language interpreter or anyone else to help you communicate if you wish.
The complaint process gives you two choices for sorting out your complaint – Resolution and Administrative Review. During Resolution you will have a chance to work with MCFD or DAA staff to find a solution that you think resolves your complaint. You and staff will have 30 days to find the solution unless you agree to an extension. You are welcome to have an advocate help you to work with MCFD or DAA staff to find the solution.
In an Administrative Review a person (from MCFD or the DAA) who has had no involvement in what has led to your making a complaint will review your complaint, come to a conclusion and may make recommendations. This review will be completed within 30 days unless you agree to an extension. You can request an Administrative Review at any time during the complaint process, even if you have already started working to find a solution with staff.
What happens once a decision about my complaint has been made?
You will receive a letter telling you the decision and you should receive a copy of the Administrative Review. Remember that making a complaint does not always mean the decision or action will be changed but it does mean that MCFD or the DAA has listened to you and reviewed its actions.
Who can I contact if I disagree with a decision?
If you are still not happy or think any of the decisions, conclusions or recommendations are unfair you can contact the Ombudsperson (toll-free 1 800 567-3247). The Ombudsperson does not work for the ministry. It is the Ombudsperson’s job to answer your questions and make sure you are treated fairly by government services.
If I am in a youth custody centre can I also use the complaints process?
Yes, however, custody centres also have other options for you to forward a complaint. You can ask to speak to:
- a Director at the custody centre who will respond within five working days
- the Youth Custody Complaints Manager (Investigations and Standards Office) at 250 387-5948
- the Ombudsperson at 1 800 567-3247
- the Representative for Children & Youth at 1 800 476-3933 to help put your complaint forward
All of these people will ensure your complaint is heard and responded to as quickly as possible. Just ask any staff member at the custody centre who will help you get in touch with these people, fill out a written complaint, and, where possible, help you deal with your concerns. The custody centres also have on-site advocates who can also help you forward your complaint.