Complaints from Non-Members
Non-members include primarily womyn receiving support or other services from SASC, but can also include other non-members such as community contacts, contract workers or Friends of SASC (e.g. members of SASC’s Fundraising Committee).
Sharing our complaint policy with non-members receiving in-person services: Any womyn receiving in-person services, such as individual and/or group counselling or advocacy, will be given a copy of this policy of rights, which includes womyn’s complaint options, early on in her contact with SASC. A copy will also be posted in the waiting room. Since we cannot assume equal access to written English, the Collective member handing it to her will explain what it is, what it is for, and what it says. The reason for handing out this information is to give the womyn as much control, information and power as possible to speak out and to protect herself. This will give SASC the opportunity to make changes, when needed, to the support work we provide, as well as other aspects of the organization.
Sharing our complaint policy with all other non-members: All Collective members are encouraged whenever it seems appropriate to share our complaint procedures and options with any non-member who may not necessarily have access to the sheet of paper that explains it in writing — for example any womyn receiving services primarily over the phone, community contacts, or any other non-member who even hints that she may have a complaint, suggestion or feedback. The reason for this is to increase our accountability to the womyn we serve and to our community.
How do I make a complaint?
Anonymous complaint in the Suggestion Box: Any non-member may make a written and anonymous complaint, suggestion or feedback by placing it in the Suggestion Box provided in the waiting room. On the box there will be a sign that explains our complaint policy.
Anonymous phone complaint: Any non-member may make an anonymous complaint to any Collective member on the phone. The Collective member will explain to the womyn that she will write the complaint down to the best of her ability and will share it with either the Counselling or the Ad Hoc Accountability and Complaints Committee.
Complaint in writing or on tape: A non-member may put a complaint in writing or on tape with a first name (does not have to be her real name) and some way of contacting her, such as a daytime phone number. The Collective member who receives it will ask her if she minds being contacted for further clarification or questions, and for telling her the outcome. If she does not wish to be contacted, the collective member can make other mutually-agreeable arrangements for her to hear about the outcome.
Verbal complaint: A non-member may make a verbal complaint either over the phone or in-person. The Collective member who hears it will write it down, inform the womyn that it will be put in writing, and offer to read it back to her if necessary to clarify it. She will inform the womyn that it will end up in the Ad Hoc Accountability and Complaints Committee Binder along with our response, and that her name will not be recorded there. The Collective member will ask for a first name (doesn’t have to be her real one) and a daytime phone number. She will be asked if she minds being contacted for further clarification or questions, and for telling her the outcome. If she does not wish to be contacted, the Collective member can make other mutually-agreeable arrangements for her to hear about the outcome.
Full in-person complaint procedure: A non- member may request to deliver and process her complaint in- person with the Ad Hoc Accountability and Complaints Committee. The Collective member(s) and/or committee who are directly involved in the complaint may be present or not present as the woman chooses. This option is open to woman only. The Collective member who receives this request will take a first name, daytime phone number, the names of SASC members or committees in question (the complaint could be about the whole Collective), a summary of what the complaint is about, what location(s) for a meeting would be OK with her, how many advocates she would like to bring, and a couple of convenient dates and times. The Collective member will take the request to the Ad Hoc Accountability and Complaints Committee.