What is a complaint?
Before Filing a Complaint
When should a complaint be made?
Can the complaints process help me in the Courts, such as in Family Court?
No. Section 50(6) of the Social Work and Social Service Work Act states that none of the information you receive in the course of the complaints process is admissible in any court proceeding outside of the College. This includes any responses from the College member and the decision of the Complaints Committee.
Can a complaint be made concerning individuals who are not members of the College?
- The College may, in exceptional circumstances, consider a complaint about a current College member concerning conduct that occurred before he or she became a member; and
- The College may deal with a complaint about a former College member concerning conduct that occurred while he or she was a member.
What if a complaint concerns more than one member of the College?
Filing a Complaint
What should you do if you wish to file a complaint?
- If you have a concern regarding the practice or conduct of a social worker or social service worker, we suggest that you first attempt to address your concerns directly with the social worker/social service worker or with the agency/employer if applicable. This is usually the most direct way to address your concerns. If this is not possible or successful, you may wish to file a complaint with the College.
- Complaints filed with the College must be made in writing or recorded on a tape, film, disk or other medium that is capable of being reduced to writing. If you are submitting your complaint in writing, you must use the College’s Complaint Form. If you are submitting your complaint in any other format, you must answer all of the questions in the Complaint Form.
- Signed Complaint Forms should be mailed, faxed or emailed to the College, and addressed to the Coordinator, Complaints and Discipline. If you have questions regarding the filing of your complaint, you may contact Complaints and Discipline staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 416-972-9882 or toll free at 1-877-828-9380, ext. 210 or 223.
What must be included in a complaint?
- The name of the person making the complaint;
- The telephone number and address at which the person making the complaint can be contacted by the College;
- The name of the member of the College who is the subject of the complaint, or, if the member’s name is not known, enough details so that the College can determine the name of the member; and
- A statement regarding the conduct or actions of the member of the College with sufficient details to identify the concerns of the person making the complaint, including:
- a description of the conduct or actions of the member of the College giving rise to the complaint, including a brief explanation of the context under which it occurred; and,
- the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the event or events giving rise to the complaint, if known.
A complaint may contain other information which is relevant to the subject matter of the complaint or which may assist in the investigation of the complaint, including but not limited to, the names and contact information of any witnesses to the alleged conduct of concern or relevant documents. If you are providing documents, it is necessary to provide a description of the documents and indicate how they are relevant to your complaint. If you do not provide an explanation about how each document relates to your concerns, your documents may be returned to you and will not be considered as part of your complaint.
The Complaints Process
What happens after a complaint is received by the College?
- The individual who made the complaint (“the Complainant”) can expect to receive a letter from the College acknowledging receipt of the complaint and advising of the process that will follow.
- The member complained against is notified in writing of the College’s receipt of a complaint and is provided with a copy of the complaint or a written summary of the complaint and at least 35 days to provide the College with a written response to the complaint.
- The Complainant is then provided with a copy of the member’s response or a written summary of the member’s response.
- Further information may be needed. If so, The College will make attempts to obtain it.
Is the complaints process confidential?
How long will it take for the complaints process to be completed?
Should I obtain legal advice to assist me in the complaints process?
The Complaints Committee
Does the individual who filed the complaint or the member complained against meet with the Complaints Committee?
What kinds of decisions can the Complaints Committee make?
- Take no action with respect to the complaint.
- Require the member complained against to appear before the Complaints Committee to be cautioned.
- Take any action the Complaints Committee considers appropriate in the circumstances that is consistent with the Act, the regulations or the bylaws.
- Refer the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee of the College.
- Refer the matter to the Discipline Committee of the College.