Complaints, Appeals & Dispute Resolution

Complaints, Appeals & Dispute Resolution


There are rules and laws that have to be followed when WJS Canada investigates a complaint. A complaint will not cause any retaliation or barriers to service. When a formal complaint is investigated as a “critical incident” we fill out a report and send it to the office of our funder. If there is a complaint of child abuse or if someone suspects that a child is being abused, we also must tell Child Protection. Where there is suspected or observed neglect, abuse or any other unlawful act against a person, WJS involves the police as a part of the reporting process. These situations must be reported immediately to the manager of the program.


Individuals who aren’t satisfied with the care and/or treatment received in or by WJS programs, providers or management may complain/appeal as follows:



  • Step 1: If you can, try and talk to the person about it.
  • Step 2: You are also encouraged to discuss any concern right away with the manager of the program from which you receive services.
  • Step 3: If your concern is not resolved within 5 days after you speak to the program manager, if you don’t feel safe talking to the manager, or if the manager is part of your concern, you are encouraged to talk with the program director. To start a formal complaint, fill out the complaint form, and fax or e-mail it to the program director or to our central admin office. Be sure and tell them as much as you can about what is the matter, and any people who are involved. Within 2 days of receiving the form, WJS staff will respond in person, by telephone or email to let you know the form was received and to gather any needed information. The program director will address the matter within 10 days of receiving the written complaint and notify you in writing.
  • Step 4: If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of Step 3, you can contact the Executive Director to request a meeting. The meeting should be held within 15 days. If you wish, you may ask a neutral person to assist in presenting your concern.


Note: Where possible you will get an answer about your complaint in 30 days after you submit it in writing. If it is something that is very serious and you are worried about your safety, we will talk with you about being in a different place or having different people support you until we have the investigation done. The CEO and Executive Director are kept informed regarding an investigation, and any report is kept confidential.



There are different things that can happen after the decision is made, If you’re not satisfied you can “challenge” the decision and a different decision might be made.

  • You might get an apology from the person who treated you unfairly.
  • WJS Canada might change some of its rules.
  • WJS Canada might provide more training to staff.
  • If you are not satisfied with the decision made, you can contact the CEO for a review and final decision. We can’t ensure that you will be completely satisfied with the outcome of the process. What we can ensure is that your concern will get fair consideration and we will do everything we can to resolve your complaint. We support the decision-making process, but we are also open to reviewing these decisions.
  • If you are still not satisfied you can get someone else outside of WJS to help you. You have the right to arrange for assistance from whomever you wish at any time during the presentation of your concerns, including a legal guardian, a social worker, or other advocate. Of course, you always have the right to take your concerns to appropriate review processes, such as an ombudsman or other procedural review bodies.


You are served by the organization and have the right to ask for an internal appeal of any aspect of the service you receive, including:

  1. Acceptance into services
  2. Types of services provided (including specific incidents)
  3. Limitations on services; and
  4. Termination of services


At the time of application for services (for individual-initiated involvement) or admission into services (for externally-initiated services), we tell you about your right to appeal, your avenues of appeal, both internal and external, the appeal process, and the time limit for appeal. An appeal may confirm or alter a decision made at any prior level of the appeal. Appeals also will not result in barriers to service or any form of retaliation.


Other Issues


When the complaint resolution includes HR actions, WJS complies with privacy legislation by not releasing specific information relating to actions taken or persons involved. In these cases, results will be described in general terms with no identifying information.