Compliments and Complaints Policy
Definition of a complaint
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of the services provided by the Child Growth Foundation, including but not exclusive of the Support Line, our convention and events, fundraising, our governance, and other day to day activities.
Definition of a compliment
A compliment is an expression of praise, admiration, or appreciation. It can be a passing comment or a formal and respectful recognition.
Where complaints and compliments come from
Complaints may come from any individual, volunteer or organisation who has a legitimate interest in the Child Growth Foundation, including the general public if something is perceived to be improper.
A complaint or compliment can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.
This policy does not cover complaints from staff, who should refer to Child Growth Foundation’s internal policies, processes and procedures on such matters.
All complaints, compliments and information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.
Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the board of trustees of Child Growth Foundation.
Child Growth Foundation contact details
If you wish to contact us regarding a complaint or to give us feedback/a compliment, you are invited to do so by emailing [email protected] or by calling us on 020 8798 2139.
Alternatively, you can write to us at our registered address:
Child Growth Foundation, c/o Kinnair Associates Limited, Aston House, Redburn Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 1NB
Child Growth Foundation views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person (or organisation) that has made the complaint.
Our policy regarding complaints is:
- To provide a fair complaints process which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- To publicise the existence of our policy so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
- To make sure everyone at Child Growth Foundation knows what to do if a complaint is received.
- To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
- To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
- To gather information which helps us to improve what we do.
Complaints may arrive through channels publicised for that purpose or through any other contact details or opportunities the complainant may have, such as social media.
Complaints received by telephone or in person need to be recorded. The person who receives a phone or in person complaint should:
- Write down the facts of the complaint.
- Take the complainant’s name, address, and telephone number.
- Note down the relationship of the complainant to CGF e.g. fundraiser, volunteer, member etc.
- Tell the complainant that we have a Compliments and Complaints Policy.
- Tell the complainant what will happen next and how long it will take.
- Where appropriate, ask the complainant to send a written account by post or by email so that the complaint is recorded in the complainant’s own words.
In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.
Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to CGF Charity Manager within five business days. When receiving the complaint, the Charity Manager records it in the Complaints Logbook.
If it has not already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within five working days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply.
A copy of this policy should be attached. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a month. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken because of the complaint.
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed at Trustee level. At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the Board of Trustees.
The request for Board level review should be acknowledged within five working days of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.
The Chair of Trustees may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One.
The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond.
Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a month. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.
Child Growth Foundation is a UK charity registered in England and Wales, charity number: 1172807.
The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about raising concerns about CGF can be found on their website at: Raising Concerns · Starter Portal (charitycommission.gov.uk).
Variation of this policy
The Compliments and Complaints Policy may vary for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about a member of staff or trustee should not also have the member of staff and/or trustee involved as a person leading at any stage of the review process.
Monitoring and learning from complaints
Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.
-Last updated: November 2023