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WA requires more effective child-friendly complaint systems

The Commissioner for Children and Young people has released the 2015 Complaints Monitoring Survey report, presenting key findings on how agencies are incorporating children and young people into complaints processes and recognising their needs as direct and indirect users of services.

The survey, which was also conducted in 2013, aims to assess the accessibility and responsiveness of agency complaints systems to children and young people, and the nature of complaints they received from and on behalf of children and young people.

The survey found the percentage of agencies that recognise children and young people in their complaints policies and procedures had increased, but the rate was still less than half (40%).

Similarly, more agencies were providing additional support to encourage children and young people to make complaints, though this rate was just more than 40 per cent.

Commissioner Colin Pettit said having a generic complaints system for both adults and children is no longer satisfactory. 

“Children and young people are among the most vulnerable members of our community and we have a responsibility to ensure they know what to do when they experience mistreatment or abuse, or have concerns about services they use,” Mr Pettit said.

“Child-friendly complaint systems are essential to help to assist agencies in being more accessible and responsive to children and young people, and ensure their needs are being listened to.”

A total of 32 agencies responded to the Commissioner’s 2015 complaints survey.

Practical guidance on how to make complaints processes more child friendly is available in the Are you Listening? – Complaints guidelines publication.