Community & disability services

We handle inquiries and complaints about a range of human service agencies (also called ‘community service providers’).

We review the delivery of community services and oversee the handling of allegations of a child protection nature (reportable allegations) made against employees of all government and certain non-government agencies, including non-government schools, child care centres and agencies providing substitute residential care. We use information from inquiries and complaints to identify and investigate public interest issues.

Other significant work includes examining restoration support for children on short term care orders, and our work relating to the safety, health, welfare and rights of people living in licensed boarding houses.

The Ombudsman is the convenor of the Child Death Review Team and also supports the Official Community Visitors.

What can you complain about?

You can make a complaint about a provider of community services by speaking or writing to us if you believe that a service provider has acted unreasonably:

  • in the way they provide or manage a service to someone
  • not providing a service to someone
  • withdrawing or changing a service to someone
  • providing a service to someone that you believe should not be getting it.

You can make a complaint about the handling of an allegation of a child protection nature against an employee (a ‘reportable allegation’) if you believe the investigation was poorly handled or the outcome was unfair. We can accept complaints from the employee who is the subject of the allegation, the alleged victim, the alleged victim’s family or other interested parties.

What happens when you complain?

You should contact us and ask to speak to an investigation officer.

If you have not yet done so, the investigation officer may encourage you to talk directly to the service provider about your complaint. We can advise you about how to do this and what to say. The service provider will often work with you to solve the problem without you having to lodge a complaint with us.

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Our options for dealing with your complaint

Make inquiries

  • We may ask the agency or service provider to provide us with information about what has happened and what they have done to resolve the complaint. 

Refer your complaint to the service provider for local resolution or investigation

  • We ask the service provider to sort out the problem with you and to report back to us about the solution and the outcome. You can contact us again if you are not satisfied with what the service provider does as a result of your complaint.

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