If you are not satisfied with how an entity responded to a reportable allegation, you can make a complaint.
Our role in responding to your Reportable Conduct complaint
We are not a complaint handling body and only have a limited complaint handling function under the Act. We do not have an advocacy role in connection with Reportable Conduct complaints and are not required to take action in response to complaints.
However, we can receive and respond to Reportable Conduct complaints to help oversee the way relevant entities respond to reportable allegations.
We will aim to:
- acknowledge receipt of Reportable Conduct complaints and provide the complainant with a reference number
- assess the complaint and consider any action that may be warranted
- advise the complainant of our assessment
- advise the complainant of any action we may take in response to the complaint, to the extent that it is lawful.
The following factors are relevant to whether we take action on your complaint and how much information we can provide you about our actions:
- whether the complaint falls within the parameters of section 28 – that is, dissatisfaction with the head of relevant entity’s response to a report about a reportable allegation
- whether the complaint relates to an active or finalised reportable conduct matter
- the seriousness of the matters complained about
- whether the relevant entity has had an opportunity to respond to the complaint
- whether the Children’s Guardian’s powers enable any outcome or resolution of your complaint
- the extent of your connection to the matter that you have complained about.
What you can expect from us when we respond to your complaint
We aim to acknowledge all Reportable Conduct complaints within seven business days. We may contact you to ask for more information.
Unless we are required to do so by mandatory reporting obligations, we will not disclose your details to another party without your consent.
Once we have assessed what action we might take in response to your complaint, we will let you know. We will let you know the substance of any action we plan to take, unless it is not in the public interest to do so or we are precluded by law. Also, if we take action on your complaint, we will let you know the extent to which we are able to provide you with information about the outcome.
We will communicate with you in a clear, professional and respectful way. We will assess your complaint objectively and act impartially. If we take action on your complaint and you are entitled to information about our action, we will keep you informed. We aim to resolve your complaint in the least formal and most timely way possible.
Protections for complainants
If, acting in good faith, you make a Reportable Conduct complaint to the Children’s Guardian, the Act provides you with protection against retribution (section 64) and immunity from civil or criminal liability (section 68).
It is an offence for any person to take or threaten to take detrimental action against a person because they have made a Reportable Conduct complaint, unless the complaint was made in bad faith (including providing information you knew to be false or misleading).
What can I do if I am not satisfied with how the Children’s Guardian responds to my complaint?
Our assessment of, and action on, Reportable Conduct complaints is final and not subject to review.
However, if you are concerned that our conduct in responding to your complaint was illegal, unreasonable, unjust or oppressive, improperly discriminatory, based on improper or irrelevant grounds, based on a mistake of law or fact, or otherwise wrong, you can make a complaint about us.
Please first give us the opportunity to respond to any concern about maladministration by an employee of the Office of Children’s Guardian. We ask that you submit any such complaint to us at email@example.com.
You can also raise maladministration complaints directly with the Office of the NSW Ombudsman.
You can read about how we will deal with your complaint by reading our Complaints Handling Policy.