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 Complaints Management Unit

The Complaints Management Unit (CMU)

The Complaints Management Unit oversees all complaints about the Department. The Department want to resolve your complaints and dissatisfactions as quickly and as easily as possible. Working together is the best way to fix many problems for children and their families and the complaints process is a good way to start.

Please note: if your complaint concerns the wellbeing or safety of a child in the metropolitan area, contact the Central Intake Team on 1800 273 889 or cpduty@communities.wa.gov.au or if your complaint concerns the wellbeing or safety of a child in a country location, please contact the relevant office to report your concerns.

Resolving your complaints

What is resolution?
Resolution means talking about the problem, being listened to, having decisions explained and being told of your rights. Resolution may mean that the problem has been solved to your satisfaction and agreement.

What is a complaint?
A complaint is a formal way of telling the Department that you are dissatisfied with something it has done. It may also be about something that the Department has not done that you could reasonably expect it to do.

What CAN you complain about?
Any of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's services or actions.

Complaints we CANNOT deal with:

  • Decisions made by the Children’s Court or Family Court.
  • Any complaint subject to legal action.
  • Formal Case Plan decision.
  • Recommendations of the Care Review Panel.
  • The death of a child.
  • Decisions of the Working with Children Screening Unit.
  • Anonymous complaints.

Making an informal complaint
This is when your problem or dissatisfaction can be resolved by talking with the officer or their supervisor and many problems are best resolved this way. You can talk about the issues and come to an agreement you are both satisfied with. It you remain dissatisfied then you can make a formal complaint by following the steps outlined below.

Making a formal complaint

Step 1 – Lodge a complaint

Ways you can lodge a complaint:

What happens next?

  • You will get a letter saying your complaint has been received.
  • The Director will phone you to clarify and try to resolve your complaint.
  • The Director may undertake further investigation of your complaint.
  • They will send you a Complaint Outcome Letter.

How long will it take?
All together 21 working days. However in some circumstances it may require a longer time frame, which you will be advised of by the CMU. 

What if I am still not satisfied?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Complaints Management Unit

The CMU can investigate your complaint if Step 1 is not successful and you are not satisfied with the outcome. You must have an Outcome Letter from Step 1 before CMU will start an investigation. You can at any time seek advice and information from the CMU about your complaint and be assisted to make a formal complaint.

What happens next?

  • The CMU staff will talk to you regarding your complaint.
  • They will ask for a copy of your Step 1 Outcome Letter.
  • You will get a letter confirming your complaint is being investigated.
  • You may attend a meeting with the CMU staff.
  • They will send you a Complaint Investigation Outcome Letter.

How long will it take?
Up to 21 working days. However, in some circumstances it may require a longer time frame which you will be advised of by the CMU.

What if I am still not satisfied?
After Step 2, the Department has done all it can to try to resolve your complaint. You can take your complaint for external review (see Step 3).

Step 3 – External review

If you want to take your complaint outside of the Department, please contact the Ombudsman Western Australia by telephoning (08) 9220 7555 or 1800 117 000 (country free call).

The Australian Government provides a Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) for people who do not speak English and for English speakers needing to communicate with them. TIS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call TIS for help with reading information written in English.  Phone: 131 450.

Related services

Legal Aid
Telephone: 1300 650 579
Website: www.legalaid.wa.gov.au

Care Plan Review Panel
Telephone: (08) 9222 2593
Care Plan Review Panel web page

Advocate for Children in Care
Free call: 1800 460 696
Mobile: 0429 086 508
Advocate for Children in Care web page

Foster Care Association of WA
Telephone: (08) 9242 4222 or 1800 497 101 (country free call)
Website: www.fcawa.com.au


Also see the Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Complaints Management Policy

Complaints Management Policy for Children and Young People

Children and Young People Complaints

Methods for making a formal complaint:

Download the complaints kit
Resolving your complaint - complaints kit 

Submit an online complaint
Online complaint form

Telephone the Manager or Director
Telephone: 1800 333 325
Voice Relay: 1300 555 727
TTY: 133 677
International: +61 8 6217 6888

Telephone the Complaints Management Unit
Telephone: 1800 333 325

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