Free Legal Advice Group (FLAG DV ) aims to provide services of an acceptable standard to all users. Notification of failure in this capacity will enable us not only to deal with the specific problem, but also prevent it happening again.

All complaints will be recorded and kept on file. The recording of complaints will enable us to monitor them and show any weaknesses in our systems and procedures or in staff training, which can then be remedied.

We have a comprehensive procedure for any client complaints that may arise.   This will include a full investigation and action upon those complaints. 

See below The procedure for complaints.

We undertake an investigation to ensure that all complaints are taken seriously, are handled appropriately and respectful relationships with parties are maintained throughout.  We ask that any client with a complaint supports us in doing this by using the complaint procedure below.

The Procedure for Complaints

Where a client has a complaint regarding any service they have received from Flag DV they should make a written complaint to for the attention of the CEO.

This complaint should contain the:

  • Client’s name
  • Client’s address
  • Client’s telephone Number
  • Date the complaint was made
  • Full details of the nature of the complaint – this should be an outline of the facts relating to the complaint being as specific as possible, e.g. providing dates, names etc
  • Supporting Evidence – specifying any evidence that can be given to support the complaint, e.g. names of witnesses.  These witnesses may be asked to give evidence. It is therefore advised that you seek permission from these witnesses.
  • What action has been taken (if any) to resolve the complaint to date
  • Outcome sought

Responding to complaints 

Upon receiving a complaint, the following process will be implemented:

  1. The CEO will give the complainant  a copy of the complaints procedure as set out here.
  2. The CEO will inform a nominated trustee and contact the member of staff/volunteer involved in the complaint to inform them that a complaint has been made.
  3. The CEO will investigate the complaint
  4. The CEO will aim to respond in writing to the complainant within two weeks. 
  5. If the complainant is not satisfied that the matter has been resolved by the CEO, then he/she may write a letter of appeal to the Trustees who will carry out a further investigation into the complaint.
  6. Once the Trustees have decided on a course of action or decided that no course of action is required, the complainant will be notified in writing of the decision and the action, if any, to be taken. The Trustees will aim to notify the complainant  of this decision within two weeks following the receipt of a letter of appeal.  If for any reason there is a delay they will notify the complainant.

  The decision of the Trustees is final and no further appeals can be made against the decision.

Third Party Complaints

Matters relating to individual clients remain confidential. In dealing with any complaint concerning FLAG DV provided to an individual client, confidentiality and the safety of the client will be paramount. This principle also applies to former clients.

Neither managers nor the Board will enter into any discussion with any third party concerning the details of the service provided to any individual client, or former client, unless the complainant is acting on behalf of and with the explicit and recorded permission of the client. However neither managers nor the Board will enter into any discussion with any third party whom the client/former client has previously alleged to be a perpetrator of domestic violence or abuse, even if the client has given that person permission to act on their behalf. 

At no stage of any Third Party complaint under consideration may the complainant be accompanied by any person whom the client/former client has previously alleged to be a perpetrator of domestic violence or abuse.

Any complaint made by a third party acting on behalf of and with the permission of a client, concerning the service provided to that client, must be reported immediately to the Board. In the first instance senior managers may be asked to seek to resolve the matter, depending on the nature of the complaint, and to inform the Board of the outcome.

If a complaint by a third party representing a former client, with that client’s permission, which is under consideration, cannot be resolved by managers, the matter will be referred to the Board. The complainant will be invited to put their complaint in writing and managers will be asked to submit a report on the actions taken to try to resolve the matter. A holding response will be sent as soon as is reasonably possible and an investigation conducted. When this has been completed the Board will respond to the complainant.