YACVic views complaints as a valuable form of feedback, a vital part of child safety, and an opportunity for us to learn how to improve our services and make things better for everyone.

YACVic is committed to reviewing all feedback and complaints quickly and thoroughly, identifying actions that need to be taken, and implementing those actions and other improvements in a timely manner.

YACVic Child Safe Policy

If you’re a young person worried about your safety, or a friend’s safety

If you’re worried about your safety, or a friend’s safety because of something happening right now, you should call the police on 000. It’s okay to tell someone, and you have the right to:

  • Be safe and feel safe
  • Say how you feel and be heard
  • Tell someone you’re unhappy.

If you’re concerned or unhappy about something that happened in the past that made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you should talk about it to someone you trust. For example, this could be a parent, sibling, other relative, teacher or youth worker.

You can also talk to one of YACVic’s Child Safety Officers if they’re available, or any other available YACVic staff member. We’ll listen to you and let you know how we can help. If needed, we’ll take action to help make sure you are safe. These are:

You can also contact our Complaints Officer, Kirsty Greenwood (she/her) through one of the following ways:

You may also want to talk to one of these organisations:

  • Lifeline 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention. Phone 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline - a free, confidential 24-hour telephone counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years. It also offers webchat and email counselling. Phone 1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue has an online youth mental health service. It has online chat, forums and a 24-hour phone counselling line. Phone 1300 22 4636
  • Headspace online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 years and their families going through a tough time. Phone 1800 650 890
  • Reachout provides online mental health support, tools and resources and a safe place to chat anonymously for young people and their parents.

YACVic Complaints Policy

About this policy

This policy explains how children, young people and adults can make a complaint, and how YACVic will respond and investigate in a prompt and thorough way.

It explains the complaints process, which we’ve designed to be accessible to the full diversity of children, young people, family members, youth workers and communities involved with us. It covers alleged abuse and harm of children and young people by adults, and by other children and young people.

It covers breaches of YACVic’s Code of Conduct, and sets out what support and assistance YACVic provides for those making a complaint. This includes an outline of how risks to children will be managed when a complaint is raised and an investigation is underway.

It also covers our record-keeping obligations, and explains what we do to ensure individuals privacy and employment law obligations are met.

What happens when YACVic receive a complaint

We will respond within a reasonable timeframe (for example, most complaints are responded to within 7 working days). In the meantime, we will provide you with information that's helpful, accurate, and easy to understand.

We will be courteous and considerate in our communication, and respect any confidentiality requests when referring your complaint to an appropriate staff member for investigation. 

We'll let you know when you can expect to hear back and keep you informed of any changes to that timeline. Once reached, we'll let you know the outcome of the investigation and, where appropriate, of subsequent actions. 

We will always endeavour to ensure that there is no adverse outcome for you because you made a complaint.

YACVic Complaints Procedure


Complaints Procedure Flowchart

Here's a visual representation of how the complaints process works from start to finish.

Complaints Flowchart

How to make a complaint

How to make a complaint

To make a complaint, follow the two steps below:

Please note, if you are not comfortable with the process you can:

  • Skip any steps that make you uncomfortable.
  • Get support writing or voicing the complaint from a YACVic staff member or from someone else that you trust.
  • Withdraw or stop your complaint at any time.

1. Speak to a YACVic staff member about your concerns

  • Start by talking to the YACVic or YDAS staff member who is conducting the activity or providing the service or information you are unhappy with. Let them know you wish to raise a concern.
  • They’ll listen, and may be able to resolve the issue for you quickly. Otherwise, they’ll work with you to find a solution.
  • If your concerns are resolved, you don’t need to take any further steps.

2. Contact the Complaints Officer

If Step 1 did not resolve your complaint or you want to skip that step, you can:

  • Ask the YACVic staff member to refer your complaint to the Complaints Officer, or
  • Contact the Complaints Officer yourself in one of the ways listed above, or
  • Complete the YACVic Complaints Form.
What happens once a complaint is made?

Initial Response

If you have provided contact details, we’ll let you know that we’ve received your complaint, and provide you with our complaints handling process. This usually takes up to 3 working days (Monday to Friday). If you haven’t provided any contact details, we’ll still investigate your complaint but won’t be able to follow up with you to inform you of what's being done to resolve the issue.

Investigating the complaint

All complaints under this Policy will be dealt with promptly, fairly and objectively. YACVic’s response to a complaint will vary depending on the nature of the complaint and the amount of information provided. Your complaint may be addressed and resolved informally or through formal investigation. While a complaint does not guarantee a formal investigation, all complaints will be properly assessed and considered by the Complaints Officer and a decision made as to whether it should be investigated.

If the Complaints Officer determines that an investigation is not required, you will be informed of the outcome and the reasons as to why this was determined.

If the Complaints Officer determines that an investigation is required, the Complaints Officer will ask a suitable manager or other staff member (Investigator) to undertake the investigation with the objective of determining more details about the situation. The Complaints Officer and Investigator will ensure the confidentiality of the investigation is maintained. The Investigator will conduct all investigations in a timely, fair and independent manner.  All employees, volunteers, and contractors must cooperate fully with any investigation. 

Where appropriate, a person being investigated will be provided with details of any complaint that involves them (to the extent permitted by law) and be given an opportunity to respond.

This process can take up to 10 working days. Many YACVic and YDAS staff or volunteers do not work full time and they may need to be involved and given time to consider and respond to any issues raised. YACVic will do our best to keep you informed of timelines where needed.

After the investigation

The Investigator will draw objective conclusions based on the investigation and present findings and recommendations to the Complaints Officer. The Complaints Officer will then determine an appropriate response including necessary action to remediate the issue or otherwise act on the investigation findings.

YACVic is committed to implementing the recommendations of any investigation with a view to resolving all complaints as far as is practicable in the circumstances.

The complaint and the actions taken to resolve it will be recorded in YACVic’s confidential Feedback and Complaints Register, which is reviewed regularly to ensure learning and improvement opportunities are implemented.

Informing you of the outcome

Assuming your identity is known, we’ll let you know when you can expect to hear back from us, and keep you updated with any changes to that timeline.

After an investigation has been finalised, we’ll generally let you know the outcome of the investigation and, where appropriate, of subsequent actions we have taken to resolve the complaint. There may be some circumstances where it may not be appropriate to provide details of the outcome to you. You will not be provided with a copy of the investigation report.

Confidentiality of your identity

If you’ve made a confidential complaint, YACVic will maintain the confidentiality of your identity unless the disclosure is authorised under law, or you consent to the disclosure of your identity. Information obtained from you will only be disclosed to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to be able to investigate the complaint. YACVic will take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk that you will be identified as a result of the complaint.


Other questions about this Complaints Policy


What sorts of concerns can I raise under this Complaints Policy?

You can express concerns about any aspect of our work that you think was unsatisfactory, or that you are feeling unhappy about.

We want to know if you:

  • Feel a service, activity, program or event of YACVic’s was unsatisfactory.
  • Did not receive enough information or received incorrect/inaccurate information.
  • Are unhappy about how a YACVic staff member interacted or communicated with you or with another young person. This also applies to parents, carers or workers.
  • Are concerned about your safety or another young person’s safety.
  • Feel you were denied respect, dignity or privacy.
What if I have concerns or complaints about Child Safety?

You can raise Child Safety concerns through our Complaints Form [link], or you can go directly to one of YACVic’s Child Safety Officers. These are:

If you’re concerned that you, a child, or young person you know is in immediate risk or danger, you should contact police or child protection services immediately.

YACVic takes child safety very seriously and is committed to upholding the Victorian Child Safe Standards.

If your complaint raises concerns about the safety of a child or young person, we will immediately refer the complaint to one of our Child Safety Officers. They will follow additional steps in accordance with this Child Safety Policy and Procedure. This may include contacting the police and/or child protection services.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone who uses services or information provided by us can make a complaint. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Children and young people involved in our activities and programs.
  • A family member, carer or community contact of a young person involved in our activities or programs. Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person involved in any way with YACVic.
  • Anyone who is concerned about the quality of YACVic’s information or services.

YACVic encourages you to Speak Up about your concerns. We will listen. YACVic views complaints as an opportunity to make us better.

When does the complaints policy not apply?

This policy does not apply to staff, volunteers or contractors who have personal work-related grievances

Personal work-related grievances are those that relate to a person’s current or former employment at YACVic and that only have implications for their own personal circumstances.  Personal grievances are handled using YACVic’s internal Grievance Policy

Definition of terms

Feedback: Feedback is information given to YACVic about a service or practice they provided which was perceived as well done or needed improvement. This is not a formal process, and there is no requirement for anyone from YACVic to respond to feedback. However, YACVic values any opportunity to improve and welcomes all feedback.

Complaint: A complaint is any form of formal communication expressing concerns or dissatisfaction with the services or Child Safety practices of YACVic or any of our partner agencies. The complaint can be in writing or as a video or audio recording.

Key contacts

Complaints Officer

Kirsty Greenwood (she/her) - Feedback@YACVic.org.au

Child Safe Officers

Derm Ryan (he/him) - DRyan@YACVic.org.au

Sam Champion (he/him) - SChampion@YACVic.org.au

Relevant Legislation and Regulatory Bodies

Child Safety Standards as established under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. This Act is implemented and managed by the Commission of Children and Young People.

Last updated September 2023. Review Date: September 2025.Version 2.