Meeting Essential Standards – A Grievance Reporting Protocol

In order to be a General Member, one of the criteria listed in the Minimum Standards is:

  • Your agency has a documented grievance protocol for clients to report maltreatment

We recommend that your protocol include a description of the process, key personnel involved, and the location of forms to be used when reporting maltreatment. This protocol should be clear so residents know what to expect when they initiate the process. To help give you an idea of what this can look like, here are some sample client grievance policies:

Some agencies prefer to add an initial step that encourages residents to try to resolve the situation on their own before filing a grievance. You can also choose to offer a final step if a client’s grievance cannot be resolved by your agency. The protocol example from JSSA lists external agencies that their clients can reach out to if JSSA is unable to address the issue. These are both great additions to your protocol.

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center offers detailed information on having a grievance policy for staff and many of the points made in this article should be considered when creating a grievance policy for residents as well. This article lists the different models that an organization can use for addressing a grievance.

Let us know if you have any other sources to help with creating a grievance protocol in the comments below! Or you can suggest other topics you would like the Alliance to address to help you meet the minimum standards!

As we continue to publish resources for meeting the Minimum Standards, you can easily filter for all resources with the Minimum Standards tag. 

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