Complaints Policy

The Asian Family Counselling Service (AFCS) believes it is very important to have a formal complaints procedure for our service users.  We hope that it will serve some useful purposes:

It will provide you, the service user, with a medium for registering complaints about our service delivery or any associated matters.   All complaints received will be treated fairly, honestly and confidentially.

We hope that you, as a service user, will feel comfortable about making a complaint whatever its nature might be.  Complaints may relate to the counselling provided by counsellors or to the support and administrative process.

We would like to reassure all service users that there is no need to feel threatened or insecure by the prospect of lodging a formal complaint.  If you have a legitimate complaint it is your right as a service user to make it known.

A formal complaints procedure is an excellent method of monitoring the quality of service provided and ensuring that high standards and quality are maintained. The AFCS service exists to meet your needs.  If at any time we are not fulfilling this objective adequately a complaints procedure will give us the opportunity to remedy the situation in a positive manner.  In this way we can try to ensure that all service users receive a service which is beneficial and tailored to their requirements. This does not mean that positive comments/praise/compliments are not also welcome or indeed any constructive criticisms or recommendations.  These are very welcome.


 It is the Asian Family Counselling Service’s policy to respond to complaints as follows:

  • All complaints will be investigated and responded to within a set time, as detailed in the procedures below.
  • Service users who have difficulty in making a written complaint will be advised of sources of assistance.
  • Complaints will be heard in person if the complainant so prefers.
  • Information about the complaints procedure will be publicised. This document detailing the procedure for making a complaint will be displayed and available in the Centre.
  • Complaints will be monitored to ensure that the complaints procedure is effective and so that problems caused by policies or procedures, or lapses in procedure, can be identified and rectified.
  • Complaints must be made within 3 months of the event(s) to which they pertain.
  • Complaints will always be dealt with in confidence.


 Service users who wish to make a complaint should follow this procedure. If the complainant misses a stage in the procedure, it will be referred back to the appropriate stage.

At any stage of the complaints process a service user may complain to the Management Committee.

The user may choose any person to act as their advocate and refer the complaint to the appropriate person according to the stage the complaint has reached.

Stage 1

Complainant:  Contacts the Director or Staff member.  Complaint will be dealt with by the Director within 14 days

If complainant is dissatisfied with the response,

Stage 2

Complainant:  Contacts Chair of AFCS or Management Committee (MC) member, if Chair not available the Complaint will be dealt with by the Chair/MC member of the Asian Family Counselling Service within 1 month.

If complainant is dissatisfied with the response,

Stage 3

Appeal to Complaints Panel

Complainant:  Contacts the Chair of AFCS. The Chair will organise a Complaints Panel. The Complaints Panel will consist of 3 people drawn from the Management Committee and a user representative. The Panel will discuss the complaint and decide on appropriate action. The decision of the Panel will be final and will be made within 14 days of the Panel meeting.