Self advocacy: troubleshooting and problem solving
1. Be clear about what your concerns are
Write your concerns down in a list. This can be very helpful if you are feeling angry, upset, or distressed by what has happened. Then talk the issues over with a friend you respect.
2. Identify a solution
What do I need to put it right?
3. Decide on the next step
How have I resolved such issues previously?
What options do I have?
4. Identify any support you need
What support do I need as I go about resolving this?
Do I want whānau, family or friends to support me?
5. Communicate your concerns
Write the service provider a letter of complaint. You can post, fax, or email it to them.
Or you might prefer to call them and ask to meet with the person/staff members at the focus of the complaint. You might want to also talk to the complaints officer (if there is one) or someone else from the service to discuss your concerns.
6. Have a meeting
A face-to-face meeting (kanohi kit e kanohi) is an effective way of raising your concerns and resolving complaints. You might like to take a support person with you.
In the meeting you can:
- Tell your story
- Listen to their explanations
- Agree on what will put matters right (this might include discussing changes to the service so what happened to you does not happen again to you or to someone else)
- Accept their apologies (if this is appropriate)
- Agree on “Where to from here?”
Don’t know where to start? Need some help?
Talk to an advocate on freephone 0800 555 050.