Hits on the LISA Forum-item, ”Reluctance to Complain”, has exceeded 1000!
There is, as there should be, a major concern over the intimidation of those who dare to complain about the level and quality of care services, especially government direct care services for people with disabilities and their families.
The Disability Services Commissioner, Victoria, rates ‘intimidation’ as the number-one reason people are in fear of making a complaint, especially against government direct care services.
Overall ‘reactive’ management of government direct care services is the number-one reason their service provision is inconsistent between group homes and between regions, and frequently extremely questionable throughout.
In Victoria, the government controlled DSR (Disability Support Register) ensures 99% of consumers have no choice of service provider, except – “Take it, or leave it!”
Government direct services have additional restrictive practices:
• Their management and staff have secure employment within a traditional public service culture where there are few expectations on management or staff.
• No one owns the ‘company’, therefore no one is responsible for anything, including the service level and quality, but especially the problems.
• No one takes ownership of the problems. These are swept under the carpet.
• Problems, therefore, go around and around in the their revolving door.
People are an easy target for intimidation when:
• The service provider has a captive market.
• People are vulnerable.
• People have no service entitlement rights.
• People are frequently reminded they are lucky to have anything.
Some of the reasons people are reluctant to complain are:-
(a) They fear retribution and intimidation of their vulnerable family member and themselves, and the threat of service withdrawal or reduction,
(b) They don't fully understand their rights to service level and quality,
(c) They don't want to be seen as a whinger,
(d) They don't fully understand the service
(e) They have concerns about how complaining will affect their relationship with service management and staff,
(f) They have insufficient information on how or where to complain,
(g) Their previous negative experiences of complaining, put them off,
(h) They don't 'know' anything other than the service they're receiving and,
(i) They feel, complainants can lose more than what they have lost as a result of that which they were complaining about.