Feedback and complaints
On this page:
- Social housing-related complaints
- Child protection-related complaints
- Funded contract related complaints
- Complaints about organisations contracted by DCJ
- Assisted Boarding houses complaints
- Privacy complaints
- Youth Justice complaints
- Corrective Services complaints
- All Other Complaints
The DCJ Complaints and Feedback Management Policy aims to:
- set out the principles and objectives in complaints handling which reflect our commitment to managing complaints promptly, fairly and effectively
- ensure that complaints and feedback received are being managed in line with these complaints handling principles and objectives, and
- guide the standard of behaviour for DCJ employees who are managing complaints.
Social housing-related complaint
Housing Contact Centre (client feedback option)
Post: Client Feedback Unit, Locked Bag 7150, Liverpool BC 1871.
Child protection-related complaint
Enquiry, Feedback and Complaints Unit
Post: Reply Paid 63437, Complaints Unit, Locked Bag 4028, Ashfield NSW 2131.
Alternatively, you can contact your local Community Services Centre.
Funded contract related complaint
Service providers can make contracting complaints to DCJ about DCJ or about the services or management practices of an organisation funded by DCJ.
Direct a complaint about a DCJ funded contract to the relevant DCJ contract manager. Alternatively, consult the Funded Contract Management Framework page, Issues and complaints tab, for other ways to make a contracting complaint.
Complaints about organisations contracted by DCJ
Complaints about an organisation funded by DCJ to provide services on its behalf, in relation to accessing a service, service delivery, or the organisation’s management practices can be made directly to the organisation in question, or to DCJ via the DCJ Your Feedback widget.
Assisted Boarding houses complaint
Make a comment, enquiry, complaint or provide positive feedback about boarding houses using our online form.
If you are concerned about the manner in which DCJ has handled your personal or health information under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and or the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), you may contact the Open Government, Information and Privacy Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively by telephone on (02) 9716 2662.
Youth Justice complaint
For complaints about Youth Justice, please see the Youth Justice complaints process.
Corrective Services complaint
For complaints about Corrective Services, please contact Corrective Services.
All Other Complaints
To make a complaint or provide feedback on any other matter relating to DCJ, please submit your feedback using the Your Feedback widget on this page.
Your feedback is important to us, whether you have a complaint, a suggestion or a compliment. We value all feedback, because it helps us improve our services.
For all other complaints, please see the following information.
- How should I provide my feedback?
- What can I provide feedback about?
- What should I include in a complaint?
- What if I need assistance to provide feedback?
- When can I expect a response to my complaint?
- What can I expect to achieve from making a complaint?
- What if I am dissatisfied with the handling of my complaint?
- How will you protect the privacy or confidentiality of my complaint?
- What is your policy on complaints and feedback?
- Where can I get further information?
How should I provide my feedback?
You should firstly contact the staff member you were dealing with, or the staff member's supervisor.
- You can either write (a letter or email), telephone, or provide your feedback over the counter.
- Contact information for each area of the Department is available from the Justice A-Z Justice directory.
- Alternatively, you can use the FeedbackAssist widget (located to the right of the screen).
If you have a complaint that is serious or complex, it is generally best to put it in writing.
What can I provide feedback about?
You can provide feedback to us about:
- the quality of service you have received from a staff member of the Department
- the conduct of a staff member of the Department
- a decision made by a business centre of the Department
- a policy or procedure of the Department.
Please note that we cannot:
- review a decision made by a court or tribunal
Courts and tribunals are separate from Government. The Attorney General and this Department do not have the power to overturn a decision of a court or tribunal.
If you are dissatisfied with a decision of a court or tribunal, you may enquire about your appeal options. Registry staff in courts and tribunals can explain appeal procedures. However Registry staff cannot give you legal advice or recommend what action you should take. If you need a referral to a lawyer or other legal information and assistance, you can contact Law Access NSW.
- investigate the conduct of a judge or magistrate
The Attorney General and this Department do not have the power to investigate the conduct of judicial officers, such as judges and magistrates.
The Judicial Commission of NSW receives complaints about judicial officers. More information is available on the Commission's website at www.judcom.nsw.gov.au.
- review a decision of an independent statutory authority such as the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner, the Legal Aid Commission, or the Director of Public Prosecutions
However we can get information from these authorities that may better explain the decision for you.
- investigate the quality of service, decisions, policies and procedures of agencies which are not part of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice
If your feedback is about an agency which is not part of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, you should provide your feedback directly to the agency concerned. Alternatively you may wish to write to the relevant Minister. If you have a complaint about the administration of a NSW public sector agency, you can contact the NSW Ombudsman.
For further information. please see our fact sheets in the top right of this webpage.
What should I include in a complaint?
You should briefly state your concern, and tell us what happened. Make sure you also include:
- which person, agency or area of the Department has caused you concern
- the relevant date, location and case reference number, if you have them
- what you would like us to do to resolve your complaint
- your contact details; name, postal address and contact telephone numbers
- if you would like your complaint to be handled confidentially.
While we can handle your complaint confidentially, this may limit our ability to examine or resolve your concerns. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the issue, before taking further action.
What if I need assistance to provide feedback?
If you have a disability, or if you do not understand English well, we can assist you with providing feedback or making a complaint. Just let us know:
- about your disability, or what is your preferred language, and
- how you would like us to help you provide feedback or make a complaint.
We cannot provide you with legal advice. If you need a referral to a lawyer or other legal information and assistance, you can contact Law Access NSW.
When can I expect a response to my complaint?
Generally, we will provide an acknowledgement to your feedback within 3 business days and a response to your complaint within 21 business days of receipt. If a complaint is serious or complex, it may take longer. If our response to your complaint is likely to be significantly delayed, we will let you know about the delay. If possible, we will also give you an estimated timeframe for our response.
What can I expect to achieve from making a complaint?
If your complaint is justified, we can do one or more of the following:
- rectify our mistake
- provide you with an apology
- provide you with further explanation of a decision that has been made
- promise to improve our policies, procedures or systems.
What if I am dissatisfied with the handling of my complaint?
If you have made a compliant to us and you are dissatisfied with the response, you can write and ask for the area which handled your complaint to conduct an internal review. This means that another, more senior staff member will look again at your complaint, and decide whether or not it was handled fairly and reasonable steps were taken to resolve the issue.
Alternatively, you can ask the NSW Ombudsman to review your complaint. The NSW Ombudsman is an independent integrity agency that holds NSW government agencies and certain non-government organisations accountable to the people of NSW. The NSW Ombudsman aims to improve the way public and community services are managed by working with state and local government agencies, and some child and family service providers.
Refer to our FAQ sheet, Complaints about other public sector agencies for information about the role of the NSW Ombudsman, information about the complaint handling process and how to make a complaint online.
You may also consider seeking a referral of your complaint to mediation. Community Justice Centres provide free, voluntary mediation services, to help people understand each other's point of view and work together to reach an acceptable agreement. However please note that not all complaints will be suitable for mediation. In addition, since mediation is voluntary, the business centre about which you are complaining will need to agree to entering into mediation.
How will you protect the privacy or confidentiality of my complaint?
The law requires us to protect your personal information, and not to disclose it to another person or body except in certain circumstances. For more information, you can visit the Justice Legal website or the Information and Privacy Commission website.
When examining your complaint, it may be necessary for us to seek information about your concerns from other staff members and other areas of the Department. If you want us to handle your complaint confidentially within the Department, please let us know. While we can handle your complaint confidentially, this may limit our ability to examine or resolve your concerns. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the issue, before taking further action.
What is your policy on complaints and feedback?
The Department's commitment to effective complaints and feedback handling is documented in our Managing Complaints and Feedback Policy [PDF 341kb]
Where can I get further information?
FAQ Fact sheets
- Sources of Legal Advice [PDF, 146kb]
- Complaints about judicial officers and Tribunal members [PDF, 117kb]
- Complaints about police [PDF, 32kb]
- Complaints about lawyers [PDF, 116kb]
- Complaints about other public sector agencies [PDF, 30kb]
- Request for intervention of the Attorney General in court or tribunal proceedings [PDF, 115kb]
- Review of convictions or sentences [PDF, 104kb]
- Perjury [PDF, 60kb]