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Violation of Victim Service Standards, Contractual Stipulations and/or Certified Assurances

Complaint Process

All clients, employees,  or consumers of an Iowa Attorney General's subrecipient may file a complaint regarding a potential violation of a victim service program’s service standards, contractual stipulation and/or certified assurances by completing the Service Standards Complaint form and sending it to:

Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Victim Assistance Section
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Complaint Process

Within one week of receiving a written complaint, the grant coordinator assigned to the victim service program with whom the complaint is about, will notify the complainant and individual or organizations noted in the complaint, and provide them with:

  1. A copy of the complaint
  2. A copy of the process that will be followed
  3. The Victim Assistance contact person’s name (each party will have one contact person assigned to them)

Staff will also forward a copy of the complaint to the Victim Assistance Section Chief.

The grant coordinator will contact the complainant, obtain additional information if needed, and forward a blank release of information form. The grant coordinator will also contact the organization named in the complaint. The grant coordinator will obtain releases signed by the complainant in order to obtain case notes, emails, text messages or any other documentation from the organization necessary to investigate the complaint. 

Once the investigation has been completed, a Victim Assistance review team (generally the grant coordinator, grant administrator and the Section Chief) will determine if the complaint is a violation of the victim service program service standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurances. If a complaint does not concern a violation of victim service program standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurance, the review committee will refer the complaint back to the victim service program or complainant to resolve.

If review team determines the complaint is alleging a violation of service standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurances, it will gather additional information, the review team  may request information from any party to the complaint including the complainant; the person(s) or organization being complained about; the board of the victim service program involved; or any other person or organization with knowledge about the circumstances of the complaint. All attempts will be made to gather this information within 60 days of receipt of the complaint.

If, during the information-gathering phase, one party requests the opportunity to address the review team in person and it is granted, all parties will be offered the chance to talk with the committee individually.

After the information is gathered, the review team will formulate the results of their review, including suggested recommendations to the victim service program if it was determined there was a violation of the program service standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurance.

If there was no finding, this will be communicated to both the complainant and the individual or organization the complaint was about.

If there was a finding, both the complainant and the individual, and/or organization the complaint was about will be notified.  In addition, the individual/organization will receive a corrective action plan which will include what the organization needs to do to remedy the violation (e.g. changes to policy/practice, training, etc.) and the time frame to complete the corrective action.

The grant coordinator monitor the individual/organization for compliance with the corrective action plan and report back to the grant administrator and the Section Chief. If the individual/organization does not comply, the Section Chief will determine the next steps, which could include a sanction or grant termination.    

All information gathered in the complaint process will be kept confidential (with the exception of notifying the complainant of the outcome of the review team's determination of a finding/no finding).  If  a sanction is imposed, the content of the sanction will be made available to the public.

*If a complaint is tied to the direct harm of survivors, the Iowa Attorney General's Office may take immediate corrective action. Examples of direct harm include (but are not limited to):

  • Violation of client confidentiality
  • Denial of services based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability or religion. (Refer to Discrimination Complaint Process)
  • Denial of services based on mental illness or substance abuse that does not present immediate risk of harm to a survivor or staff or volunteer member
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