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Complaint Process

Within one week of receiving a written complaint, the VSS Community Specialist assigned to the victim service program with whom the complaint is about, will notify the complaint and individual or organizations complained, and provide them with:

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

The Review Committee, consisting of the VSS Community Specialist, VSS Administrator and the CVAD Director will determine if the complaint is a violation of the victim service program service standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurance. 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 the CVAD Review Committee determines the complaint is alleging a violation of service standards, contractual agreement and/or certified assurance, it will gather additional information. The CVAD Review Committee may request information from any party to the complaint including the complainant; the person, persons, 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 CVAD Review Committee 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 CVAD Review Committee 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 individual/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 timeframe to complete the corrective action.

The VSS Community Specialist will gather information to determine whether or not the individual/organization has complied with the corrective action plan. The VSS Community Specialist will report their findings to the VSS Administrator and CVAD Director. If the individual/organization has not complied, sanctions may be issued by the CVAD Director and/or CVAD Board.   

All information gathered in the complaint process will be kept confidential within CVAD (with the exception of notifying the complainant of the outcome of the CVAD review committee’s determination of a finding/no finding).  However, if a sanction is utilized, the content of the sanction will be made available to the public.

*If a complaint is tied to the direct harm of survivors, the CVAD Review Committee 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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