In all settings you work in, there will come a time when a situation may arise and as a practitioner, you will have to respond to a complaint, either made by a parent, carer or a colleague and the complaint made can be about you, something you have done or a colleague you work with. As a practitioner, it is very important that one knows how to professionally respond and react to complaints made in the work setting and one of the first things to do in these situations is to always follow the work setting’s policies and procedures for responding to complaints made by parents or carers. This will show professionalism as well as competence on your part to adhere to the rules and regulations of the work setting. Also, you are also protecting yourself, should a lawsuit be filed by a parent or carer, in the worst case scenario. In this case, if a complaint were made to me about a colleague that I work with from a parent or carer, I would take direct action by reporting this to the room leader of the room I work in.
However, if the complaint made to me was a severe complaint that affects the welfare of the children, for example, a child being mishandled, then I would automatically report this information to my setting’s manager in a calm and confidential manner as the setting’s manager will have the authority to handle this difficult situation and take the next steps as it is a difficult situation that is outside of my role. As a practitioner, when responding to complaints, it is hugely important to remain calm and listen to what is being said, without interrupting or talking over the person speaking to you as this shows that you are being rude and disrespectful.
By listening to what the person is saying to you, it shows that you are understanding what is being said and if needed, you will competently be able to reflect back the main points of what has been said to you without a problem and it shows that you are taking the complaint seriously and showing an interest. “When responding to a complaint, it is important to take into account the other person’s point of view and to find a constructive solution to the problem”. (Children and young people’s workforce, 2011, pg.44) It is very important that you control your emotions as a practitioner and do not become angry or upset in front of the parent or carer speaking to you.