Aspire Richmond


We all want to live good, satisfying lives in our communities. Sometimes we need extra help or support to do that. If you’re having trouble getting the support you or your family member with a developmental disability needs, here are some steps to follow that may be useful.

Do you have a complaint? It is your right to be heard.

If you have a complaint, Aspire will make every effort to fix the issue quickly and ensure you are receiving the best possible service.

Aspire has policies and guidelines in place to make sure any private information is protected. Filing a complaint will not impact your access to safe support at Aspire.

Who can file a complaint?

  • Anyone receiving support from Aspire
  • A family member or representative of anyone receiving support from Aspire
  • A person who is concerned with the service being offered by Aspire

What if I would like some help?

If you would like help filing a complaint you can ask a family member, staff member at Aspire, or anyone you feel comfortable with to help you with your needs. Aspire can also support you to find someone to help. A person assisting you is often referred to as an advocate.

How can I submit a complaint?

The information below outlines the process for how to submit a complaint.

Informal Complaints

Step 1: Try to talk it out

If the complaint is not a very large problem or concern, it is always best to try to speak to the person on your own. If you would like some help, speak to a staff member, family member, or someone you are comfortable bringing with you.

Step 2: Submit the complaint

If the issue is larger, you can submit a complaint in writing, or other forms of communication such as audio or speak to a staff member or the Program Manager.

  • The Program Manager will get in touch with you and/or your family to discuss the issue and reach a solution that works for everyone.
  • If a solution is not found, the Program Manager will inform the Program Director and the complaint will become formal.

Formal Complaints

If a solution is not found easily, a meeting will be set up to discuss the issue. You can bring an advocate to the meeting if you choose. If you would like, Aspire can help you find someone to bring to the meeting.

If necessary, Aspire will involve other organizations or individuals needed to help resolve the complaint.

The following steps will be taken to help reach a solution for a formal complaint:

  • Step 1 – The Program Director will fully explore the issue by discussing with the Program Manager and others involved, as well as review anything that was written down about the complaint.
  • Step 2 – The Program Director will contact you within 5 days to discuss next steps.
  • Step 3 – After learning all of the details about the complaint the Program Director may bring forward a solution that is agreeable within 10 business days.
  • Step 4 – If the solution is accepted, the Program Director will make sure it is carried out and will follow up with you and your family/advocate one month later.
  • Step 5 – Aspire will always follow up with a written response.

If necessary, the Program Director may also:

  • Arrange a problem-solving meeting.
  • Refer the complaint to the Aspire Privacy Officer (person overseeing private information for Aspire).
  • Recommend that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) meet with you and your family/advocate.
  • Recommend that the CEO brings in an outside mediator.

When is a complaint brought to the CEO?

The CEO will become involved in the complaint resolution process if the issue:

  • Is continuing to get worse.
  • A solution cannot be found.
  • It is possible that there may be media attention.
  • You or your family decide to seek other resolutions that could impact the program or Aspire.
  • The complaint is made to a member of the Board of Directors.

Once involved, the CEO will work with you and your family/advocate as well as the Program Manager and Program Director to reach a satisfactory resolution within 15 business days of receiving the complaint.

When is a complaint brought to the Privacy Officer?

The issue is referred to the Privacy Officer when:

  • The complaint is related to the collection, disclosure, access, or accuracy of personal information.
  • Aspire’s response will be followed up in writing.

When is a complaint brought to a funder or contracting agency?

If a problem cannot be resolved, the CEO will refer you and your family/advocate to the applicable agency representative where appropriate.