Tips for Parents: Resolving Problems You Are Having With an Agency

Reviewed Jun 22, 2021

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Summary

  • Focus only on the information that is related to the problem.
  • Know your rights.

Working with resistant staff members can be frustrating. The person may be a teacher, an office worker, or someone who works directly with your child. If, despite your best efforts, you are still having problems with agency staff, use some of these strategies:

First, try to resolve the problem with the person directly. Don’t go to the supervisor or the agency director until you have talked to the person one-to-one. You don’t want to burn bridges because you may have to deal with that person later on. On the other hand, if it’s a problem that involves harm or unethical behavior, talk to the person’s supervisor right away.

Before you call, make sure you have your facts straight. Many people find it helpful to make notes about how the problem arose, writing down dates and specific details. Have this list in front of you before you make the first call.

When you make the call:

  • Focus only on the info that is related to the problem.
  • Know what your rights are. As a parent, you have many rights protected under the law. If you want to learn more about your rights, talk to a parent advocate.

Next steps

If the person is out of the office when you call, leave a brief message. Include your name, what you want to talk about, your phone number and when you can be reached. If the person doesn’t return your call, call themback. You may have to try several times. Be persistent.

Keep your notes handy so when the person returns your call, you can look over them quickly. Express yourself clearly and calmly, so that you can get your message across. State your concerns and be specific about how you would like the problem resolved.

Be respectful. Stand up for yourself, but don’t be rude, aggressive, or threatening. When you act like this, people become defensive, and are less likely to want to work on solutions to problems. On the other hand, keep your goal in mind at all times so you won’t be taken advantage of.

Document all your conversations. Get a notebook to keep records of all your phone talks and topics, and any goals that were set.

Follow up

  • Be prepared to follow up on what you say you are going to do.
  • Don’t make any promises you know you won’t be able to keep. You are an advocate for your child. Be firm and persistent.
  • If you’ve tried all of the ideas above, and the problem still hasn’t been solved, talk to the person’s supervisor. You could also call the director of the agency. Follow the same steps listed above when you talk to the director or supervisor.
  • If, after talking to the director, you still haven’t solved the problem, call a legal rights or advocacy group. Find out if there is a formal complaint process. They can tell you how you can file one.
By Haline Grublak

Summary

  • Focus only on the information that is related to the problem.
  • Know your rights.

Working with resistant staff members can be frustrating. The person may be a teacher, an office worker, or someone who works directly with your child. If, despite your best efforts, you are still having problems with agency staff, use some of these strategies:

First, try to resolve the problem with the person directly. Don’t go to the supervisor or the agency director until you have talked to the person one-to-one. You don’t want to burn bridges because you may have to deal with that person later on. On the other hand, if it’s a problem that involves harm or unethical behavior, talk to the person’s supervisor right away.

Before you call, make sure you have your facts straight. Many people find it helpful to make notes about how the problem arose, writing down dates and specific details. Have this list in front of you before you make the first call.

When you make the call:

  • Focus only on the info that is related to the problem.
  • Know what your rights are. As a parent, you have many rights protected under the law. If you want to learn more about your rights, talk to a parent advocate.

Next steps

If the person is out of the office when you call, leave a brief message. Include your name, what you want to talk about, your phone number and when you can be reached. If the person doesn’t return your call, call themback. You may have to try several times. Be persistent.

Keep your notes handy so when the person returns your call, you can look over them quickly. Express yourself clearly and calmly, so that you can get your message across. State your concerns and be specific about how you would like the problem resolved.

Be respectful. Stand up for yourself, but don’t be rude, aggressive, or threatening. When you act like this, people become defensive, and are less likely to want to work on solutions to problems. On the other hand, keep your goal in mind at all times so you won’t be taken advantage of.

Document all your conversations. Get a notebook to keep records of all your phone talks and topics, and any goals that were set.

Follow up

  • Be prepared to follow up on what you say you are going to do.
  • Don’t make any promises you know you won’t be able to keep. You are an advocate for your child. Be firm and persistent.
  • If you’ve tried all of the ideas above, and the problem still hasn’t been solved, talk to the person’s supervisor. You could also call the director of the agency. Follow the same steps listed above when you talk to the director or supervisor.
  • If, after talking to the director, you still haven’t solved the problem, call a legal rights or advocacy group. Find out if there is a formal complaint process. They can tell you how you can file one.
By Haline Grublak

Summary

  • Focus only on the information that is related to the problem.
  • Know your rights.

Working with resistant staff members can be frustrating. The person may be a teacher, an office worker, or someone who works directly with your child. If, despite your best efforts, you are still having problems with agency staff, use some of these strategies:

First, try to resolve the problem with the person directly. Don’t go to the supervisor or the agency director until you have talked to the person one-to-one. You don’t want to burn bridges because you may have to deal with that person later on. On the other hand, if it’s a problem that involves harm or unethical behavior, talk to the person’s supervisor right away.

Before you call, make sure you have your facts straight. Many people find it helpful to make notes about how the problem arose, writing down dates and specific details. Have this list in front of you before you make the first call.

When you make the call:

  • Focus only on the info that is related to the problem.
  • Know what your rights are. As a parent, you have many rights protected under the law. If you want to learn more about your rights, talk to a parent advocate.

Next steps

If the person is out of the office when you call, leave a brief message. Include your name, what you want to talk about, your phone number and when you can be reached. If the person doesn’t return your call, call themback. You may have to try several times. Be persistent.

Keep your notes handy so when the person returns your call, you can look over them quickly. Express yourself clearly and calmly, so that you can get your message across. State your concerns and be specific about how you would like the problem resolved.

Be respectful. Stand up for yourself, but don’t be rude, aggressive, or threatening. When you act like this, people become defensive, and are less likely to want to work on solutions to problems. On the other hand, keep your goal in mind at all times so you won’t be taken advantage of.

Document all your conversations. Get a notebook to keep records of all your phone talks and topics, and any goals that were set.

Follow up

  • Be prepared to follow up on what you say you are going to do.
  • Don’t make any promises you know you won’t be able to keep. You are an advocate for your child. Be firm and persistent.
  • If you’ve tried all of the ideas above, and the problem still hasn’t been solved, talk to the person’s supervisor. You could also call the director of the agency. Follow the same steps listed above when you talk to the director or supervisor.
  • If, after talking to the director, you still haven’t solved the problem, call a legal rights or advocacy group. Find out if there is a formal complaint process. They can tell you how you can file one.
By Haline Grublak

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  

 

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