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    Customer Charter

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland Customer Charter 2021 - 2023

    Our Mission

    To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective.

    INTRODUCTION

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland is committed to providing a professional, efficient and courteous service to all our customers, in accordance with the 12 Principles of Quality Customer Service for government departments and public bodies. We will treat all our customers equally and make every effort to ensure that the services we provide reflect your needs and expectations.

    This Customer Charter is the Adoption Authority of Ireland's public statement of the levels of service that customers can expect when dealing with the Adoption Authority. The charter does not attempt to cover all the functions and services provided by the Adoption Authority, rather, it outlines our commitment to you, our customer, and describes: -

     

    • The levels of service you are entitled to expect when you contact the Adoption Authority;
    • How your input can contribute to the improvement of our service;
    • How to obtain further information or make a complaint.
    • How to contact the Adoption Authority.
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    Levels of Service to expect when contacting or visiting the Adoption Authority

    Whether you write, telephone, e-mail or call to the Adoption Authority in person (once COVID restrictions are lifted), we will deal with your enquiry efficiently and promptly and treat you with courtesy and respect.

    If your enquiry relates to a matter that comes within the remit of another public body, we will direct your enquiry to that body and inform you accordingly.

    Due to the AAI’s role as a quasi-judicial body, we can provide information on adoption matters but not advice. Advice, where required, should be sought from an independent legal practitioner with experience in family law.

    Written Contact by Letter or Email

    • All incoming postal correspondence is recorded and distributed to the relevant sections each morning.
    • Each section has an email address which will issue an automatic email acknowledgment. You can also contact the sections via links on our website.
    • Each section inbox is monitored on a daily basis and an email acknowledgment will be sent within 2 working days.
    • Where it is not possible to provide a definitive reply with the acknowledgment, a reply will be provided within 10 working days.
    • All correspondence will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt.
    • Where it is not possible to give a final reply with the acknowledgement, a full response will be provided within 10 working days. If it is not possible to give a full reply within 10 working days, we will let you know why and when you may expect to have a detailed reply.
    • We will ensure all our correspondence includes the name, section, and contact details of the staff member dealing with the correspondence.
    • As far as is possible, replies to correspondence will be in clear, simple language that is free from complex or technical terms.
    • Subject to the nature of the enquiry, it may also be necessary for us to request official identification (passport, driving license, etc.) from you before any response is provided.
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    Telephone Contact

    • Our main telephone is answered from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, except for Bank Holidays when we are closed.
    • Our main telephone number is 01 230 9300 or +353 1 230 9300 if you are calling from overseas.
    • We also provide a dedicated social work line at 01 2309 306 or +353 1 2309 306 if you are calling from overseas. This line is operated 10am-1pm with a voicemail service outside of that time.
    • When you call the main telephone number, an automatic system will direct you to the various units within the Adoption Authority.
    • All staff have voicemail facilities on their telephone extension, which identifies the staff member and section who you have called. We will do our best to answer voicemail messages within one working day.
    • When we answer the telephone we will introduce ourselves and our area of work.
    • We will be polite and helpful and will endeavour to provide our customers with clear and accurate information.
    • Due to the legal and regulatory nature of the work being undertaken by the Adoption Authority, it may be necessary in some cases to require the caller to submit the question in writing, by post or by e-mail.
    • Subject to the nature of the enquiry, it may also be necessary to require official identification (passport, driving license, etc.), before any reply can be given.
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    Visiting the AAI

    The Adoption Authority does not have a public office, and visits to us are possible by prior appointment only. If you have an appointment to call to see us, we will:

    • We will provide suitable facilities for our Hearings and Adoption Meetings and ensure that our offices are clean and safe. We will provide a welcoming reception area, child-friendly meeting rooms and changing facilities. We will ensure that our offices are accessible to people with disabilities.
    • Treat all visitors to the Adoption Authority in a polite, courteous and fair manner;
    • Try not to keep you waiting unnecessarily, and direct you to your destination efficiently and promptly;
    • Provide a welcoming reception area and child-friendly meeting rooms and changing facilities;
    • Provide suitable facilities for our Hearings and Adoption meetings, and ensure that our offices are clean and safe in compliance with Health and Safety standards;
    • Ensure that our offices are accessible for people with disabilities.
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    Visiting our Website

    • The AAI has a comprehensive website at www.aai.gov.ie.
    • The website provides information on all our activities and matters relating to adoption and, as such, is an active communication between the Adoption Authority and our customers.
    • We will do our best to ensure that our website is kept up to date at all times.
    • We will ensure that our publications are clear, address user needs and are available on our website.
    • We will do our best to ensure that our website is user-friendly, easy to access and easy to navigate.
    • The website includes a facility for customers to contact us by email.
    • We will acknowledge enquiries or complaints made through our website within 2 working days, and aim to respond to all queries within 10 working days.
    • Due to the confidentiality and legislative nature of the services provided by the Adoption Authority, we are not participating in social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.). The website is our only online presence.

     

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    Levels of Service to expect when dealing with the Adoption Authority

    Equality / Diversity

    • The Adoption Authority is committed to providing a service to our customers that upholds their rights to equal treatment as established by equality legislation.
    • We will increase the levels of knowledge in the organisation about equality, inclusion and diversity and we will do this through training, information and communication.
    • We are committed to meeting our public sector duty obligations under Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014 and specifically to:
    • Promoting equality of opportunity and treatment of our staff and the persons to whom we provide services; and
    • Protecting the human rights of our staff and the persons to whom we provide services.

    Customers with Disabilities

    • We will ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are identified and fully catered for.
    • We will make every effort to ensure that access to our premises and to all of our services is maintained for people with disabilities and others with specific needs.
    • We will ensure that our communication channels and materials are provided in a relevant and accessible manner.

    Séirbhís Trí Ghaeilge / Service through Irish

    • Tabharfar freagra as Gaeilge ar chomhfreagras a gheofar i nGaeilge. Déanfar gach iarracht freastal ar fhiafraithe teileafóin i nGaeilge agus freastal ar dhaoine a thagann i láthair ar mian leo a ngnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge.
    • The Adoption Authority will make every effort to accommodate those who wish to conduct their business with us through Irish.
    • Correspondence received in Irish with be answered in Irish.
    • We will publish key documents in Irish and English.
    • We are committed to meeting our obligations under the Official Languages Act 2003.

    Service through Other Languages

    We will make every effort to communicate effectively in languages other than English or Irish as the need arises, including the use of sign language services and sign language interpreters.

    Suppliers

    • We will implement clear, impartial and transparent tendering and purchasing procedures in accordance with Public Procurement Guidelines.
    • We will ensure that payments are made to suppliers in accordance with the Prompt Payment legislation and regulations.

    Children First

    We are committed to meeting our obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and specifically the commitments outlined in Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children.

    Freedom of Information

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland is listed as a public body under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. The Act lists the Authority as a “Partially Included Agency” and this means that adoption-related files are exempt – not covered – as part of FOI requests.

    Statutory Obligations

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland is fully committed to fulfilling all relevant statutory obligations in relation to Data Protection, Equality, Freedom of Information, Prompt Payment of Accounts and Safety, Health and Welfare at Work.


    HOW YOUR INPUT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF OUR SERVICE

    It is our responsibility to provide the best service we can to our customers. We welcome and value your views and suggestions to help us in doing this, so that we may improve our services to fully meet your needs and serve you better.

    Help Us to Help You

    You may help us to provide the best possible service to you by:

    • Informing us of your views, comments or suggestions by using the form in the Contact Us section of our website. Alternatively, you may write to us at:
      - Corporate Services,
      - Adoption Authority of Ireland,
      - Shelbourne House,
      - Shelbourne Road,
      - Ballsbridge,
      - Dublin D04 H6F6.
    • Telling us about the level of service provided to you, especially if you feel that it has not achieved the standard you expected.
    • Quoting any reference numbers you may have when you telephone us, or on any written correspondence.
    • Giving us all the information we need to help you, including your name, address and a daytime telephone number or email address on your correspondence.
    • Being as clear as possible about your enquiry or complaint and give us as much details as possible.
    • Treating our staff politely and with respect.
    • Participating in any customer surveys that we may conduct.



    CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

    If you are unhappy with the service you have received and if the issue cannot be resolved to your satisfaction with the staff member or section you have been dealing with, you can make a formal complaint to the manager of the unit with which you have been dealing.

    • Complaints should be made in writing to: 
      The Unit Manager,
      Name of Unit (eg Domestic, Intercountry, Information & Tracing,
      Corporate Services or Social Work),
      Adoption Authority of Ireland,
      Shelbourne House,
      Shelbourne Road,
      Ballsbridge,
      Dublin 4 D04 H6F6
    If you make a complaint to the Adoption Authority, we will:
    • Deal with all complaints in an effective, fair and confidential manner.
    • Acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days, and investigate your complaint within 30 working days.
    • Keep you regularly updated as to the progress of your complaint if the issue has not been resolved within the agreed times.

     

    Appeals Procedure

    If you are not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation of a complaint, you may appeal the decision to.

    • Complaints Appeals Officer,
      Adoption Authority of Ireland,
      Shelbourne House,
      Shelbourne Road,
      Ballsbridge,
      Dublin 4
      D04 H6F6
    If the matter remains unresolved, you have the right of further appeal to the Office of the Ombudsman.

     

    HOW TO CONTACT US

    The public hours of the Adoption Authority of Ireland are Monday – Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

    Postal Address

    Adoption Authority of Ireland 
    Shelbourne House
    Shelbourne Road
    Ballsbridge
    Dublin 4
    D04 H6F6

    Telephone

    General  
    Social Work
    NACPR Freephone

     

    +353 1 2309 300  
    +353 1 2309 306
    1800 309 300 

    Public Hours


    Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

    AAI Sections Email 

    Domestic  
    Intercountry
    Information & Tracing
    Social Work
    Corporate Services
    Data Protection 

    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."

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