Misconduct Reporting Form

IOK Chaplaincy Procedure for Addressing Allegations of Ethical Misconduct 

 

IOK is committed to conducting its affairs ethically and in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations. IOK Chaplaincy strives to create an environment where open, honest communication can take place and endeavors to ensure that Chaplaincy services are safe and in accordance with Islamic principles and ethics 

IOK recognizes that complaints are generally made in good faith and thus complaints are taken seriously and given careful consideration. IOK provides opportunity for those being served to formally file complaints that allege ethical misconduct by Chaplains in instances where they believe violations of ethical standards have occurred. The purpose of the complaints investigation process is to protect those served from harm, to determine Chaplains’ ability to provide safe and effective services, and to address allegations of ethical misconduct.  

Time Limits 

In order to ensure the wellbeing of all persons involved, as well as to ensure the effectiveness of an investigation, reporting an alleged violation close to its occurrence is important. Due to the seriousness concerning allegations of ethical misconduct, an ethics complaint for non-sexual exploitation should be filed within six months of the incident or discovery of alleged misconduct and should provide sufficient detail. For complaints regarding sexual exploitation, the complaint must be reported within one year from the date of the alleged violation. 

Confidentiality  

Complainants acknowledge that in submitting a written complaint, they consent to the use of his/her name in the investigation and disclosure of his/her name and all written or other matter or evidence provided by the complainant. They agree to waive confidentiality so that IOK’s Review Committee may obtain information from the Chaplain and others involved. If the complainant refuses permission for the use of his/her name in the investigation or refuses permission for the disclosure of his/her name or any of the written or other matter or evidence provided, then the Review Committee, with the advice of legal counsel, will close the matter and notify the complainant.  

Those involved in investigations, mediations, reviews, and record keeping shall respect the complainant’s confidentiality as much as possible without impeding the pursuit of the truth regarding allegations.  

Any complainants and witnesses contacted are expected to respect the need for confidentiality in order to ensure fair process and protect privacy for everyone involved. In order to obtain support, complainants may discuss the complaint with their families as well as helping professionals; however, all parties are expected to respect the need for confidentiality.  

Conflicts of Interest 

No individual who has participated in or has been witness to the alleged misconduct shall serve in any aspect of processing, mediating, investigating or reviewing an ethics complaint.  

Who should file 

A complaint should be filed by anyone who considers themselves harmed by an alleged violation of IOK’s ethical code of conduct or believes that a Chaplain has engaged in unprofessional conduct related to his or her professional responsibilities as an IOK Chaplain.  

While anonymous complaints may be reviewed if they contain documented evidence of the allegation made, anonymous complaints shall not be recognized as a basis for action.  

Third party complaints filed by someone other than the student/client may be impossible for IOK to pursue because each client has the right to confidentiality. Unless all persons are willing to be contacted and consent to release of information, IOK may be unable to investigate a complaint.  

What to include: 

All complaints must be submitted in writing, signed, and include a statement clearly explaining the nature of the complaint alleging ethical misconduct. The most effective complaints should contain detailed, firsthand, verifiable information, including: 

  • Name of the person thought to be responsible for the misconduct 
  • Nature and description of the alleged ethical misconduct
  • Description of any steps already taken to address the misconduct  
  • Dates, times and location of contact when possible 
  • Copies of any documentary evidence 
  • Name(s) and contact information of any witness or other person who can corroborate the issues or events described in your complaint  
Initiation of Complaints  
  1. IOK shall recognize and accept written complaints signed by the complainant and accompanied by the complainant’s contact information. In addition, IOK will only act on the basis of a complaint that specifically names the person alleged to have been affected by the Chaplain’s conduct, and only if the affected person agrees to be identified to the Chaplain in question 
  2. IOK will use the standards set in the Code of Ethics for Chaplains in effect at the time of the alleged incident to assess conduct and determine whether it falls within the definition of ethical misconduct as set forth in aforementioned Code. If IOK determines that the allegation does not fall within the definition of ethical misconduct as set forth in the Code of Ethics, the allegation will be dismissed and the complainant will be notified. 
  3. IOK may determine, in its discretion that a complaint cannot be acted upon because the incident concerning the allegations of misconduct occurred too far in the past or outside of their role and responsibilities as an IOK Chaplain.  
Formation of Ethics Review Committee 
  1. The Chaplaincy Coordinator will determine whether an investigation is necessary and, if so, appoint an independent investigator who will prepare an investigation plan that outlines its scope, the individuals to be interviewed, and the timeline for investigation. 
  2. The investigator and their designee(s) will work collaboratively to obtain a resolution of the complaint according to the processes outlined below and within a reasonable time of the original receipt of the complaint. The investigator may conduct the investigation under the guidance of legal counsel or be a legal practitioner themselves. 
  3. The Ethics Review Committee shall be responsible for timely informing the Chaplaincy Coordinator of the resolution of all complaints addressed through these procedures. 
Initial Action 
  1. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Chaplaincy Coordinator, or his designee(s) shall determine whether the person named in the complaint is a current IOK Chaplain.  
    1. If a complaint is filed against a former Chaplain who resigned or was removed prior to the filing of the complaint, the Coordinator shall inform the complainant and shall explain that IOK has no authority to proceed against the person who is not a current IOK Chaplain.  
    2. If the person is a current Chaplain, IOK will forward a copy of the complaint to the Ethics Review Committee and will notify the complaining party as well as the Chaplain in question, acknowledging receipt of the complaint. 
    3. A complaint against a Chaplain who resigns after the complaint is filed will be processed according to IOK’s procedure for addressing complaints. 
  2. If the complainant has filed a complaint lacking sufficient detail, the Ethics Review Committee will notify the complainant.  
    1. The complainant will be given an opportunity to substantiate the claim with factual information and/or documentation provided to the Ethics Review Committee within (7) business days of the notification of insufficient data to conduct a review process.  
    2. If the complainant is unable to provide additional factual information substantiating the claim, the investigation may be closed and the complainant will be notified of this. 
  3. If the complainant has provided sufficient detail to allow for a fair investigation, the Ethics Review Committee, with the advice of legal counsel for IOK, shall review the complaint and shall take the following steps if appropriate: 
    1. Determine whether the complaint warrants further action by the Committee or whether the matter shall be closed without further action.  
      1. In the event the Committee determines that the complaint shall be closed without further action, the complainant shall be notified of such decision and the reason for such decision. To aid in making this determination, the Committee may request a written response to the letter of complaint from the Chaplain. 
    2. Review the complaint and determine whether it has been previously addressed in another forum and if so, close the matter. 
    3. If the complaint was not addressed previously and if appropriate, the Ethics Review Committee, along with the Chaplaincy Coordinator may engage the complainant and the Chaplain in a mediation process to achieve mutual resolution. If mediation is used and the complaint is resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, the agreement will be put in writing and the resolution process will be considered complete.  
Investigation by Ethics Review Committee 
  1. When the Committee decides that mediation has not been successful or that the complaint warrants further investigation, copies of the complaint and any supporting documentation/evidence shall be sent to all members of the Ethics Review Committee. Any written response from the Chaplain shall also be sent to all members of the Committee.  
  2. The Ethics Review Committee shall launch an investigation of the complaint in consultation with legal counsel. The purpose of the investigation is to develop a factual record by exploring the allegations in detail and conducting an in-depth examination of the evidence, leading to findings on whether ethical misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. 
  3. The Ethics Review Committee, in consultation with legal counsel, shall prepare and send a letter to the accused Chaplain, prior to commencing the investigation, specifying those sections of the IOK Code of Ethics for Chaplains which may have been violated. The letter shall contain a request that the Chaplain cooperate with the Ethics Review Committee in their effort to obtain a full picture of the circumstances which led to the allegations, and to provide in his/her behalf a written statement outlining his/her response to the allegation or accusations made by the complainant. Chaplains are expected to respond with honesty and timeliness to any representative of IOK’s Ethics Review Committee authorized to make an inquiry into their work. 
  4. The Chaplain against whom the allegation of misconduct was made shall be kept apprised of the status of the investigation and the timeline for completion.  
  5. Investigations may be pursued by corresponding with the parties involved in the dispute, or by interviewing, personally or by telephone, such parties.  
  6. If an accused Chaplain resigns from employment with IOK at any stage of the investigation of the complaint, the Ethics Review Committee, in its discretion, may continue its investigation. 
  7. After the investigation is completed, a full report shall be made detailing the findings. If the findings of the investigation determine that no ethical misconduct has been committed, the allegation will be dismissed, the complainant will be notified, and the matter will be closed and remain confidential.  
  8. IOK, after reviewing the complaint, the response of the Chaplain, and the report of the investigation, may attempt to settle the case by mutual agreement with the Chaplain. In making such a settlement, IOK, along with the Review Committee and legal counsel, may recommend to the Chaplain that he/she cease and desist, be placed on probationary status, be given supervision or education, termination of employment with IOK, or any other action which IOK deems appropriate.  
  9. The complainant as well as the Chaplain in question shall be kept apprised as to the status of the investigation and report.  
  10. The mutual agreement reached shall be put in writing and shall detail the facts upon which it is based and the manner in which it is to be instituted.  
Protection against retaliation 

IOK will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals for reporting or inquiring in good faith about potential violations of IOK Code of Ethics for Chaplains, for seeking guidance in regards to suspected ethical violations or cooperating in the investigation of ethical violations.  

References: 

The IOK Chaplaincy Procedure for Addressing Allegations of Ethical Misconduct draws from the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)’s Process for Complaints of Ethics Code Violations as well as The Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC)’s Pledge & Code of Conduct. 

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Misconduct Reporting Form

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