Children's Social Care Complaints
Your feedback (good and bad) helps us provide better services now and to get things right in the future
If you’re not happy with the service you’ve had from us please let us know within one year of the event you want to tell us about. It’s really helpful if you can also tell us what you’d like to happen as a result of your complaint.
The information here explains how to complain about one of our services. If your complaint is about a residential school or a children’s home contact Ofsted.
How to comment or complain about children's social care services
If you’re unhappy about the service you are receiving, make sure you tell the staff that are providing the service, so that they can correct the problem quickly.
If your problem isn’t solved there and then, you can ask for your complaint to be formally registered. All complaints must follow our complaints procedure.
Stage 1: Local resolution
Stage 1 is for people that want to make a formal complaint. You can ask someone to speak to us or make the complaint on your behalf.
If you need help making your complaint speak to the children's complaints manager
- Telephone - 01202 458712
We’ll take details of your complaint and send you a letter from the children's complaints manager, the letter will:
- Confirm that your complaint has been recorded
- Tell you we’re arranging for your complaint to be investigated
Within ten working days the person looking in to your complaint will:
- Speak to you and everyone else involved in the complaint
- Read all the relevant records
- Write to tell you what has been done about your complaint
If it’s not possible to review your complaint properly within this time scale they’ll let you know why and when you can expect the response.
Stage 2: Investigation
Not satisfied with the outcome of the local resolution and you want to take your complaint further? Contact the children's complaints manager within 20 days of getting your results from stage one. Explain which parts of your complaint have not been resolved and what you would like to happen.
We’ll appoint an investigator to review your complaint, in some cases we’ll also ask an independent person to help the investigator.
They’ll read all the paperwork and speak to you and other people involved in your complaint and write a report. We’ll send you a copy.
The service director will write to you with their response to the findings of the report within 25 days. If it's not possible to deal with your complaint within this time scale we'll let you know.
Stage 3: Review panel
If you think the service director’s response is unsatisfactory. Ask the adult and children's complaints manager to arrange for a review panel to hear your complaint.
You should be clear about what particular part of the response you want the review panel to consider. The children's complaints manager has 30 working days from receiving your request to hold a panel meeting.
We’ll give you details of the panel hearing at least ten working days before it takes place.
How to prepare for the review panel
The panel will want to make sure that you are able to present your complaint fully. It is helpful if you can write down the main points you would like to make. We can then give them to the panel before the meeting.
If you’re planning to bring someone else to speak to the panel on your behalf, let the children's complaints manager know. We can then make arrangements for them.
Who’s at the review panel
Review panels are made up of three people that are not related to the complaint. They will review relevant information and reports about the complaint before the meeting.
The investigator will be there to answer any questions the panel may have. We will ask a manager to represent the council at the panel.
The children's complaints manager and an administrator will also be there to make sure you have the opportunity to present your points.
What happens next
The panel will write down their recommendations. These get sent to you and the executive director with responsibility for social care services.
The executive director will write to you within 20 working days of the review panel meeting with a final response to your complaint.
Local Government Ombudsman
If you are not happy with the way we are dealing with or have dealt with your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at any time.