Tell us your views about children's services
We welcome all comments, compliments or complaints about our Children's Services. We will use this feedback to find out what is working well, what is not working so well and how our services can be improved in future.
You may want to:
- thank someone who has helped you or your family
- tell us how you think we could do things better
- make a complaint
If we provide a social care service to you, your children or someone acting for you, (with your written permission), you can make a complaint about our Children's Social Care Services.
If you have a complaint, you should first speak to the member of staff that you know best. Most complaints are sorted this way but if they aren't, you can make a complaint.
All complaints are investigated fairly and thoroughly by Managers in Children's Services and Social Care Customer Services ensure that that staff do not investigate complaints about themselves.
When you make your complaint, you need to tell us why you are unhappy and what you would like the service to do to put things right.
Once we've received your complaint, we'll acknowledge it within 3 working days and tell you when to expect a reply.
We'll keep your personal information confidential and if you are a child or young person, we'll ask if you'd like an advocate to help you with your complaint.
A manager in Children's Services will be asked to look into your complaint. They will talk to you about what you would like them to do to put things right. They will then carry out a full and thorough investigation.
Once complete, the investigating officer will respond to you in writing. Your letter will inform you of your next steps should you remain dissatisfied.
Stage 1 complaints should be concluded within 10 working days of receipt, however, this may take longer if your complaint is complex. The investigating officer will be asked to keep you informed of any delays.
At the end of Stage 1, if you are not happy with the outcome, you can ask for your complaint to be considered further. We'll need you to be clear on the reasons for your dissatisfaction and how you want the Service to respond.
Once we receive this, we'll consider if any further resolution is possible. If this is the case, your complaint will be moved to Stage 2 of the Complaints Procedure and we'll appoint an Investigating Officer, independent of the Service you have complained about.
We will also appoint an external Independent Person to shadow the investigation. The role of the Independent Person is to ensure that the investigation is fair and impartial.
The Investigating Officer and the Independent Person will meet with you to develop a formal definition of complaint. Once we are sure of what you want us to look into, the investigation will begin.
Once the investigation has concluded, the final Investigation Report will be shared with a Senior Manager in Children's Services. The case will then be moved on to adjudication.
The Senior Manager, (or Adjudicating Officer), will consider the outcomes within the Investigation Report and any recommendations identified by the Investigating Officer.
The Adjudicating Officer will then write to you setting out what was found, what their their views on the investigation are and outline what the Service will do to respond to the recommendations.
You will also receive a copy of the Investigation Report and a copy of the Independent Person Report enclosed with the Adjudication Letter.
The Stage 2 investigation process should be concluded within 25 working days from the day your complaint definition was agreed.
If your complaint is complicated or includes a number of areas, the investigation may take up to 65 days. The Investigating Officer will keep you informed of any delays.
Once you have received your response, if you remain dissatisfied, you can opt to have your complaint considered by an Independent Review Panel.
If you remain dissatisfied after you receive your Stage 2 response, you can opt to have your complaint considered by an Independent Review Panel.
You should request this within 20 working days of the receipt of your Stage 2 complaint response.
Review Panels do not reinvestigate your complaint - they review how your complaint has been dealt with.
Should you remain dissatisfied after an Independent Review Panel, you can then refer your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Other ways to complain
You can contact:
- your local councillor or your local MP
- a solicitor
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
0300 061 0614
Text 'Call Back' on 0762 481 1595
www.lgo.org.uk on-line complaints form
0300 123 1231
Complaints and Compliments
Children, Adults and Families
Include a daytime phone number so we can contact you.
0191 433 3000 - ask to speak to the member of staff you know best.