Most complaints are dealt with using the council’s corporate complaints procedure, but there are different procedures for dealing with complaints about some social care services for children.
Before you make a complaint
Before making a complaint, you could try one of the following services:
Children's Social Care
What can you complain about?
These are some of the things you might want to complain about:
- if we do not deliver a service on time
- if you receive a poor quality service
- the attitude or behaviour of staff
- if you are unhappy with an assessment, care plan or review
- decisions you do not agree with
If you complain about something that happened or a decision made more than 12 months ago we may not accept your complaint. If we do not accept your complaint we will write and tell you why not.
Who can make a complaint?
The following people can make a complaint:
- the child or young person receiving the service (the service user), or someone who could become a service user
- someone acting on behalf of the child or young person, such as a parent, carer, relative, or anyone else who we believe has a close enough interest
- a representative of the service user if they do not have capacity to make decisions or to give to consent
What do you need to tell us?
When you make a complaint you will need to:
- tell us what service you want to complain about
- tell us details of the complaint you want to make
- tell us what you would like us to do to make things right
- provide copies of any documents you have to support your complaint
What happens when you make a complaint?
Stage One - Complaint resolution
When you complain, we will write to you within two working days to say we have received your complaint.
Your complaint will be given to a manager in the service and you should receive a response within ten working days.
If the issue is complex this may take up to twenty working days.
The response from the manager will say how they have tried to resolve your complaint and they will tell you how to escalate your complaint.
Stage two - Investigation
An Investigating Officer and an Independent Person will carry out a formal investigation of your complaint.
You will be asked to speak to the Investigating Officer and Independent Person to explain your complaint and say what you think should be done to put it right.
The Investigating Officer will gather all the facts about your complaint and write a report. You will receive a copy of a report from the Investigating Officer and Independent Person. You will also receive a letter from a senior manager who will explain what action will be taken to put things right for you.
The investigation can take up to sixty five working days.
Stage three - Review panel
If you are still not happy with the response you can ask for a review by a panel of three independent people.
They will look at how we have dealt with your complaint and make further recommendations.
You can have someone to support you at the Panel.
Can you get help with making your complaint?
If you are a child or young person we can put you in touch with the advocacy service at Off the Record. You can ask for a friend or relative to speak or write to us for you.
If you are an adult wishing to make a complaint, there is an advocacy service called Complaints Procedure Advocacy (CPA) at the Care Forum, which can provide support.
If you need an interpreter or a signer, we can make arrangements to support you.
Make your complaint online
You can make a complaint using our online form.
What happens if you are not happy with how your complaint was handled?
If you are not happy with the outcome of the Review Panel, you will need to take your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.