Children's social care complaints and feedback

Information and guidance for making a complaint and providing feedback about children's social care

The statutory Children and Families Social Care complaints procedure is a 3 stage process:

Stage 1 – local resolution

  • The aim of Stage 1 is to resolve your complaint quickly and reach a solution.
  • Your complaint will usually be investigated by a Team Manager, as they are actively supervising your case and will be familiar with your history.
  • We aim to provide a response to your complaint within 10 working days. Most stage 1 complaints should be concluded within this time, however, where we cannot provide a complete response within 10 working days, a further 10 working day extension may be needed.

Stage 2 – independent investigation

  • If you are still unhappy, you can ask our Complaints Officer to go to Stage 2 of the complaint procedure.
  • Stage 2 involves an investigation by an Investigating Officer, who will be a manager from a different service within the Council or someone brought in from outside the Council specifically for this purpose.
  • The investigation will be overseen by an Independent Person, someone who is not employed directly by the Council and whose role is to ensure that your complaint is investigated properly and fairly.
  • We aim to complete the Stage 2 investigation within 25 working days, however it could take up to a maximum of 65 working days.

Stage 3 – complaint review panel

  • If you are still unhappy, you can ask our Complaints Officer for a stage 3 review panel. You must do this within 20 working days.
  • Complaint Review Panels are made up of 3 people who have experience in social care or related professions but who are independent from the Council.
  • You can attend the meeting and bring someone with you.
  • Following the meeting, the panel will make recommendations to the Council in order to resolve your complaint. The review panel will not re-investigate, but will try to find the best way to settle the complaint.

Stage 3 is the final stage of the Council’s complaint procedure. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint review panel you can refer your complaint to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman.

Advocacy services

If you would like help with your complaint, you can contact an advocate. An advocate is an independent person who can help and support you to have your options and views heard by the people that make decisions about you. An advocate from the National Youth Advocacy Service ​can help you with this.

Contact us

If you would like to contact our Complaints Officer to discuss any concerns, or make a complaint you can:

Annual complaints report

The Children and Families Complaints and Compliments Annual Report for 2018 - 2019 is available to download and view below.​