Children's social care - complaints

Anyone that makes a complaint will be treated fairly. We are totally against unfair discrimination. The social care complaints procedure should be easy to follow, but it may be helpful if you have someone to support you if you are making a complaint. If you are not sure, or find it confusing, you can speak to your solicitor who will help you fill out the forms.

The complaints procedure involves filling in a form about who you are, the name of your social worker, and what you are complaining about. There is usually a special address the form needs to be sent to.

It usually takes about eight weeks to investigate a complaint properly, although sometimes it will be quicker and sometimes it will take longer. The Complaints Manager should keep in touch with you and let you know what is happening.

If there is a problem about your Care Plan (e.g., it is not being followed) you should make sure that your complaint is raised at your review to the chairperson. This person is called an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). If the IRO feels that your complaint is serious enough they can refer your case to the Office of the Children's Guardian (CAFCASS). The IRO is allocated to your case when you first come into care, so it is always useful to know his or her name.

If you need help with this contact either the solicitor who represented you in the care proceedings or any other solicitor on the Children's Panel,

You may be unhappy from time to time about the way social care are looking after you. Your objection could be about a big decision, for example moving you from one foster home to another, or about something smaller but equally important such as the staff at your children's home refusing to allow you to attend a youth club because the time clashes with the time fixed for the evening meal. You might be unhappy about the fact that your social worker is never available when you need to speak to them. All of these are the kind of complaints covered by the procedure.

Social care has to provide you with someone who can speak for you (an advocate) who is independent from social care. This is usually someone from National Youth Advocacy Service

More information and a form to use can be found in our Most Popular Downloads section.

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