Make a complaint about a children's social care service

What happens when I make a complaint?

Stage one – local resolution
We  will contact you to let you know we have received your complaint. We will ask a manager to look at your complaint. You should receive a full reply to your complaint within ten working days. However, if your complaint is quite complicated this may take a little longer. We will let you know if the investigation into your complaint will take longer than ten days.

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint it is usually best to contact the manager who has investigated. 

We will always try to find a way to resolve your complaint as early as possible. We may invite you in to meet with the investigating manager together with the complaints officer, or we may ask a more senior manager to speak with you. If you are still unhappy, you can ask for someone outside the city council to investigate your complaint.

Stage two – independent investigation
An investigating officer will be chosen to look at your complaint. This will be someone independent who does not work for the council. An independent person will also be chosen to make sure everyone is treated fairly during the investigation.

The investigating officer will want to talk to you and to any other people involved. They will see if anything can be done to resolve matters straight away. If not, they will write a report saying what they think should happen. This is usually done within 25 working days but it can take up to 65 working days if your complaint is particularly complicated. We will write to you and tell you what the report says and what the recommendations are.

Stage three – review panel
If you are unhappy with the stage two investigation you can ask to have a meeting called a review panel. This is where a group of people meets to talk to you and others to sort out your complaint. You will be invited to attend the meeting and can bring someone to support you or to speak on your behalf. The panel will not re-investigate your complaint but will try and find the best way to settle your complaint. After the meeting, the council will write to you to tell you how we will respond to the findings of the panel.