How your complaint will be handled

All children’s statutory social care complaints follow a three stage process:

Stage 1

We will try to sort out your complaint as quickly as we can. Sometimes we can do this straight away by talking it through with you. Sometimes we need to speak with other people to find out what has gone wrong.

If this is the case, the manager of the person or team who is the subject of the complaint, will usually respond to your complaint within 10 working days.

If it is a complicated issue it may take up to 20 working days. We will let you know if we need more time to investigate your complaint at the earliest opportunity.

Stage 2

If you remain unhappy after your complaint has been looked at, you should tell us within four weeks of receiving your response. The Complaints Service Team will review the complaint and may, with your agreement set up a meeting to see if it is possible to resolve your complaint before a formal investigation.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint we will then begin the Stage 2 process. This involves appointing an investigating officer, who is independent of the service and an independent person who is independent of the Council. We will inform you of who we have appointed and they will be in contact with you to discuss and agree your complaint.

This investigation can take up to anything between 25 and 65 workings days. The Investigating Officer will provide you with the time they expect to complete their investigation and provide the Council with their report.

On receipt of the report the ‘adjudicating officer’, who will be an Operational Director in the Children and Young People department will consider the report and provide you with a letter explaining their decision and what action they will take.

Stage 3

If, at this stage, you are still unhappy, we will arrange for an independent panel to consider your complaint at a Review Panel. This hearing will take place within 30 working days of receiving your request.

The purpose of the Panel is not to re-investigate the complaint but to review the decisions around those complaints that were not upheld or partially upheld. They will consider whether the investigation was fair and the recommendations were appropriate.

Following the Panel Review, the panel chair will provide a report within 5 working days.

On receipt of the report the ‘adjudicating officer’, who will be the Strategic Director of the Children and Young People department will consider the report and provide you with a letter explaining their decision and what action they will take and you should receive this within 15 working days.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If, after our final review, you are still unhappy with the result and wish to take your complaint further, you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and ask them to consider your complaint.

The Ombudsman is a free, independent service that looks into complaints about social care.

You can contact the Ombudsman at:

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry
CV4 OEH
Phone: 0300 061 0614
Fax: 0247 682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 481 1595
Website: www.lgo.org.uk

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