You have the right make a complaint about any concerns you have about your care or the decisions being made about your life.
Making a complaint can be a good way of letting children’s service know what you think and what you want.
What is a complaint?
If you are in care, or have had any support or contact with Children’s Services, you can make a complaint about anything that you are unhappy with regarding the support you have received.
You can make complaints about things that are happening in your life now, or decisions made in the past that you are not happy with.
Children’s Services should welcome your complaint because it will give them a chance to understand what has made you unhappy and what they can do to make things better.
When should I make a complaint?
Whenever you want to!
Most young people will try and let their Social Worker know or someone else at Children’s Services if they are unhappy about something before making a complaint. You can do this when you meet with your Social Worker or at meetings like your LAC review. You can also get an Advocate to help you share how you feel. If you don’t think this has worked, then you might want to make a complaint. This can be a good way to get things sorted out quickly.
Sometime young people want to make a complaint straightaway. This might be when you think it’s important that your concerns are officially recorded. You might also want something (like moving home) not to happen until your complaint has been considered by a manager in children’s services.
How do I make a complaint?
If you want to make a complaint about children’s services you can tell someone who works for the local authority. They must then let the local authorities complaints manager know.
Normally young people contact their local authority complaints department directly by phone or email. Some local authorities have a complaints form you can fill in online.
Who can help me make a complaint?
If you are in care, a care leaver or have a Social Worker for any other reason you have the right to have the support of an independent advocate. It’s the Advocate’s job to help you to make your complaint.
You can find out how an advocate can help you.
If you want an Advocate you can contact Always Heard, our Advocacy Helpline – we will make sure you get an Advocate to help you with your complaint.