Making a complaint
If your child is being looked after in care by a local authority (including being in care through a court order), and you are unhappy with their treatment you can formally complain.
Minor problems or issues
Not all problems that arise on a day to day basis should automatically be grounds for making a complaint. If a minor problem exists, the best thing to do is draw it to the attention of the social worker for your child or their manager. Many minor problems can be resolved promptly to everybody's satisfaction. They do not necessarily need to go through the complaints procedure.
Major problems and issues
Children's Services have particular responsibilities to looked afterchildren in care, including:
- where children are living away from home, the local authority is expected to ensure that an appropriate standard of care is being provided
- making sure only suitable people are employed to look after your child
- providing proper training and support to staff and foster carers
- listening to your child's views and your views about care arrangements and thinking carefully about their individual needs, taking their religion, race, culture and background into account
- making sure your child has someone independent to talk to and knows who to complain to if necessary
If you feelChildren's Services are not fulfilling these responsibilities, talk to your child's carer or your social worker (and theirmanager, if necessary), or raise the issue at the next review meeting.
If you are not satisfied, or you consider the matter urgent, you can make a complaint through the Children's Services Complaints Procedure to the Designated Complaints Officer for your local authority.
You can also get advice and support from Family Rights Group advice line on 0800 731 1696, which is open Monday-Friday, 1.30-3.30pm.
National Youth Advocacy Service provides legal representation and advice for children and young people who need help with making their voice heard.
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