If you'd like to make a complaint, comment or compliment about child services, there are several ways you can get in touch:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone 01634 333 036
- text 07712 391 459
- write to Social Care Complaints Manager, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR
- contact the Young Lives Foundation on 01622 683 815 to ask someone to help you make a complaint.
We deal with the following kinds of complaints:
- you think a decision was unfair or you feel badly treated
- you are unhappy with the quality of the service
- you were refused a service
- a service was not provided on time
- you disagree with an assessment
- you feel your views are not being listened to
- attitude or behaviour of our staff
- how eligibility and assessment criteria was applied
- the impact on the child or young person of a local authority policy
- concern about the quality of an assessment or a review
Who can complain?
The Children Act 1989 Representation Procedure (England) Regulations 2006 states that the following people can complain:
- any child or young person (or a parent or person with parental responsibility for the child) looked after by the local authority, or is receiving services from us
- any parent or person with parental responsibility for the child
- any local authority foster carer (including those caring for children placed through independent fostering agencies)
- children who have left care
- special guardians
- a child or young person (or parent of the child) to whom a special guardian order is in force
- any person who has applied for an assessment
- any child or young person who may be adopted, and their parents
- persons wishing to adopt a child
- such other person as the local authority consider has sufficient interest in the child or young person’s welfare to make a complaint on their behalf
If we can’t handle your complaint under the statutory complaints procedure, we will record your views as a ‘concern’.
We may not be able to respond to you under data protection.
If we can't handle your complaint under the statutory complaints procedure we will record your views as a representation, make sure you are listened to and place your concerns on record. If we can't handle your complaint under the statutory complaints procedure we will record your views as a representation, make sure you are listened to and place your concerns on record restrictions.
How will we deal with your complaint
Your opinions about the services you receive help us improve the services we deliver:
- we will help you make your complaint
- we will listen to you and take your concerns seriously
- we will treat you fairly and with respect
- your complaint will be confidential
- we will investigate your complaint as soon as possible
- we will send you a written response
If we are at fault, we will:
- take action to put things right
- explain what happened and why
- try to ensure that it does not happen again
- learn from your complaint
Children’s complaints procedure
Your complaint will be sent to the manager responsible for the service you have concerns about. They will look into your complaint and write to you about their findings. This will normally be completed between 10 to 20 working days.
Most complaints are resolved at this stage. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of stage 1, you can request that your complaint is progressed to stage 2.
You have 20 working days to do this. Before moving to stage 2, we will see if there is anything more that could be done to resolve your complaint and may arrange a meeting with you.
Your complaint will be handled by an officer who works for Medway Council and an independent person who does not work for the council.
Both the independent person and independent officer will visit you to discuss the complaint and then they have 25 to 65 working days to investigate your complaint and complete their reports.
Their reports are sent to the Assistant Director of Children’s Social Care who will write to you within 15 working days of receiving the reports about the findings and recommendations from the stage 2 investigation.
If you are still unhappy about the outcome of your complaint, you have 20 working days to tell us.
A panel of three people, who are independent of Medway Council, will review the way your complaint has been handled and make recommendations to the Director of Children’s Social Care.
The Director will consider the panel’s recommendations and write to you within 15 working days from the time of receiving the panel’s report.
This is the end of Medway Council’s complaints process but if you still remain dissatisfied about how your complaint was handled and/or the outcome, you can complain to the Local Ombudsman.