Child Friendly Complaints and Comments Policy

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter is written for children and young people and details how a constructive comment or complaint can be made. A complaint can be made if there is unhappiness about a service or how it was delivered. Equally, how a service has helped will promote a type of service for others to use.

The chapter details the Complaints System (who and how to make contact etc) and how complaints are dealt with. Also, where to go if the Department doesn't agree with your concerns – particularly in respect of how the complaint itself was dealt with.

1. Introduction

We are always looking for ways to improve the services we offer to you. You have a right to make a complaint if you are not happy with services you received from the Children and Young People's Department. You can also tell us if there are things you think we have helped you with so we can make sure other young people can benefit from this. Whenever you get in touch with us in this way the Children's Complaints Manager will write to you to tell you why we have taken these steps.

2. Who Can Complain?

Any child or young person who has received a social care service either as a Looked After Child or a Child In Need.

  • A child or young person who is subject to a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) – an SGO is a court order which gives the person caring for you clear, long term responsibilities for looking after you;
  • Any child or young person who may be adopted;
  • Children or young people who are adopted.

3. How Do I Make a Complaint

The Complaints Officer is there to explain to you what will happen with your complaint. You can contact them by:

We can also help you get in touch with an Advocate. An Advocate is someone who can say the things you want to say, for you. They make sure you are listened to and that you are involved in decisions being made about your life. For more information call the Inclusion Service on Tel: 0151 678 1936.

4. Complaints Made on Behalf of a Child or Young Person

An adult can make a complaint on your behalf – for you. If this happens, a Children's Complaints Officer or the Children's Complaints Manager will make sure that you agree with what is being said, if you are 12 or over. If you do not agree with what is being said then the complaint will go no further and the adult will be told why.

5. Anonymous Complaints

If you want to make a complaint you must give us your details. An anonymous complaint will not be considered, as we may need more details about it to take action but if we receive information that might relate to child protection or someone in danger we have a duty to pass this on.

6. What Can I Complain About?

You can complain about lots of things, such as:

  • How a service has worked for you;
  • How long it took for you to receive a service;
  • Services you expected that did not happen;
  • Attitude or behaviour of staff – this may be either looked at as a complaint or through a different process. You will be told of any decision.
The Department is not able to look at complaints in some cases that are made while there are court or criminal proceedings taking place. If this is the case, the Complaints Officer or Complaints Manager will let you know the reason why.

7. What Happens to My Complaint?

All complaints are looked at individually. You should make a complaint as soon as it happens, as if you report it more than a year after, it may not be looked at. You will be told the reasons why and also about your right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman. Their job is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way and they won't take sides. Find out more at www.lgo.org.uk.

When a complaint is received, the Complaints Officer will send it to the manager of the service the complaint is about. The manager will get in touch with you within two weeks and they will look at helping you with this. This can be on the phone, by a letter or in a meeting.

Wirral CYPD's complaints process is made up of three stages:

  • Stage 1 – All complaints go through Stage 1. Your complaint will be sent to the manager of the service who will get in touch with you within two weeks;
  • Stage 2 – If Stage 1 did not fix the problem or you do not understand what has happened, an investigation will take place. This can take up to 65 days. A report will be written and will have suggestions on how to fix the problem;
  • Stage 3 – If you are still not happy, you can ask for your complaint to be looked at by the Independent Review Panel. They will listen to everyone involved and help reach an agreement on what should happen to make things right.

If you are still not happy you can then contact the Local Government Ombudsman www.lgo.org.uk.

So we can deal with your complaint, it is important that you:

  • Give us all of the details of the complaint when you first tell us about it;
  • Accept that CYPD cannot look at certain complaints;
  • Co-operate with the Complaints team and manager who is looking at your complaint. 

If you are unreasonable we may ask you to agree to only contact us in a certain way and at certain times.

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