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Children's Social Care Compliments, Comments and Complaints

Help us to get it right. We know understanding social care and its processes can be confusing so we aim to give you high quality, accessible information to help you to make the right choices for children in Dudley borough.

We want to hear from you if you have a complaint or compliment about the services provided by Dudley Children Social Care Services.  You can contact us using the form above, or call us on 01384 814724 / 01384 812417.

Comments

We welcome your suggestions and ideas about our services.

Compliments

We recognise and greatly value the importance of positive feedback from the customers we serve. Please do tell us when you think we have done something well, as this helps us to learn and continually develop a better service.

Complaints

If you are not happy with a service you have the right to complain and be listened to. We will do everything we can to resolve your complaint promptly and effectively.

If you make a complaint, we will: 

  • Listen to what you have to say.
  • Respond to you promptly, ensuring you receive a response to the issues you raise.
  • Provide advice and information about how you can pursue a complaint further should you feel you need to do so.

If you need help communicating with us, we can arrange; large print or braille documentation, translation, text relay service, interpreting and sign language.

The Complaints Procedure

If your complaint cannot be resolved informally by talking the problem over with someone you trust, such as a Social Worker, Advocate or Foster Carer you may wish to make a formal complaint. You can do this online, by telephone, in person or in writing with our Complaints leaflet below.

  • When you make a complaint we will require your name, contact details and a brief description of the complaint and the service it refers to.
  • If you do not wish to complain yourself, with your permission someone else can do so on your behalf.

Once we have received your complaint:

  • We will get in touch with you to acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and provide you with contact details if you have any further queries.
  • If you are a child or young person you will be offered the assistance of an Advocate to help you if required. 

Please note: If the person wishing to complain does not meet the requirements to make a complaint under the statutory procedures then the complaint may be considered to be dealt with under the Local Authority’s corporate complaints process.

Stage One - Local Resolution

When a complaint is received it is referred to the relevant manager to investigate and provide a written response. If the complainant is unhappy with the response they are advised to contact the Complaints Team.

When the Complaints Team are contacted by the complainant about the response to their complaint they will first try to resolve the matter by asking the relevant manager to consider any information provided by the complainant and provide a further response to the complainant.

When appropriate the Complaints Manager may facilitate a meeting with the relevant manager and the complainant if it is felt this may help to resolve the complaint.

Stage Two - Independent Investigation

If a complainant is not happy with the outcome of their complaint at Stage one they can request for their complaint to go to Stage 2

An Independent Investigating Officer will be appointed to look at the complaint. This will be someone independent who does not work for the council. An Independent Person will also be chosen to ensure that everyone is treated fairly during the investigation.

The Independent Investigating Officer will talk to the complainant and any other people involved. They will see if anything can be done to resolve matters straight away. If not, they will write a report of their investigation and make recommendations of what should happen. This is usually done within 25 working days but it can take up to 65 working days if the complaint is particularly complicated.  The Independent Investigating Officer will advise as an investigation progresses if a case will exceed the initial 25 working days.

The Adjudicating Officer (Chief Officer or other nominated person) will write to the complainant to inform them of the report and recommendations.

Stage Three - Review Panel

If a complainant is not happy with the Stage 2 investigation they can ask for a review panel meeting.

A group of independent people are appointed to a Panel which will meet to discuss and hear information about the complaint and the investigation. The complainant is invited to attend the meeting and can bring someone to support them or speak on their behalf. The Panel will not re-investigate the complaint but will try and find the best way to settle the complaint. After the meeting, the Complaints Team will write to the complainant to tell them how the Council will respond to the findings of the Panel.

Consent

In order to look into your complaint we may need to look at your records held by Children Services; we may need to ask your permission to do this. If what you tell us appears to be about a crime or a child protection issue we cannot keep that secret – but we can make sure that we tell the right people who can help you.

View historic Children's Complaints Annual Reports