Children’s services feedback procedure
The following information will provide you with an overview of how we deal with complaints about children's services.
If you would like to make a comment, compliment or complaint
You can contact customer services, speak to the manager of the service or contact the customer relations team using the details below. If you require translation or interpretation to make a complaint, we can arrange this for you.
Telephone: 0300 300 4995
Address: Customer relations, Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ
What happens when you make a complaint
There are three stages to the complaints procedure. Most complaints are resolved at the first stage.
Stage 1 – Local resolution
The manager of the service complained about will provide a written response within 10 working days, or up to 20 working days if the matter is complex.
If you are not satisfied with the stage 1 response you can request stage 2. However our focus is to try to resolve matters for you as quickly as possible which may mean that an alternative option, such as conciliation, could be offered to you before stage 2. Conciliation is a meeting between a manager and the complainant, chaired by the customer relations team, with the aim of resolving the issues through discussion.
Stage 2 – Investigation
An investigator, outside of the service complained about, will be appointed to look into your complaint and to provide a report on their investigation. A senior manager within children’s services will provide a written response based on the findings in that report within 25 to 65 working days.
Stage 3 – Review panel
A review panel made up of three people, outside of the service complained about, will look at how your complaint has been handled. You will be invited to attend. Following the panel’s findings, the Director of Children’s Services will provide a written response within 15 working days.
Complaints about care arranged by us but provided by others.
If we have arranged care or support for you that is being provided by another agency or company, you can complain to them directly or you can tell us. If you tell us, we will make sure the complaint is investigated.
What support is there to help me make a complaint?
If a child or young person wants to complain about social care service we can arrange the support of an advocate. Alternatively you can make your own request - advocacy: a voice for children and young people.
An advocate is someone who doesn’t work for us and can help you to make a complaint and make sure your views are heard. There are various types of independent advocacy services available, depending on the needs of the person. You can also seek advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (link opens in new window), your local councillor or MP.
Other action you can take
If you are not happy with the way your complaint is handled, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman (link opens in new window) at any time. The ombudsman usually expects us to have had the opportunity to look into your complaint first.
Write to: PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Telephone: 0300 061 0614