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Complaints about children's social care services

We want to know what you think about children's social care services, so that we can provide you with the best support we can.

In Gloucestershire all complaints are taken seriously and we are committed to using complaints as a means to improve services to children, young people and their parents or carers.

This page is to help you make a complaint about children's social care services (social work service).

To make a complaint about a school please go to Complaints about schools. To make a complaint about other GCC children's services (for example the Educational Psychologist Service or the Education Welfare service) please go to Complaints about children and young people's services.


Getting help to make a complaint

If you are a young person and need help making a complaint, you can request an advocate who will make sure your views are heard. An advocate is an independent person and, if you are unhappy with a service or a decision we have made that affects you, they can give you advice and help you get your point across to us. If you wish to request an advocate, you can get in touch with Barnardo's via the link or telephone number below.

Barnado's can be contacted on 01684 850586. You can also ask for advice from ChildLine on 0800 1111.


The way complaints against children's social care services (social work services) are managed is determined by regulations under the children's act 1989. How this is done is laid out simply and clearly in Government Guidance 'Getting the Best from Complaints (DfE)' 2006.

Your first action should be to talk and explain your concerns to the member of staff involved, or to their manager.

If you are not satisfied with their response, you can:

Children's Social Care Complaints Manager,

Shire Hall,
Westgate Street,
Gloucester GL1 2TG.


If you have a complaint about children and young people's services, we will try to address your concerns as soon as possible. There are three stages to our complaints process.


Once we receive your complaint we will acknowledge it within two working days. Your issue will be looked at and we will try to sort things for you within 10 working days (this can be extended to 20 working days if the complaint is complex). This is done by the Team Manager or Service Manager for the social work team causing you concern. In most cases the Team Manager will meet with you to try and resolve your complaint, either by making changes to the way the team works with you or through explaining why certain decisions have been taken.

If a response is not completed within timescales, or you feel that your complaint has not been resolved at stage 1, you can request that your complaint is considered at stage 2. On receiving a request for a stage 2 investigation the Children's Services Customer Feedback and Complaints Service may intervene and assist in trying to resolve the complaint, perhaps through holding a meeting with you and the team manager.


If a stage 2 investigation is required we will look further into your concern with the help of someone who isn't already involved in your complaint to make sure our response is fair. They will look at your complaint and will meet you and everybody involved. After we have done this we will send you a report telling you what has been done and why.

The investigation should be completed within 25 working days. This may be extended to a maximum of 65 days.


If you are not satisfied with how we have handled your complaint at the end of stage 2, you can request that it is considered by a review panel. The panel is made up of three independent people who will discuss the case with you, and investigating officers and the senior manager responsible for the service. The panel will review the complaints process and can make recommendations to resolve your concerns.


If you remain dissatisfied after stage 3, you can take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.


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