Complaints to Children’s Services

What can I complain about?

If you are not happy with your care or support from Children’s Services you have a right to make a complaint. A complaint might be about:

  • A decision that has been made about you
  • The actions or behaviour of your Social Worker
  • Delays in assessing you or providing support
  • The level of contact you have with your family
  • Any other matter relating to your care.

Who can complain?

Children’s Services should have a policy setting out how you can make a complaint and how the complaint will be handled. You have a right to make a complaint if:

  • You are looked after by the Local Authority
  • You are a child in need
  • You are a child leaving care
  • You are under a Special Guardianship Order
  • You have been adopted.

Even if you are not listed above you may still be able to make a complaint and should contact your Local Authority.

Usually you will have to make a complaint within a year after the event you are complaining about.

You can make a complaint online, in person, on the phone or by letter.

How will a complaint be handled?

There are three stages to the complaint:

  • Resolving it informally – talking about the issue to try and reach a solution.
  • Formal investigation – an investigating officer and independent person will investigate the situation
  • Review panel – the complaint and the investigation is considered by a panel of three independent people.

What might happen after the complaint?

You may be able to:

  • Get Children’s Services to change their mind and to agree with what you want
  • Get money as compensation
  • Freeze a decision relating to your care e.g. stop you moving to another foster home.


Coram Voice have produced a ‘Complaints search tool’ which can be accessed: here: & here:


Find out how you can access support with this issue by contacting the Coram Voice free Advocacy Helpline for Children and Young People on 0808 800 5792 or visit