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Childrens Social Care: complaints, comments and compliments

20 November 2018

To help improve our service it is important that Essex County Council receives your complaints, comments and compliments about Children’s Social Care. 
We will always investigate your complaint fairly and impartially with no effect on your entitlement to services or the standard we provide.
We are only required to resolve complaints if the problem occurred within the last 12 months. If your complaint falls outside this period, please contact the Customer Care Team for further advice.

Once you have read our procedure below, please contact us by filling in our online form
Stage 1 - Local resolution 
Wherever possible you will receive a response from a manager within 10 working days. If necessary this may be extended to 20 working days. 
If your complaint is not resolved or needs to be investigated further, the following will happen:
Stage 2 – Investigation
The Customer Care Team may arrange an impartial investigation. We will aim to let you have this reply, with the outcome of the investigation, within 25 working days. If your investigation takes longer than this you will be informed and advised of the outcome within 65 working days. 
If your complaint is not resolved the following will happen:
Stage 3 – Review panel 
The Stage 3 review panel consists of three independent people who will usually meet within 30 working days of the Customer Care Team receiving your request. Following a review, the panel members will make recommendations to the Director for Vulnerable Children, within 5 working days, on whether or not something else needs to be done about your complaint.
The Director will write to let you know the final decision within 15 working days.
If you are unhappy with the response you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to look at the issue again.

For more information, see our Complaints, Comments and Compliments policy.
Take a look at our Annual Complaints and Representations Performance Report (Children and Families Services) for 2017/2018.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Tel: 0300 061 0614
Schools Children & Families: 

Useful contacts for children

Barnardo’s Advocacy Service helps children and young people receiving social care services. They can speak up for you and help you get your feelings heard. 
Tel: 0800 652 4546 (freephone).