If you disagree with anything that is written in your child's assessment, or if they have been refused services that they have asked for, you can make a complaint.
It is important to remember that if you do make a complaint, this won't affect or compromise the services that they already receive.
There are three main stages to making a complaint:
1. If you are unhappy you should first speak to your child's care manager and ask them to look into the situation.
2. If the care manager cannot help, you should put your complaint in writing and send it to social services. You should also keep a copy for yourself. You should receive a reply within three months.
3. If the problem has still not been solved, your complaint will go to a review. Here three people will discuss your complaint, and write to social services to tell them what they think. This should take about four weeks.
There are also two more serious circumstances in which you can make a complaint.
- Maladministration – If you think social services have handled an assessment badly, for example if they failed to follow proper procedure, or unreasonably delayed an assessment, you can contact your local government ombudsmen, or the Public Services Ombudsman in Wales.
- Unlawful behaviour – If you think social services have acted unlawfully, for example if they have refused to carry out an assessment or have failed to reach a decision, you should seek legal advice immediately, especially if you or the person you care for are in urgent need of services.
Making a complaint can be a complicated process, so it is a good idea to get professional help at this stage. You may want to get independent support from an advocate, or from your local Citizens' Advice Bureau. You can also call the Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 800 1111.
- Contact your local authority to find out about their complaints procedure.
- Read the step-by-step guide to making a complaint on the Carers UK website
- Get advice from your local Citizens' Advice Bureau
- If you live in England, contact the local government ombudsmen advice line on 0845 6021983 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm)
- If you live in Wales, visit the Public Services Ombudsman website or call 0845 601 0987 (local rate).