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Comments, compliments and complaints

We are responsible for services for children and young people including:

  • education
  • children’s social care, and
  • children’s community health

It is important that we hear feedback about your experiences of children’s services, so that we know what we are doing well and where we need to improve. Feedback can be positive, negative or neutral. Compliments and comments are as important as complaints.

Compliments and Comments

If you would like to:

  • compliment one of our employees or teams, or
  • make a comment on any aspect of our service

Please complete the following online form:

Make a compliment or comment


If you are unhappy with one of our services, it is often worthwhile discussing your concerns early on with the provider of the service.

Most problems can be dealt with at this stage, but in some cases you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone not directly involved.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of an incident or of the matter coming to your attention.

The time limit can be extended provided:

  • you have good reasons for not making the complaint sooner
  • and it is possible to complete a fair investigation.

How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint by:

  • completing our online form
  • completing a printable form and posting it to us
  • email
  • in writing
  • verbally

If you make your complaint verbally, a record of your complaint will be made and you'll be provided with a written copy.

Who can make a complaint?

You can make a complaint if you are a:

Child or young person

Alternatively, if you are in care, please call our Beeline service at 0800 028 8228. This is a freephone telephone service. It is answered personally through the working day, and if you ring outside office hours you can leave a message.   You can also:

  • fill in a complaint form and send it to the address on the form
  • or ask someone else to complain for you

Parent / carer

Getting help with your complaint

You don’t have to be alone when you make a complaint. You can choose someone you know to speak for you if you want to.

If you need help making your complaint, our complaints team can provide support. Please contact us using the contact details below for details.

What to expect

You should expect

  • an acknowledgement
  • and the offer of a discussion about the handling of your complaint

within three working days of receiving your complaint.

Within the discussion we may ask you to clarify the details of your complaint, and your desired outcomes. The local manager handles investigating your complaint.

After investigation you will receive a written response from the local manager. This will be within 10 working days but, can be extended to 20 working days, from when we agreed the complaint content with you.

The response will set out:

  • the findings and, where appropriate, provide an apology
  • and information about what's being done as a result of your complaint.

It will include information about how the complaint has been handled and details of what to do if you are unhappy with the result.

Complaints Procedures and Policy

We follow the following complaints procedures. 


The corporate procedure relates to:

  • education (not complaints about schools)
  • special educational needs
  • children's community health

and includes the following stages:


The statutory procedure relates to some children's social care complaints. The procedure includes the following stages:

You can also view our Customer Feedback Policy.

View our Easy Read guide on how to make a complaint

Complaints leaflets in other languages

Complaints about schools

It is not within our remit however to investigate complaints about schools. We recommend that you contact your child’s school direct.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If you have been through all stages of our complaints procedure and are still unhappy, you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to review your complaint.

The Ombudsman has issued a Complaint Handling Code which sets out advice and guidance for councils on how to handle complaints. You can find more information about this on the Ombudsman’s website.

The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service.

The Ombudsman expects you to have given us chance to deal with your complaint, before you contact them. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time, it may decide to look into your complaint anyway.

About the Ombudsman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman looks at individual complaints about councils and some other organisations providing local public services. It also investigates complaints about all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) for people who self-fund their care. There are some limits on what the Ombudsman can look at.


You can also download a version of this wording in Easy Read (pictures and words) format.

Annual Report

Local Authorities have a Statutory Duty to publish an Annual report in respect of social care complaints.  The purpose of this report is to ensure complaints information for the Together for Families Directorate is available to the public, our Elected Members and our employees.

The report is an indication of the importance of feedback from service users and their representatives on the Directorate’s performance.  Through monitoring and evaluating compliments, comments and complaints, our leadership team gains information on the services that are delivered to good standard and also those that need some improvement.  We then make changes to policies, procedures and practices as a result of the learning recorded from your feedback.

Our latest report includes both statutory and non-statutory complaints which have been concluded.  

View the annual report

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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