Complaints about Children's Services
Children's Services staff in Dorset County Council are committed to providing quality services to service users, their carers and families.
We welcome comments from our service users as this helps us to understand what aspects of our service people like and what we should be doing differently.
We do recognise that sometimes things go wrong. If this happens, we have complaints procedures with different stages so that we can have the opportunity to put things right and improve the service in the future.
Don't be afraid to ask to speak to the manager. In many cases, we can resolve the issue there and then. If not, you may want to make a formal complaint.
You (or someone acting on your behalf) can do this in one of the following ways:
- Write a letter (or email) of complaint to the Children's Services Complaints Manager, or fill in and return a complaint form (word, 62kb) (opens in a new window)
- Call in, either at County Hall, or at an office nearer to you (phone and ask if you are not sure where this might be, or if you would like to make an appointment first)
- Phone the Children's Services Complaints Manager
If you are still unhappy, you can raise a formal complaint. Due to the different legislation determining services for children, there are currently different procedures for social care and education services.
Services provided by others
The Children's Services Directorate has contracts with other organisations to provide some services on our behalf. Contractors are required to have their own complaints procedure; however, if you have a complaint about a contracted service, you should let us know.
Compliments and suggestions for improving our services
When you receive a compliment, email this to the Complaints Officer. We can only record compliments received from service users who would meet the eligibility criteria for making a complaint. The eligibility criteria for making a complaint is from any child, young person or a parent of theirs or someone who has parental responsibility for them; any local authority foster carer; special guardians; any person wishing to adopt a child; adopted persons (their parents, natural parents or former guardians). In general terms it could also be considered a member of the public who accesses our services with regard to a child/young person, but is not a company, organisation, provider, school (including governing body) etc as these would be management issues. This is not an exclusive list and complaints are individually considered.
Should you need further clarification please contact the Complaints Manager.
If you believe a child may have been harmed by a person in a position of trust e.g. someone who works in a school , you should contact the Safeguarding Unit, Tel 01305 221122.
How to complain about education services
If you have concerns about a non-social care service, please contact a member of that service in the first instance.
How to complain about social care services
If you have any concerns about a service, please contact a member of that service in the first instance. If you are still unhappy, ask for a copy of the complaints leaflet. Staff will try to respond to your issues and will explain the procedure to you.