Make a complaint or comment on children's social care

If you have any comments about children's social services or suggestions about how we can make things better we want to hear from you.

We hope problems can be sorted out quickly and easily by speaking with the person you normally see from social services, but if you'd like to speak to someone different, you can complain to our Customer Relations Team.

How to complain

If you're a child with a social worker you can complain using our contact card system - get a card from your social worker or call free on 0800 068 1249.

You can complain:

  • by telephone - call free on 0800 068 1249
  • by email - send your complaint to complaints.social.services@plymouth.gov.uk
  • by letter - write to the Customer Relations Team, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth PL1 3BJ
  • in person - talk to your social worker or their manager about your concerns or speak to our Customer Relations Team (please contact us to make an appointment)
  • by filling in our complaints form

 Complaints form [131KB]

We'll look into your complaint and let you know what happens next.

What we need to know

When you contact us please give us as much of the following information as you can:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • the name, address and date of birth of the person you represent if you're complaining on behalf of someone else
  • what your complaint is about
  • how you'd like us to put it right

How your complaint is dealt with

There are three stages to the complaints process:

Stage one: Local resolution

The manager responsible for your case will look into the complaints you've made and get back to you within 10 working days. If we can't give you a full response within this time we can extend this to 20 working days.

If you're not happy with the response at stage one you can ask for your complaint to move to stage two - investigation. You need to do this within 20 working days of receiving the stage one response letter. Contact the Customer Relations Team on 0800 068 1249 for advice before you move to this stage.

Stage two: Investigation

A formal investigation of your complaints will be carried out, usually by an external investigator. We should get back to you within 25 working days but we can extend this to 65 working days.

If you're not happy with the response at stage two you can ask to move to stage three - review panel. To do this you must write to the Customer Relations Team within 20 working days of receiving the stage two response letter.

Stage three: Review panel

A panel of three independent people will look at your complaints. You'll be invited to the panel and you can bring someone with you. The panel must be held within 30 working days of your stage three request and they'll and send a report on their decision to you, and to the Director of Services for Children and Young people, within five working days.

The Director will write to you with their findings within 15 working days of receiving the report.

If your problem hasn't been put right

If you've gone through all the stages of the complaints procedure and your problem hasn't been put right you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.