If you are not satisfied with any aspect of our fostering service, you should discuss it in the first instance with your supervising social worker, who will try and resolve the problem with the person concerned. If your supervising social worker is the one you are not happy with then you should speak to a Manager within the fostering service. If your complaint is about the fostering service as a whole then you should contact the Complaints Manager in the first instance.
There are different sorts of complaints that need to be dealt with differently:
- Complaints on behalf of the child or young person. See Complaints by and for Children
- Serious complaints about the fostering service. See Whistleblowing
- Complaints about a decision made by the service’s Decision Maker or a recommendation made by the fostering panel.
- You are also entitled to get in touch with the regulatory body Ofsted.
The following explains the way in which you should deal with concerns that you have about the fostering service.
Formal complaints should be made in writing. The fostering service will always try to deal with this informally. This does not mean that you are not being taken seriously; it is because the complaint is more likely to be able to be dealt with quickly and to your satisfaction when it is dealt with in this way. This is known as a Stage 1 complaint. All complaints are recorded by the fostering service and the fostering service’s Manager monitors them.
If you are not satisfied with this, your complaint will be dealt with in line with the Children’s Social Care Procedures. This is known as a Stage 2 complaint and an independent investigation will take place.
If the complaint has still not been resolved then an independent review panel will consider the complaint and the way it has been dealt with. This is Stage 3 of the process and it has to be considered by an independent panel.
Ofsted inspect fostering agencies in relation to the National Minimum Standards. If you have a serious concern about the fostering service, you can also contact Ofsted, their details are:
Tel: 0300 123 1231