Children & Families Cabinet Member – Minutes – 7 August 2020
2 CHILDREN’S SOCIAL CARE SERVICES STATUTORY COMPLAINTS, COMPLIMENTS AND REPRESENTATION REPORT – ANNUAL REVIEW 2019-20 – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report presenting the Children’s Social Care Services Statutory Complaints, Compliments and Representation Report – Annual Review 2019-20 in line with statutory requirements.
There was a legal requirement to present an annual report on representations and complaints, received about services delivered under the Children Act 1989. The annual report was attached as an appendix.
These statutory procedures conferred on service users, or representatives acting on their behalf, the right to make representations about services. There was a requirement that local authorities addressed these representations through a three-stage procedure for complaints for social care services for children.
The first stage was an internal review carried out by a manager; the second stage was an investigation conducted by someone who was independent of the council and the third stage was a panel review whose members were new to the case. The guidance specified the timescales for dealing with complaints at each stage.
During 2019-20 there were 27 statutory stage 1 complaints about Children’s Services, which represented 3% of open cases. This was 25% fewer complaints than the previous year. The report provided further information on the complaints received together with the findings and outcomes.
After the council’s complaints process had been completed, the complainant had a route of appeal to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman if they remained dissatisfied. Three complaints were escalated to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and none were investigated by the LG&SCO. This compared to 6 complaints in the previous year, of which 1 was upheld. A report on the findings of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2019-20 would be considered separately by the Resident Engagement and Rural Partnerships Cabinet Member later in the year.
The service used complaints findings to inform service development and improvement. The report provided an overview of the actions taken as a result of complaints information and demonstrated an overall positive direction of travel for complaints handling.
Resolved – That the Children’s Social Care Services Statutory Complaints, Compliments and Representation Report – Annual Review 2019-20 be received and approved for publication.