Agenda item

Statutory Children's Complaints Report: Quarter 3

To receive a summary of the Quarter 3 volumes of Statutory Complaints.




The Complaints Manager presented the report which included the following:

  • The department was focused on utilising learning to drive improvements.
  • Communication and delays were highlighted as the most common reason for complaints across Council services. In addition complaints for Children’s Social Care were also centred on content of assessments and social worker availability.
  • In order to respond to concerns, regular updates and discussions were held regarding areas of the service that presented problems in order to devise different strategies to improve practice.
  • A Single point of contact was to be designated for all Children’s Social Care complaints. This would mirror the process in Adult’s service who have a designated co-ordinator to manage complaints. Update of this would be provided to the sub-committee at a future meeting.
  • A key priority was to ensure that complaints were resolved before progressing to stages 2/3


The Chair commented that whilst there had been some improvement, it was disappointing that the organisation did not have infrastructure in place to respond to issues. Communication remained a problematic and was a major factor in complaints and a change in culture, prioritisation of complaints as well as promotion on early resolution to complaints received would be necessary to improve on the level of complaints received.


It was further challenged that in this municipal year the reports that had been received by the Sub-Committee on a quarterly basis had shown a distinct lack of pace and progress.


Officers acknowledged that complaints had not been an area of focus in the past and that this was now being addressed. Performance clinics were now taking place every four weeks to track and monitor issues. A cultural message was been promoted that this was now an area of priority.


It was observed that a high level of complaints were received in LAC service and it was questioned if particular problems were the cause for the high occurrence of complaints. Officers responded that there were approximately 800 LAC children including unaccompanied minors in the borough. This higher number meant most complaints would be generated in that area of the service. It was acknowledged that complaints were centred on a number of issues and significant improvement needed to be made.


A Member commented that the figures in the comparison complaints table were not consistent and it would appear that different rules had been applied in the calculation. Officer agreed that an error had been made and the revised table would be circulated after the meeting


The Chair thanked officers for their reposes to questions


Information request by the Sub-Committee


  • The revised Children’s Statutory Complaints comparison table be circulated after the meeting


In reaching its recommendations the Sub-Committee came to the following Conclusions:

      1. There was a distinct lack of progress and improvement made in

           resolving complaints.

      2. Addressing root causes of complaints must be a priority

      3. Clear principles and challenge must be adopted in order to improve


      4. It was disappointing that there were inconsistencies in the figures

          In the comparison table Q3 2016-18 presented to the sub-committee

      5. Information presented was subjective and there was a lack of key

          indicators and trends in the report.


The Sub-Committee resolved to Recommend:

That the annual         1. That the annual complaint include data and trend in complaints received

Supporting documents: