Agenda item

Complaints made by Children looked after

Siobhan Davies, Team Manager for RAD and Principle Social Worker will provide information to the Board on Complaints made by children looked after.


Siobhan Davies, Principle Social Worker was in attendance to provide the Board with information in relation to complaints made by children looked after.


The report completed contained any complaint made about a child in care, as there were very low numbers made by children themselves or by an advocate.


Within the Principle social workers team, they hold a monthly learning meeting where they pull together any learning from complaints made.


The report reviewed the last 6 months:


72 complaints were raised between September 2021 and February 2022.


14 of these were in relation to children in our care

·         9 were not upheld

·         3 are being investigated

·         2 were upheld

·         1 partially upheld

Of those partially or fully upheld, 2 were open to Safeguarding Care Planning Teams and 1 CLA Services.


All complaints received for children in our care, in the past 6-months, were completed within timescales


1 ongoing complaint is overdue (623963)


All 3 upheld/partially upheld complaints were made by parents/guardians


All 3 complaints were resolved at Stage 1


Further information in relation to the complaints were included within the report. The principle social worker outlined that as the numbers of complaints in relation to children in our care was low, drawing themes and learning from these alone was not possible. However, when comparing overall themes from complaints 2018-21 and lessons learned, the themes from that report were;


·         Poor communication from a social worker;

·         Perceived lack of financial support for a child or young person; and

·         Accuracy of recorded information about a customer.


Each Month the Children & Families Principal Social Worker chairs a Learning meeting.


The purpose of the Learning Meeting:


·         To pull together and analyse learning from practice. There will be a focus on learning from complaints, thematic overview of IRO challenge/audit, and audit to excellence findings, Future for Families Deep Dives and any reviews ongoing within the South Tees Safeguarding Partnership, Subject Access Requests and Participation People to represent the voice of children in care. The Organisational Development’s business partner for Children’s Services will attend to consider what training has taken place.

·         To ensure that where there are themes emerging about quality of practice that we can be responsive and target resource (such as training, practice lead interventions and audit) to support social work practice to flourish.

·         To assess impact of those interventions and consider whether there is any evidence of the quality of practice improving, month on month, against the priorities where intervention has been targeted.

·         The group will identify 1 key priority for each month which will result in targeted Hot Topics session, PSW and Practice Lead support for the month ahead. The recommendation will be sent to Rachel Farnham, Director for approval.

Action undertaken in response to complaints from September 2021 – February 2022:

·         Audit undertaken whereby children have made complaints and participation people are invited to attend the meetings.

·         Mystery Shopper quality assurance piloted in MACH – outcome of this was very positive.

·         Hot Topics- every Monday

·         Practice Week with a focus on language, communication and identity.

·         Participation People now attend and contribute to Learning Meetings ensuring we can respond to issues raised directly form children and young people in our care

The Board were advised that 1 complaint had been made in the last 12 months by a teenager and if the child was younger, an advocate would be there to express their views, However the service want to ensure that there are other mechanisms in place for young people to raise complaints and this is addressed through the audit and through participation people.


The Principle social worker was thanked for her report.


AGREED- That the report be noted.


Supporting documents: