The sections below are from 'Getting the Best from Complaints':
1.1.3 This guidance is for representations, including complaints, made by children and
young people. It also applies to parents, foster carers and other adults making a
complaint. Throughout the guidance the term children and young people is used when
referring to the complainant, however this term includes adults making a complaint about
services to a child.
3.2.1 If a child or young person wishes to make a
complaint, local authorities are required to provide him with information about advocacy
services and offer help to obtain an advocate (see section 3.4).
3.4.2 The Complaints Manager should ensure that a suitable person meets the child or
young person to discuss the complaints process and ensure that any questions or
concerns that the complainant may have are fully addressed.
Many la's will tell you that if you are an adult involved in a children's act complaint about the way they have behaved, you are not entitled to advocacy. From my reading of the Social Care complaints framework you are, and they are obliged to ensure you have been offered it.
My advice on Social Care complaints is:
1) Digitally record everything, with their knowledge. Take a friend who can take notes at meetings.
2) Apply for all relevant documentation, including emails via DSAR.
3) Contact the council and copy in the ICO, to request corrections of any inaccurate data in your record.
4) Make friends with the la's IT department. They are not SS, and are effectively their digital policers.
5) Read every part of 'Getting the Best from Complaints', and any part of Working together and Information sharing protocols that are relevant to you. Make a file of quotes and use them to remind the council regularly of their repsonsibilities.
6) Keep every bit of paper, email etc.
7) Involve your local children's councillor, and your MP early, and copy them in on your correspondence.
8) Don't trust independent panels, or the LGO!!! Challenge the qualifications and expertise of any independent panel, and ensure that at least one, pref. the Chair, has consultant child protection training and previous experience as an independent chair.
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