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Complaints about social services in Wales - children services

This advice applies to Wales

If you are unhappy about the service you've had from your local authority social services department, you can complain. This page tells you what to think about when you are deciding what to do.

Top tips

If you are afraid about what might happen if you complain about social services, talk to an experienced adviser, for example, a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.

Why you might want to complain

Here are some examples of things you might want to complain about:

  • the way a child protection conference was run
  • a decision of a child protection conference
  • a delay in making a decision
  • a delay in providing necessary services, including delays in assessing a child’s  needs
  • a failure to provide a service that meets your cultural or language needs
  • the attitude or behaviour of an individual social worker
  • unfair treatment by a social worker. This may amount to discrimination which is against the law.
  • the facts on which a social services decision was based were wrong.

Before you make a complaint

Before you decide whether to make a formal complaint under the complaints procedure, you should consider whether another course of action would be more likely to get the result you want.

Complaints about a child protection conference

Parents, carers or, children can complain about a child protection conference, for example about:

  • the way the conference was run
  • the outcome, such as a decision to register or maintain registration
  • a decision not to register, or to de-register.

You should make a complaint about a child protection conference to the conference chair, who will pass it on to the local authority.

Complaints about agencies other than social services

If you want to complain about another agency (not social services) involved in your case, for example, the police or the NSPCC, you will need to use the agency’s own complaints procedure.

Next steps

Other useful information

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