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Birmingham City Council

Comments, Compliments and Complaints Service
for Children's Social Care Services

It's good to hear from you...

Birmingham City Council’s Children, Young People and Families directorate is committed to putting people first. We are always working hard to improve the services we provide. If you use our social care services ie social workers, residential care, care leavers or adoption and fostering, or wish to use our services, you may want to make a comment, compliment or complaint. If so, this page tells you how to do this.

There are different procedures to deal with comments, compliments and complaints about other Birmingham City Council services, for more information please visit Your Views page.

Comments and Compliments
When monitoring the quality of the services we provide, it is also important for us to know about things that are going well or how the service can be improved. It is good to be able to give staff positive feedback.

Complaints
You can complain if you are a user of a service, or feel you have a right to a service from the Children, Young People and Families directorate, or if you are a carer or a representative acting on the user’s behalf.

If you are unhappy with the services provided by the directorate for Children, Young People and Families, you should talk to your social worker, key worker, foster carer, manager of the service concerned, an adult you trust or complete the form attached below. This is Stage 1 of the complaints process and should take between 10 - 20 working days to resolve depending upon the complexity of you complaint.

When you have talked things over, you may be satisfied with the outcome. If you are unhappy with the response, you may want to take it further by making a formal complaint or attending a mediation meeting. If you do, you should either:

  • tell the manager that you want to make a formal complaint; or
  • complete the form attached below (if you have not already done so); or
  • complete the online form; or
  • call the Customer Relations Service on tel: 303 5161 Option 2; or
  • send an email to CYPFSSCustomerRelations@birmingham.gov.uk

You should receive an acknowledgement to your complaint within five working days. An Independent Investigation Officer will investigate your complaint.

The outcome of your complaint
You will receive a copy of the Independent Investigation Officer’s report and a letter of response within 25 working days to three months from the senior manager concerned. You will be notified of any delays.

What to do if you are unhappy with the outcome
You should first contact the person who sent you the letter in an attempt to sort the matter out. This process is known as problem solving. If you are still unhappy, you have the right to ask for your complaint to be looked at by an Independent Review Panel of three people. This can be arranged if you contact the Customer Relations Service within 20 working days of receiving the Directorate’s response to your complaint.

Remember: Keep a copy of your complaint or compliment and the date that you sent it.

Support Available to You

To support you, we would offer you an Advocate. This person does not work for the directorate for Children, Young People and Families and is there to help you with your complaint. This service is free of charge if you are a child or are unable to present your views either in writing or verbally. The role of the independent advocate is to promote and protect your rights and interests. We can also offer you an interpreter if you need one.

You can also talk to the Children's Rights Officer on 0121 303 7217 or 0121 303 7224.

Friends or relatives
Friends or relatives can complain on behalf of a service user or carer. They should inform the service user or carer before making a complaint on their behalf. The Customer Relations Service will always check out consent where the complaint is not received directly from the service user.

You can also talk to the Children's Rights Officer on 0121 303 7217 or 0121 303 7224.

Equal Opportunities
It is your right to be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity when making a complaint, regardless of your racial identity, sexuality, disability, age, culture religion, gender or status.