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Has anyone else made a complaint re. social services

(14 Posts)
OwlLady Mon 30-Jul-12 17:33:14

At stage 1 is it ethical for your complaint to be carried out by someone who was involved in what you made the complaint about?

ie. a complaint re. panel decision and representation was carried out by someone direct involved in panel and someone directly involved with social worker.

I would really like some guidance on this. I am losing the will to live

pinkorkid Mon 30-Jul-12 21:58:29

I don't know about the legalities of this but it certainly sounds inappropriate. It might be worth reposting on the sn children's board where there is more traffic and some posters with legal knowledge.

OwlLady Tue 31-Jul-12 16:11:32

thanks, I will do that smile

WetAugust Tue 31-Jul-12 19:02:00

It's par for teh course for a Stage 1 investigation to be conducted by the person about whom you are complaining.

Happened when I complained.

Write back formally rejecting the Stage 1 findings as not impartial and any other reasons and ask for a Stage 2 investigation to be carried out by someone independent to the complaint.

Im my case they refused so I complained about this to my Local Councillor and he made them appoint an impartial Stage 2 investigator.

Keep at 'em grin

OwlLady Wed 01-Aug-12 10:51:43

did it help doing a stage 2 and does it have to be specific? They have invited me to a conciliatory meeting with both the people involved and I am only allowed to take one friend or relative of which they have to approve first shock confused

WetAugust Wed 01-Aug-12 17:41:00

Stage 2 was only a means to get to Stage 3 after which I had exhausted the Council's complaints process and was tghen free to take it to the Local Governement Ombudsman. At every Stage the Council found there was no complaint to answer however the LGO upheld my complaint and awarded me damages and an apology.

This meeting will be an attempt to get you to drop your complaint.

sazale Wed 01-Aug-12 17:51:44

My complaint is at stage 2 as stage 1 went over the timescales so I invoked my right to progress to stage 2 although it doesn't look like they're doing that by the book either. 15 days into stage 2 and still don't know who the independent person is yet so Christ knows how he's going to meet with me, investigate and produce a report within the next 10 working days!

How did you find stage 3, Wet?

WetAugust Wed 01-Aug-12 18:07:47

Yes, my Stage 1 went over too.

Stage 3 in my Council area is a panel of Councillors. It's set up as a sort of tribunal where you and those council officials about whom you are complaining appear to make their cases.

I didn't see any point in appearing in person so just submitted written evidence - of course the panel found no case to answer.

At one stage I even had a second complaint running simultaneously about the Council's failure to follow it's own complaints procedure!

You know don't you that they will never admit they were in the wrong - but you have to go through all stages of this farce to be entitled to elevate your complaint to the Local Govt Ombudsman - which is another total farce.

It did help to contact my Local Councillor and point out that the Council were failing to follow the published complaints procedure and were over-running on time. He stepped in and things improved. You might want to try that approach.

OwlLady Wed 01-Aug-12 18:15:02

I am not going to drop my complaint at all and tbh i have more to complain about. I cannot cope, I am on my knees and my other children suffer terribly, they hit, kicked, bitten, I was kicked so hard last week my big toenail came off, have been punched in the face today and given a nosebleed. I get 7 hours a month respite, for a very very disabled teenager when in another county I was getting double that a week. The way my SW talks about my child is as though they are a piece of meat. It's completely wrong and I absolutely worry for the future for my child without me in it sad and it's constant. I always felt sad for these people who jumped off bridges with their children, though understandable I wondered how you would get to that point. I know now

sazale Wed 01-Aug-12 19:00:38

The social services manager apologised to me and said that I had been given the wrong information and although it's not an excuse the social worker in question is a new member to the team. She said she will be sent on ASD training and it will be discussed in her supervision. I'm sure that part won't be put in writing! She told me my dd doesn't meet their criteria but talked about other stuff they old refer to. She left me with a copy of their criteria which I read after she left (could kick myself for not reading it earlier) which clearly states that she does!!! They've agreed to an assessment of needs and a carers assessment but have told me the carers assessment is just a form posted out for me to fill in and then filed away. It brings no support and is pretty useless, so she said! I said i still wanted it! I'm not ready to drop my complaint.

OwlLady, I really hope you get the support you need soon, hang in there. The doc I posted on the other thread talks you through the whole process and what they're supposed to do.

Wet, who did you complain to about not handling your complaint correctly?

WetAugust Wed 01-Aug-12 19:14:44

Wet, who did you complain to about not handling your complaint correctly?

I complained to my own Local Councillor. The whole handling of the complaint by the Council was a farce.

At stage 1 the investigating officer was the person about whom I was complaining.

At stage 2 the investigating officer was the line manager of the person about whom I was complaining and on whose orders they had acted.

I complained to LC that this was not a transparent investigation if the Council continued to investigate their own actions.

An alternative stage 2 investigator was appointed after the LC's intervention - but this person also worked in the same dept for the same line manager on whose orders the person I was complaining about had acted ! Hardly likely to be a fair investigation.

So I rejected their Stage 2 findings and asked for Stage 3 investigation.

Prior to Stage 3 I had a phone call from a council official asking me 'what I wanted' i.e. how much to buy me off. I rejected that approach so it went to Stage 3.

Bastards the lot of them!

OwlLady Thu 02-Aug-12 14:08:42

has anyone requested their childs file?

how do i go about requesting it? Does anyone have a short sharp email that will get it sent to me?

sazale Fri 03-Aug-12 16:44:01

I haven't requested my dd file yet but it is something I may consider in the future. This should give you more info
www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public/personal_information/how_manage/access_info.aspx
If you search on your councils website for subject access request/freedom of information it may tell you what you need to do (it does on my councils).

OwlLady Tue 07-Aug-12 12:35:52

thank you sazale, that's really helpful

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