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Children and Family Services Complaints

Making a complaint about Children and Family Services and how it will be handled

We want to get things right for the children and young people who receive care and services from West Berkshire Council. You have a right to complain and we will listen to what you have to say and try to put it right.

If you are not happy about the way you have been treated, talk to someone you trust. This could be the person dealing with your case, their manager, your foster carer, a teacher or another adult involved in your care. Try to explain what the matter is and what you would like to happen to make it right.

If you feel you need help to explain what is wrong, we can put you in touch with someone who can support you. This person is called an advocate.

Contact the Complaints Manager via phone, email or by filling a Icon for pdf our 'Making a complaint about social care services for children' [1MB]  form and posting it to us. You can find the contact details and full address on the form.

What happens next?

The complaints procedure has three stages (and is also explained in the leaflet above):

  • Talking to someone who can help.
    Hopefully, by talking to an adult involved in your care, you will be able to sort things out together. We expect to resolve matters within 10 working days.
  • Formal investigation.
    If you are still not happy, you can ask the Complaints Manager for an investigation. This means that a senior manager from another part of the service, or an external investigator, will look into your complaint on your behalf. We aim to send you a full response within 25 days, but if there is any delay we will discuss this with you.
  • Review panel.
    If, after receiving the reply from the formal investigation, you are still dissatisfied, you can inform us that you want to have a review of the complaint. To do this, contact the Complaints Manager within 20 days of receiving your reply.

    We will set up a Panel of three independent people within 30 days, who will look again at what has been done so far to sort things out for you. You will receive a copy of the Panel report within five working days and the Director's response will be sent to you within 15 working days.

If you are still not happy

As a final resort, if you feel your complaint has not been dealt with fairly after going through the complaints procedure, you can take your concerns to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Learning lessons from complaints

We like to know if we are getting things right, and we welcome your comments and compliments, but we also need to know when there are problems. If we have made a mistake, we want to make it up to you and to make sure we don't repeat it with another child or young person.

We keep track of all complaints that are made, taking out any details that would identify people, and we compile a Icon for pdf Annual Complaints Report [1MB] . This describes how complaints have helped us to learn lessons that will help us to plan and improve our services.

Contact us

You can email us at, or call us on 01635 519 787.


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