The Board was presented with the Annual Reports for Comments, Complaints and Compliments relating to Children’s Social Care Services from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
The report provided analysis on complaints processed under the Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure, and evidenced how feedback from service users had been used to improve service delivery. It was reported that the aim of the Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure was for children and young people to have their concerns resolved swiftly and wherever possible, by the people who provided the service locally. It was noted that a complaint may generally be defined as an expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet in relation to an individual child or young person, which required a response.
Members were advised that there were four categories to the representation process: Statutory Complaints; Representations; Customer Care Issues; and Compliments. Commentary on these was provided in the report which also presented detailed information and data relating to the numbers of complaints received between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.
The report also detailed feedback on compliments made by clients and positive feedback from workers / professionals relating to Children’s Services in the Directorate. The positive impact and outcomes on the lives of people accessing services in this Directorate were highlighted.
Members welcomed the report and recognised the good work that was carried out, as presented in the feedback examples from Child Protection and Children in Need, Children in Care and Care Leavers, and Team around the Family. It was also understood that managing complaints was also about managing a client’s expectations which these days was much higher, due to improved technology and communication. People forget that staff had caseloads to manage and were not available all the time; this was also exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
RESOLVED: That the reports presented be accepted as the mechanism by which Elected Members can monitor and scrutinise children’s social care complaints and compliments.