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How to make a complaint to do with Children's Social Care...

Complaining about a Social Care  or a local authority service or department 

A formal complaint is the way you can tell a service that you are not happy or satisfied about something that they did or didn't do. 

Formal complaints about council services must be made within twelve months of the incident.

You will be told that they have received your complaint within three working days and it will be investigated by them using the council’s complaints policy.

Children's Social Care Complaints

Children Social Care provides a wide range of services for different people.

If you are happy with our service or a particular member of staff - please tell us. This can help us do more of the things that work well for people. 

If you are unhappy with our service or the way you have been treated - please tell us. 

This can help us look at not doing things that don't work well for people.  

Visiting the office...

The office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

If you want to visit you will need to phone first to make an appointment.

Hackney Service Centre
Complaints Unit
1 Hillman Street
London E8 1DY

Phone: 020 8356 5800


Our office is accessible to all disabled people.

If you do not speak English or you use British Sign Language we can get a translator or a sign language interpreter to help you.

What to do if you are not happy:

First try to talk to your social worker or their manager about the problem you have.  

If you have tried talking to your social worker or their manager about the problem you have and are still not happy.

There are three stages to taking a complaint further. 

Stage 1 - Local Resolution...

Stage 1 

You can talk to the Complaints Manager in private, who will try to deal with your problem.

You can make contact by telephone, letter, fax, email or in person.

If you need help making a complaint, compliment, or suggestion please let us know so we can arrange for someone to help you.

This person is called an advocate.

Alternatively, you can ask someone in your family, or a friend to write or speak on your behalf.

  • You will be sent a letter within two working days to let you know your complaint has been received by the Complaints Unit.
  • You should then receive a full response within ten working days.
  • If the complaint is detailed or if an advocate is required, a further ten working days can be added.
  • If you are still not happy, you can meet with the manager who sent the letter.

The Children & Young People's Service will consider mediation and conflict resolution at this stage and at all other stages.

f you have tried talikg to the Complaints Manager and are still not happy you can follow the steps in Stage 2. 

Stage 2 - Investigation...

Stage 2 - Investigation. If you are still not happy...


Write to the Complaints Manager saying which part of your complaint has not been sorted out.

The Complaints Manager will arrange for someone independent of the service to investigate your complaint and write a report (contact details are at the end of this section).

  • The Complaints Manager will appoint an independent person to oversee the investigation. This person will not work for Hackney Council.
  • They will write a report.
  • You should receive a response to your complaint within 25 working days of the complaint being received. (By law, we can take up to 65 working days for certain complaints.)

We will do all we can to make sure we reply quickly, and tell you if there are any delays. 

Stage 3 - Review Panel...

If you are unhappy with the investigation or the response to your complaint, you can ask for it to go before a Review Panel.

You must ask for this within 20 working days of receiving the letter at Stage 2.

The Review Panel will normally meet within 30 working days of your request, and will be made up of three independent panel members, one of whom will chair the meeting.

You can ask your advocate, someone in your family, or a friend to speak on your behalf.

The Review Panel will send their recommendations to you and the Director of Children's Services within five working days of the meeting.

The Director of Children's Services will send you a letter with the final decision within 15 working days of receiving the Review Panel's recommendations. 

Local Government Ombudsman...

If you are still not happy you can take the matter further by contacting the Local Government Ombudsman.

Local Government Ombudsman
10th Floor, 
Millbank Tower, 
London SW1P 4QP

Phone: 020 7217 4620
Fax: 020 7217 4621

Useful organisations....

There are organisations that can help children and young people have their voices heard and help them if they need to make a complaint.

Phone: 0800 111 111

Phone: 08451 205 204

Phone: 0808 800 5792

Phone: 0808 800 5000

The Children's Society
Phone: 0845 300 1128


Citizens Advice Bureau
Phone: 020 8525 6350


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