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Make a complaint about children's social care services

An effective complaints and representations procedure ensures that children’s voices are heard and services improve as a result.

Read the complaints procedure in full:

This process is for children's social care complaints only.

How to complain

Make a complaint online

Read our privacy notice which tells you how we use your data.

If you prefer, call us on 0151 233 3000 or visit a One Stop Shop and speak to an adviser.


We want to make sure that anyone can complain to us. If you are a young person who needs help to complain, let us know when you send us a complaint and we can arrange for an advocate to help you.

What happens next?

If you have a complaint about children’s social care services, we will try to address your concerns as soon as possible. There are three stages to our complaints process.

Stage 1 – local resolution

We expect to resolve the majority of our complaints at this point. A complaints officer will work with the team manager of the service to provide a response. This should be completed in 10 working days. This can be extended for a further 10 days if the complaint is complex.

If a response is not completed within timescales, or you feel that your complaint has not been resolved at stage 1, you can request that your complaint is considered at stage 2.

Stage 2 – investigation

An investigating officer will work alongside an independent person to investigate your complaint. They will discuss your complaint with you and the outcomes you would like to see. They will then meet with staff involved in your case and view the relevant documents. The investigating officer will write a report including details of their findings, whether they are upheld or not upheld, and recommendations on how to put things right.

The investigation should be completed within 25 working days. This may be extended to a maximum of 65 days.

Stage 3 – review panel

If you are not satisfied with how we have handled your complaint at the end of stage 2, you can request that it is considered by a review panel. This involves three independent people meeting with you, the investigating officers and a senior manager. The panel will review the complaints process and make recommendations.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If you are still unhappy after stage 3, you can take your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.