This Factsheet is about complaints about child protection issues. It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
The Council has a duty to investigate where a child is thought to be at risk of significant harm. You should normally complain first to the Council under the Children’s Services complaints procedure. However, you may contact us directly if it appears that the Council is delaying in dealing with your complaint.
The Ombudsman can look at the Council’s response to concerns that a child is at risk. Some of the issues we can look at are:
Something wrong in the way in which the Council has investigated concerns about child protection which may have affected you personally. This could be:
Shortcomings in managing planning for a child’s future following a child protection case conference. These could include:
In some cases the Ombudsman may be able to question decisions made by social workers.
In child protection matters, the interests of the child are the primary consideration and this may not coincide with the interests of the adult making the complaint.
If your complaint is about the decision of a Child Protection Conference, the Ombudsman cannot consider the complaint because a number of different agencies may be involved in the child protection process. The Ombudsman can only look at complaints against the council and, in certain circumstances, health professionals involved.
Details of the Wales Safeguarding Procedures can be found at http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/our-work/safeguarding/wales-safeguaring-procedures/
The procedures help safeguard children and promote their welfare.
You may also be able to get advice and help from the Family Rights Group, which covers England and Wales, and which advises parents and other family members whose children may require social care services. You can contact them on 0808 801 0366 and their website can be found at https://www.frg.org.uk/
The Ombudsman is independent and impartial; he cannot order public bodies to do what he recommends – but, in practice, they almost always do. Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, on the ‘Publications’ tab under ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’.