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18.1 Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure

The Department of Health and Social Care Children and Families Directorate provides a wide range of services to the people of the island. We need to know what our service users think about our services so that we can improve them where necessary. Their comments - comments, good or bad, will help us to know how to change things for the better.

We want to get it right.


This chapter was updated in October 2019.


  1. Making a Complaint
  2. Comments and Compliments
  3. Three Stages of the Process

1. Making a Complaint

Who can complain?

  • Any child or young person receiving or wanting a service from us under the Children & Young Persons Act 2001;
  • The parent or carer of a child receiving or wanting a service from us, if they have Parental Responsibility;
  • Anyone who is acting on behalf of a child receiving or wanting a service such as a Foster Carer or Advocate who has an interest in the child’s welfare.

2. Comments and Compliments

If children, young people and families who have used the service wish to make a complaint about a service, or if they want to compliment any of our services, they can do one of three things:

  1. Tell the person who provides them with the service what they think;
  2. Write to the Manager of the Service with their comments or compliments;
  3. Submit a complaint via email to ComplaintsChild&

3. Three Stages of the Process

STAGE 1 - Resolution

(The majority of complaints are resolved at this stage.)

Complaints can be made:

  • Over the telephone;
  • In writing;
  • In person;
  • By e-mail.

We ask that you tell us why you are unhappy and what you would like us to do to put it right.

Yourcomplaint will be acknowledged within three working days and the person looking into it will talk to you about your complaint and how we can put things right. We aim to resolve complaints at Stage 1 within 14 working days.

STAGE 2 – Investigation

At the end of Stage 1, if you remain dis-satisfied with the outcome, you can ask for your remaining areas of dis-satisfaction relating to the complaint to be investigated further. You will need to state clearly why you remain dis-satisfied.

An investigating officer will then be asked to look into your complaint. Once we are sure of what youwant us to look into, this investigation will then start. You should receive a report within 28 working days telling you:

  • What was found;
  • What the Department has decided to do about it;
  • Why the decisions were reached.

If the complaint is complicated, this may take longer than 28 days. The investigating officer will keep you informed about any delays.

STAGE 3 – Independent Review (Can either be conducted by a Senior Manager within the Service or by an External Third Party - the Director of the Service will allocate accordingly)

Complainants who remain dis-satisfied with the Stage 2 outcome may request that an independent person looks into their complaint. To request this you must apply within 4 weeks of receiving the written report to Stage 2 and state clearly what it is you remain unhappy with. The independent person will then:

  • Re-examine the concerns raised;
  • Talk to all parties involved in the complaint;
  • Seek specialist advice if required.

Once the independent investigating officer has gathered all of the necessary information, they will prepare a report which will be sent to you and the Director within 28 working days telling you:

  • The result of the investigations;
  • Any appropriate comments and conclusions;
  • Any appropriate recommendations.

The independent investigating officer’s findings are final.