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Social and Community Services

Community Care and Criminal Justice

Complaints Procedure

If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the Social Work Department and have not been able to resolve the problem to your own satisfaction, you may want to make a complaint.

The Social Work Department has a procedure which encourages you to complain if you are not satisfied with the quality of service you receive.

The Complaints Procedure can be used by anyone who is dissatisfied: an individual, a family, a community group, a child or anyone receiving a service from the Department. People receiving a service from either a private or voluntary organisation which is paid for by the Social work Department may also use this procedure to make a complaint.

This leaflet tells you how to make a formal complaint about the Social Work Department. It is available in Gaelic and English on tape

How To Make A Complaint

Speak to the senior person on duty about your complaint *.

  1. The staff member will listen to your complaint and any relevant information you have.
  2. Your complaint will be written down and the person taking your complaint will check with you that the written information says what you mean.
  3. You will be given a copy of the written complaint as an acknowledgement of your complaint. This should be kept as evidence of the date, time and place of when the complaint was first made.
  4. if your complaint is simply and easily resolved it will be dealt with by a member of staff at the place where you Complained. If your complaint cannot be easily resolved it will be passed to the Complaints Officer.
  5. You will receive a response either verbally or in writing within 5 days.
  6. The member of staff must forward a copy of the complaint to the Complaints officer stating clearly whether or not you are satisfied with the response you have had.

* If you are unable or do not want to speak to a member of staff. Please complete the tear-off strip at the back of this leaflet and send it to the Director of Social Work who will acknowledge your communication within 5 days and proceed with stage 2 of the Complaints Procedure.

What Happens Next

  1. If you have decided to complain straight to the Director of Social Work or if your complaint has been difficult to resolve, it will be fully investigated in confidence by a senior member of Headquarters staff.
  2. You will receive acknowledgement that your complaint has been received within 5 days.
  3. When further information is being sought during the investigation you will be encouraged to be accompanied by a person of your choice, particularly if the investigation requires a visit to you at home.
  4. You will be kept informed about the progress of the investigation, particularly if any delay is likely to occur.
  5. You will be advised, in writing and by Recorded Delivery, of the outcome of your complaint within 28 days.
  6. You will be given the opportunity to discuss the outcome if you wish.
  7. At this stage, if you are still dissatisfied, you may appeal to a sub-committee of the Council.

As well as using the Complaints Procedure you are entitled to use other ways of registering your concerns such as through your local Councillor, MP, the ombudsman or a solicitor.