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Every local authority has to publish a complaints procedure. This should set out how people can make a complaint about children’s services. This will include the actions and decisions of social workers.

The duty to publish a complaints procedure is in the Children Act 1989. Each local authority have details of the complaints procedure on their website. Children’s services, schools, NHS and other public services will have their own procedures.

The Children Act 1989 specifies who can make a complaint to children’s services. This includes:

If you are outside these categories, you can still make a complaint. The law also allows children’s services to consider complaints from anyone who has a ‘strong connection to the child’. This is referred to as having a ‘sufficient interest’ in the child’s welfare.

Complaints can be made in relation to difficulties such as:

For more information about how to make a complaint and what will happen see:

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