Stage one: Informal problem-solving
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Stage one is the informal problem-solving stage
It involves a social worker, team manager or children’s services complaints officer. That person will review the details of a complaint.
Children’s services should provide a response within working 10 days (see Regulation 14 of the Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure Regulations 2006). This could be:
- Suggestions about how to address the issues raised, or
- Suggestions for informal problem-solving.
If children’s services require more time, they should try to agree that with the person making the complaint. The person making the complaint is known as the complainant.
If the complaint is dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant, the process will end at this point. Children’s services must write to the complainant setting out what has been agreed to resolve the complaint (see regulation 15 of the Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure Regulations 2006, and Getting the best from complaints 2006 at paragraph 3.5.7). This is known as the terms of resolution.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the terms of resolution, the complainant should be told that they can proceed to Stage 2 and seek a formal investigation (see regulations 15(2) and 17 of the Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure Regulations 2006).