Children's Social Care - Complaints

If you are unhappy with the service you have received you can submit a complaint to the Council.  Depending on the content of the complaint, complaints about Children’s Social Care will be considered in line with the Statutory Children’s Social Care Complaints Procedure or Sefton Council’s Corporate Complaints Procedure. 

We will try to sort out any problems and deal with concerns as quickly as possible. Most will be sorted out within 2 days by your carer or social worker. If they cannot do this, we can consider whether the issues can be progressed in line with the complaints’ procedure. 

For complaints progressed in line with the Statutory Children’s Social Care Complaints Procedure, there is a 3-stage process.  At Stage 1, the Council will investigate and respond to the complaint. If the complaint is escalated to Stage 2, the complaint is investigated by an independent investigator.  If the complaint cannot be resolved and is escalated to Stage 3, a panel of independent people will be arranged.  The statutory timescales for Children’s Social Care complaints (in working days) are as follows: 


10 days at Stage 1 (with a further 10 days for more complex complaints or additional time if an advocate is required); 

25 days at Stage 2 (with maximum extension to 65 days); 

20 days for the complainant to request a Review Panel;   

30 days to convene and hold the Review Panel at Stage 3;  

5 days for the Panel to issue its findings 

15 days for the local authority to respond to the findings. 


For complaints progressed in line with the Corporate Complaints Procedure, this has 2 stages as follows:

Stage 1 - we will ask a manager to investigate your complaint and we will respond within 15 working days. If you are satisfied with the response we will make a note that the complaint has been resolved. However, if you are not happy with the response you can ask for this to go to Stage 2.

Stage 2 - we will ask a named senior manager to investigate your complaint and respond within 10 working days. The named senior manager may be from a different area of work to the original complaint.

Referral to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If things are still not sorted, or you are still unhappy, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman

Get in touch

  • complete our online form
  • phone on 0345 140 0845
  • post to Magdalen House, 2nd Floor, Trinity Road, Bootle L20 3NJ

Last Updated

Last updated: 17/11/2023


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