Make a children's social care complaint


Peterborough City Council is committed to listening to the views of its customers in order to improve the services it provides. Raising concerns or queries or making a complaint will not affect the way you are treated.

Who can complain

  • any child ‘in need’ and/or ‘looked after’ by the local authority
  • their parent, or anyone with parental responsibility for such a child
  • a foster carer (whether approved by this authority or another or via an independent fostering agency)
  • a child leaving care
  • a Special Guardian or child (or their parent) who is subject to such an order
  • any person applying for a Special Guardian support service or to adopt a child
  • any child who may be adopted or their parent or guardian
  • any person covered by adoption services
  • people previously adopted, their parents, natural parents or former guardians
  • anyone the local authority accepts has a sufficient interest in a child’s welfare

The complaints process

Once your complaint has been received we will review whether it could be considered under the complaints process and we will let you know within three working days. If the investigation is likely to take longer than originally agreed we will contact you again and agree an alternative timescale with you.

If your complaint is about the social care element of an Education, Health and Care Plan, you can find lots of useful information about dispute resolution and mediation on the Local Offer.

It may be necessary to share your details with other organisations who are involved in your complaint. This will be discussed with you.

Stage One - Local Resolution - The best chance to put things right

  • Advocacy considered, offered & provided if required/requested
  • 10 working days timescale for formal response - additional 10 days if the complaint is complex or if there is an unavoidable delay
  • Investigated by the Children’s Social Care Team Manager or Service Manager


  • If you remain unhappy with the Stage 1 response a Complaint Conciliation meeting can be offered.

Stage Two - Independent Investigation

  • Complaints Manager commissions an Investigating Officer & Independent Person
  • The timescale for the investigation is 25 to 65 working days
  • The response is then Adjudicated by a Senior Manager within Children's Social Care

Stage Three - Complaints Review Panel

  • Complaints Manager commissions an Independent Chair & two Independent Panel Members
  • Director responds to the complaint

Make a complaint or a comment

If you want to make a complaint, you may contact our complaints team. You can do this in person, by phone or in writing. This should be done within 12 months of the incident occurring or the date when you became aware of it.

You can contact our Children's Social Care complaints team by using one of the following:

The Central Complaints Office
Sand Martin House
Bittern Way
Fletton Quays

Telephone: 01733 296331

Fax: 01733 345090


Complete an online complaints form

We encourage our staff to help you deal with any concerns or complaints in a friendly, confidential manner and they will do their best to explain the process to you.