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Complaints to children’s services

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Children’s services includes social care, education, early years and youth services.

It does not include complaints about schools.  Information can be found on these types of complaints in the related pages section below.

Sometimes we don’t get things right first time or you might feel that we could have given you a better service.

If you are not happy with the care that you or someone else is receiving it is your right to complain.  Please let us know as this gives us the opportunity to make changes and to try and put things right.  We will always take your complaint seriously.

How to complain about children’s services

This is what to do if you have a complaint about children’s services:

Please note that – if your complaint is about suspected abuse or about health services you have received in a hospital, for example, then please refer to the section called Other Types of Complaint below.

1. Talk to the staff who provide the service you are not happy with

First of all, if you feel comfortable doing so, you should tell the people providing the service about your concerns so they have a chance to put things right. For example, if you have a complaint about services at a residential care home then speak to the care home manager or supervisor if you can.

2.  Write to children's services’ customer relations service

Ring customer relations on 0113 395 0310  or 0113 247 5688

Or write us at:

Customer relations
Children's services
Floor 6 East
Merrion house
110 Merrion Centre
Leeds  LS2 8QB

3. Complain by e-mail

You can find our e-mail address to the right in the Contact Us section

If you prefer, you can fill in the complaints form on the last page of the Children and Young People’s Complaints leaflet, which you can download from this page, and post it back.

If you need help making a children’s services complaint

Do you feel worried or confused about making a complaint? There are people who can help.

  • You can ask a relative, friend or carer to help you make a complaint, or make a complaint on your behalf.
  • All children and young people are entitled to advocacy support that is independent and confidential.  You can speak to Leeds Children’s Rights Service on 0113 239 5589.
  • If you have a learning disability, speak to Leeds Advocacy on 0113 244 0606. They will listen to you and tell  customer relations why you are not happy. They will treat your enquiry in confidence and take your concerns seriously

More information about making a complaint.

Further important details about making a complaint are available in the leaflets which you can download from this page, including:

  • Complaints about children and young people’s social care
  • Complaints leaflet for young children

Leaflets can be made available in different formats for people with visual impairments and learning difficulties.  We can also provide an interpreter to help you understand the complaints process if English is not your first language.  Tel: 0113 3950310

Other types of complaint

If your complaint is not about the social care services you or someone else is receiving, you will need to make your complaint in a different way.  Here is some advice on making different types of complaints:

  • Complaints relating to abuse or mistreatment - if urgent action is needed, or a crime has been committed, contact the police on 999. Otherwise, call our contact centre on 0113 222 4401 (adults) or 0113 222 4403 (children and young people). For further information, read our pages on adult protection or child protection.
  • Complaints about other council services - if you have a complaint about another council service, visit the council’s general complaints procedure page which is listed in related pages below.
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Frequently asked questions

Who can complain?

  • A child or young person, or the parent or carer of a child or young person who:

    is looked after by the local authority
  • is not looked after but is in need
  • has a special guardian order
  • is or may be adopted or
  • is leaving care.

Other people who can complain are:

  • local authority foster carers;
  • special guardians;
  • anyone who has applied for an assessment;
  • anyone who wants to adopt a child;
  • anyone else under the arrangement for the provision of adoption services;
  • adopted people, their parents, natural parents and former guardians; and

anyone else we think has enough interest in a child’s welfare for us to consider their complaint.

What should I do if I am concerned about a child?

If you have a concern about a child or family living in Leeds, please contact children and young people’s social care contact centre on 0113 376 0336 (office hours) or 0113 240 9536 (out of office hours).

What can I complain about?

  • A decision you’re not happy with.
  • Service you’ve received that you don’t think was right or good enough.
  • Having to wait for a decision to get services you need.
  • How much and how often you get services, any changes to them and the amount they cost.
  • How our staff treat you and behave.
  • Our decision on whether you meet the criteria to have a service or not.
  • How our policies affect you.
  • Our assessment, care management and review processes.

If there is anything else not on the list you would like to complain about, contact us and we will tell you whether you can make a complaint or not.

We do not have to consider complaints or representations if you have waited over a year before you tell us, but we can if we think it is worthwhile.

We can also decide not to accept a complaint if we feel it may affect any of the following:

  • court proceedings
  • tribunals
  • disciplinary proceedings; or
  • court orders.

Where can I find the full list of frequently asked questions?

The full list of FAQ's can be found under the download tab.