If you are receiving help from social services one of your rights is to make a complaint if there is something you are unhappy or worried about.
We aim for high standards but sometimes things go wrong. Unless you tell us, we will not know that you are unhappy.
If you do contact us, we will be able to work with you to put things right as soon as possible. Guidance from the Welsh Assembly Government tells us how we must handle complaints.
How to make a complaint
If you would like to make a complaint or would like further information about the process, please use the online complaint form or contact:
The Complaints Manager, Social Services, Newport City Council, Civic Centre, Newport NP20 4UR
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (01633) 656656
We will endeavour, under our response standards, to acknowledge your communication within 2 working days.
There are two stages in the complaints process:
Stage 1 - local resolution
The first step in sorting out a problem is to contact someone involved in providing the service or, if you prefer, our complaints manager. This is known as local resolution.
Don’t be afraid to complain. We will take your complaint seriously and will welcome all your comments.
You may contact us in any way you choose – you don’t have to write it down. We will contact you to ask if you would like to meet with social services to discuss your concerns and then write to you when your problem has been resolved.
If your complaint is about a change to your service, we will usually try to deal with the problem first before making this change. If we are unable to postpone the change, we will explain why.
Can I ask someone to help me with my complaint?
You have the right to an advocate (someone who will help you state your point of view) If you are under 18 we will usually find you an advocate. If you are over 18 we will tell you where to find one.
How long will it take?
An officer will be nominated to investigate your complaint and will contact you within 10 working days of the date of acknowledgement of your complaint, once they have had the opportunity to gain knowledge of your particular case.
At point of contact the nominated officer will hopefully be in a position to resolve your complaint.
Following on from that contact, the officer will provide you with a formal written response within 5 working days.
Stage 2 - formal consideration
If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been resolved at Stage 1, you can ask for it to progress to Stage 2. At this stage, the person who investigates your complaint is not directly involved in providing your service.
Remember - you may still try mediation or another way forward if you want to do so.
The person looking into your complaint at this stage will:
You will usually receive a full copy of this report. If it contains information which you are not allowed to see (perhaps because the person who provided it hasn’t given their permission), you will still receive the rest of the report.
If you are under 18 we will also ask someone who is completely independent of the council to keep an eye on your complaint. This person will not investigate the complaint itself, but will make sure that all parties have been heard, that the complaint has been handled well and fairly and also that the report is accurate and complete.
What happens next?
The Director of Social Services will read the report and decide whether or not the complaint is upheld. The complaints manager will inform you of the final decision
How long will this take?
We will respond to you within five weeks. If this is impossible (for example when there is another investigation already going on), we will write to explain the delay.
What happens if I am still not happy?
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you have the right to complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. The Ombudsman’s Office aims to complete all investigations within 12 months but most are concluded sooner.
Could I complain to anyone else if I am still not satisfied?
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) regulates all care services in Wales. You can complain directly to them about social care received from care homes and home care agencies, as well as services run by the council.
You can complain to the Public Services Ombudsman about any aspect of public services. However, the Ombudsman prefers people to use the council’s complaint process first.
The Care Council for Wales regulates professional social care workers and has the power to look into allegations of misconduct.
The Commissioners for Children and Older People can also investigate complaints.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Butetown, Cardiff CF10 5FL : Telephone: 08442 640670 (standard rate) or 02920 445030 (local number) : email: email@example.com
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Oystermouth House, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9FS : Telephone: 01792 765600
Children and Young People’s Freephone number: 0808 801 1000