How can I make a Complaint against the Fostering Service

Standards & Regulations

Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care:

If you are not satisfied with any aspect of the fostering service you have the right to make a complaint against the Local Authority. However, most problems can be sorted out in discussion with your Fostering Social Worker, who will try and resolve the problem with the person concerned. If your Fostering Social Worker is the one you are not happy with then you can speak to a Manager within the fostering service. If your complaint is about the fostering service as a whole you should use the complaints process.

It is important to remember that supervision is a good place to air any concerns or issues that you have. Discussing these early on may help resolve any problem or issue BEFORE it escalates to a formal complaint.

There are different sorts of complaints that need to be dealt with differently:

You are also entitled to get in touch with the regulatory body Ofsted.

This chapter explains the way in which you should deal with concerns that you have about the fostering service.

The fostering service will always try to resolve complaints informally. This does not mean that you are not being taken seriously; it is because the complaint is more likely to be able to be dealt with quickly and to your satisfaction when it is dealt with in this way. This is known as a Stage 1 complaint. All complaints are recorded by the complaints team and the fostering service’s Manager monitors them.

If you are not satisfied with this, your complaint will be dealt with in line with the Children's Social Care Procedures. This is known as a Stage 2 complaint and an independent investigation will take place.

If the compliant has still not been resolved then an independent review panel will consider the complaint and the way it has been dealt with. This is Stage 3 of the process and it has to be considered by an independent panel.

In the unlikely event that you complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you will be able to contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, but they will refer you back to the local authority if you have not used all three stages of the local authorities complaints processes. Their contact details are:

PO Box 4771

Phone:                                0300 061 0614
Fax:                                    024 7682 0001
Text:                                   “call back” to 07624 804299

Submitting an online complaint -

Ofsted inspect fostering agencies in relation to the National Minimum Standards. If you have a serious concern about the fostering service, you can also contact Ofsted, their details are:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 1231