Making a complaint about Children's Services

From time to time, people who use our services will want to make a complaint about the service that they have requested or received.

This page will tell you how to go about making your complaint.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you are a child, care leaver, or adult who has requested or received a service from Children's Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. If you are a parent, or a person who has sufficient interest in a child's welfare, you can also complain on a child's behalf.

Who should I complain to?

You can complain to your social worker, your social worker's manager, or an independent reviewing officer (IRO). You can also make your complaint to the Children's Services complaints manager.

How do I make my complaint?

There are several ways for you to make your complaint:

  • you can make your complaint directly to your social worker, an independent reviewing officer, or another member of our Children's Services social work team
  • you can contact the children's complaints manager
  • you can fill in our online complaints form
  • you can leave a message with the children's complaints team's administrator
  • you can email or text any of the people above if you have their email address or telephone number and ask them to ring you back. The complaints manager will also tell you their name.
  • you can contact the independent reviewing officers (IROs) by leaving a message with the administrator at the Adhikaar Centre.

What will happen next?

In the first instance, the social worker and his or her manager will try and sort things out quickly and properly with you.

Stage one

If the issue is not sorted out quickly, the complaints manager will make sure that the complaint is understood and will then ask one of the managers to try and sort it out with you within ten working days, or a maximum of 20 working days.

The complaints manager may have further contact with you during this stage, and if you are a child who is looked after by us, the complaints manager will make sure that someone is appointed to support and advocate for you if you wish.

Stage two

Most issues and problems are usually sorted out by the end of stage one. If they are not, the complaints manager will appoint an independent investigating officer to investigate the complaint fully. This is called a stage two investigation, and it should take up to 25 working days (five weeks) or a maximum of 65 working days (13 weeks) if it is complicated.

Stage three

On rare occasions, the problem is still not sorted out by the end of stage two. If this happens, a stage three review panel of three independent people may be called together to look at your complaint.

Local Government Ombudsman

At any point in this process, you may approach the Local Government Ombudsman. This is an independent and free service that investigates complaints about councils. Contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

You can expect to be treated with courtesy, honesty and respect while making your complaint and going through the complaints process. Please advise us if you feel that this has not been the case for you.


If you are a looked after child or a young person leaving care, you can receive support and help in making your complaint or representation. This service is provided by an independent organisation, Barnardo's.

Further information

If you require further information about making a complaint, please contact our children's complaints manager.