Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People - Thursday, 24th March, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Diamond Room 1 - Council House. View directions

Contact: Usha Patel, Governance Services  Tel: 024 7697 2301

No. Item


Declarations of Interests


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 204 KB

(a)  To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2021


(b)   Matters Arising


The minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2021 were agreed and signed as a true record. There were no matters arising.


Children's Services Comments, Compliments and Complaints Annual Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Report of the Director of Children’s Services

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services which presented the Children’s Services Comments, Compliments and Complaints Annual Report 2020/21.


There is a statutory duty for the Council to have a system for receiving representations by, or on behalf of, children who use the social care services they provide or commission, and for the Council to produce an annual report about the operation of the complaints.


The report, as attached at Appendix I, outlined the details of the comments, compliments and complaints for children’s services in 2020/21. It highlighted the themes that emerged from them and the learning and service improvements that have resulted from the feedback received. Appendix II detailed the Council’s guidance for handling complaints.


The report indicated that between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, there were 157 statutory and informal complaints received about children’s services. Of these, 141 were statutory complaints, 4 corporate complaints and 12 informal complaints. The number of complaints under the statutory process had decreased from 212 in 2019/20.


A total of 17 complaints were made by children and young people themselves or from an advocate during 200/21, the remainder were from adults. There had been a slight increase of children and young people using an advocate over the past few years.


Two main themes that continue to emerge from the complaints made by and on behalf of users in 2020/21 were (i) issues regarding poor communication with users and (ii) concerns about the standards of service provided.


A total of 445 compliments were received in 2020/21 compared with 153 in 2019/20 and 78 in 2018/19. Themes from compliments were predominantly around the good standard of practice received from individual social workers and the overall standard of service received from teams. It was not currently possible to distinguish between compliments from children and young people themselves, or carers, or staff without manually going through every compliment. A selection of compliments from children and young people and families were included in the appendix to the report.


Members noted that the majority of complaints were made by adults and questioned whether the voices of looked after children were being adequately captured. Officers indicated that work was currently underway with the Participation Team to look at making the complaints literature and the complaints process more child friendly and more accessible. As part of this work, there was an expectation that leaflets would be produced in a number of different languages and be available online. Progress on this work would be reported to the Corporate Parenting Board.


Members also questioned how the level of complaints received by the children’s services department compared to other departments. It was reported that it would be difficult to compare as the Council has a statutory duty to have a system in place for receiving representations by, or on behalf of, children who use our services. And the level of support given to administer the system reflected this. And whilst there were existing processes in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Outstanding Issues Report

There are no outstanding issue to report.


There were no outstanding issues.


Any Other Business

To consider any other items of business which the Cabinet Member decides to take as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances involved.


There were no other items of business.