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Social services complaints

  • Last modified date:
    10 June 2009

Complaints related to social services are handled by the relevant local council.

How to complain about local social services

The Department of Health cannot investigate social services complaints from members of the public. Local social services are the responsibility of individual councils and each council is required by law to have a social services complaints procedure. If you would like to make a complaint, you should contact the local council that provides your service.

What to do if your complaint is not resolved

If your complaint is not resolved by the local complaints procedure, you can then complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Local Government Ombudsman system has been set up by the Government to monitor the actions of local government.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The independent regulator for health and social care.

General Social Care Council (GSCC)

Social workers are required to be registered with the GSCC in order to practice and agreed to abide by a code of practice as a condition of registration.

The Code of Practice for Social Care Workers sets out what is expected of a social worker as they go about their daily work.

If you do not resolve a complaint about an individual social worker through the local complaints process, and you feel that the social worker has committed a serious breach of the codes of practice you can make a complaint to the GSCC. Visit the GSCC website to find out more:

Concerns will be investigated in line with the GSCC's conduct process. A social worker that is found to be guilty of misconduct can be removed from the register, suspended for a period of up to two years, or have an admonishment (caution, public record) placed against their entry in the Social Care Register for a period of up to five years.

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