Statutory complaints procedure for children’s social care

We need to know what you think about our services so that we can improve them. You may have a concern or a complaint about a service or you may have a comment or compliment to make. We want to hear from you whatever you have to say.

We want to hear from you if:

  • you are a child or young person who has a concern about a service we provide
  • you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child or young person
  • your child receives a service from us or one of our partners
  • your child receives a service that we've arranged for them
  • your child receives a service that we provide jointly with one of our partners
  • you are a representative or advocate and acting in the interests of a child or young person who receives a service from us or one of our partners
  • Children's Services have refused to provide or arrange a service for your child, which you believe your child is entitled to

Complaint process

Stage 1

When we first receive your complaint we will send you a letter within three working days to say we have got it and who will be dealing with it.

The manager of the team you are complaining about will look into your complaint and write to you with a response within working ten days.

If your complaint is complicated the manager of the team may write to you to say it will take longer and outline the reasons why.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the response then you should tell us within 20 working days of getting your letter.

We will look at whether the issues can be resolved by talking to the team you complained about again, or whether your complaint should go to the next stage.

At stage 2 your complaint will be looked at by two people.

An ‘investigating officer’ – someone who has not been:

  • involved in the complaint already; and
  • An independent person who does not work for the council.

When we get your stage 2 complaint we will write to you to say who these two people will be and we will ask you to sign something to agree the things that will be investigated.

The investigation will normally be completed within 25 working days. If it looks like it will take longer, the investigating officer will talk to you about extending the deadline for up to 65 working days.

They will write a report on their investigation and send it to an ‘adjudicating officer’. This is a senior manager who will send the report to you, along with a letter explaining what action they will be taking and what to do if you are not happy with what they have decided.

Stage 3

At stage 3 your complaint will be looked at by a panel at a hearing.

We will write to invite you to the hearing and tell you who is on the panel within 30 days of receiving your appeal.

You can attend the hearing alone, or with an advocate, or you can send an advocate in your place. You can send something in writing instead but we do prefer for you or an advocate to attend.

The panel will consider the investigation about your complaint and the investigating officer, independent person and adjudicating officer will be there, to answer any questions the panel have.

After the hearing the panel will discuss all the evidence and come to a decision about the investigation into your complaint.

The panel will write a report and send it to you within five working days of the hearing. They also send a copy to the head of People Services – Children’s who will write to you with their comments within 15 days of the hearing. This letter will tell you how to contact the local government ombudsman if you are remain unhappy.

How to contact us

You can contact us yourself or get someone to help you. We will help provide you with information about the most appropriate organisation for your situation.

If a child or young person needs help and support, including advocacy, they can contact Advocacy Focus.


If you wish to make a complaint, comment or compliment on any of our services, you can do so online.

Make a complaint, comment or compliment

Find out more about making a complaint online.

In writing:

Customer First Service
Salford City Council
Children’s Services
Salford Civic Centre
Unity House, Second Floor
Chorley Road
M27 5AW

Worried about a child

If you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child or young person, please visit our worried about a child page.


If you are a practitioner and you need to submit documentation securely, please continue to use our secure upload page.

If a child is in immediate danger of being harmed, or if a child is home alone, the police should be called on 999.

This page was last updated on 26 May 2023

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