Scotland's Children - The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance: Volume 1 Support and Protection for Children and Their Families

Guidance and regulations on the Children (Scotland) Act 1995

Scotland's Children
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance
Volume 1 Support and Protection for Children and Their Families

Chapter 9 Representations and Complaints

1. Local authorities are required to have procedures for considering representations or complaints about the discharge of any of their social work functions, including those for child care services. 1 Systems are now in place in all authorities. Representa-tions or complaints may be made by the child, his or her parents or anyone else with parental responsibility, any carer including foster carers or any person who has a legitimate interest in the child's welfare.

Section 5B Social Work (Scotland ) Act 1968

2. Social work departments should provide children and young people, and their families with information that they can use about how to comment on or make a complaint about the service they have received. The Act requires that children's views are taken into account when decisions are being made which affect them. Children's rights services may help young people and children in expressing their views and being heard. Some children may require particular support in expressing views or making a complaint if they have communication difficulties or other problems.

3. Local procedures should be well publicised and easily accessible. The complaints procedure and any other local procedures and guidance about services should allow for any complaint to be resolved quickly and as close as possible to the point of service about which there is concern or dispute. No officer of the local authority should investigate a complaint about any of his or her own actions or judgement. Complainants should always receive a written response to their complaint.

4. The views of service users can provide local authorities with information which can help to improve the management and quality of their services. Local authorities should encourage and help service users and their families and carers to comment on and make suggestions about the service they have received. This will include using information from complaints in a constructive manner to influence changes in services.

1 For guidance on local authority complaints procedures see Circular No. SWSG 5/1996 and the Social Work (Representations Procedure) (Scotland) Directions 1996

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