Social Work Complaints

Occasionally things go wrong and if they do we want to know so we can put them right and make sure it doesn't happen again.  If something goes wrong or you are not happy with our services, please tell us.

How Do I Complain?

Who Can Complain?

Anyone who receives, requests or is directly affected by our services can make a complaint to us.  This includes the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service (for example, a relative, friend, advocate or adviser).  If you are making a complaint on someone else’s behalf, you will normally need their written consent.

What is a Complaint and What Can I Complain About?

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

You can complain about things like:

  • failure or refusal to provide a service
  • inadequate quality or standard of service, or an unreasonable delay in providing a service
  • dissatisfaction with one of our policies or its impact on the individual
  • failure to properly apply law, procedure or guidance when delivering services
  • failure to follow the appropriate administrative process
  • conduct, treatment by or attitude of a member of staff or contractor (except where there are arrangements in place for the contractor to handle the complaint themselves); or
  • disagreement with a decision, (except where there is a statutory procedure for challenging that decision, or an established appeals process followed throughout the sector).

What Happens After I Have Complained

We aim to provide high quality customer services and to 'get it right first time' but if you are not happy with any of our services, a complaints procedure is in place that puts you at the heart of the process.  Complaints enable us to learn from mistakes and improve the services we provide. 

We strive to resolve the majority of complaints simply and quickly and we have a two stage procedure:

Stage Description
Stage 1
(Frontline Resolution)

This aims to quickly resolve customer complaints at first point of contact within five working days. In exceptional circumstances, where there are clear and justifiable reasons for doing so an extension of no more than five working days may be agreed with the customer.  This will only happen when an extension will make it more likely that the complaint will be resolved at the frontline resolution stage. This means that frontline resolution can in special circumstances take ten days in total.

Stage 2 (Investigation) For issues not resolved at front line or that are more complex. 
Complaints dealt with at Stage 2 will be acknowledged within three working days and responded to within 20 working days.  If we require more time to respond, we will let you know of the reasons for the delay and agree a revised time scale. 

Once you have received our final decision, if you feel that your issues have not been resolved, you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) and request that your complaint be reviewed.  SPSO contact details will be provided with our final response to you.

Other complaints 

Read our Complaints Handling Procedure