Complaints Procedure - Children’s Order Representation

Who can complain?

  • Any child who is being looked after by the Belfast Trust, or who is not being looked after by the Belfast Trust but is in need (More Information for Children and Young people)
  • A parent of a child
  • A person who has parental responsibility for the child or young person
  • Any Belfast Trust foster parent
  • Any other person that the Belfast Trust considers to have sufficient interest in the child’s welfare

You may have a complaint about any of the following:

  • Day care
  • Services to support children within family home
  • Accommodation of a child
  • After care
  • Decisions relating to the placement of a child 
  • The management or handling of a child’s case (in respect of Part IV services)
  • Process involved in decision making (in respect of Part IV services)
  • Denial of a (Part IV) service
  •  Exemptions to usual fostering limit
  •  Matters affecting a group of children (receiving a Part IV service)
  • Issues concerning a child subject to Adoption Services

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of being received by the Complaints Department, and it will be investigated thoroughly and confidentially.

A Social Work Manager will meet with you within the next 28 days. This manager will try to resolve your complaint and let you know the outcome.


Information for Children and Young People

If you are not happy

You can complain if you are unhappy about the way you are being cared for, or the service you get from social services. It is always better to resolve any problems with whoever can help with the issue at that time.

Who can you talk to?

Problem Solving Stage

You can discuss any problem you have with:

  • Family
  • Carer
  • Social worker
  •  Teacher
  • A friend
  • Independent representation, such as VOYPIC
  • Or someone else you feel comfortable speaking to

If you do not feel able to talk to any of these people or if you are not happy with how it is being handled, you can make a complaint to the Complaints Department:

Our contact details:
Complaints Department
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
6th Floor, McKinney House
Musgrave Park Hospital
Stockman’s Lane
Belfast
BT9 7JB

Tel: (028) 9504 8000 (Monday-Friday: 9am-4pm)
Email: complaints@belfasttrust.hscni.net
Textphone: 18001 028 950 48000

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of being received by the Complaints Department, and it will be investigated thoroughly and confidentially. Within the next 28 days, a Social Work Manager will meet with you and talk to you about your complaint. This manager will try to resolve your complaint and let you know the outcome.

What happens next?

 

Stage 1

If you are still not happy, you can ask for your complaint to be looked at again. A manager from the Belfast Trust, who has not been involved in your care, and an Independent Person, who is not employed by us, will look into your complaint.

Stage 2

If you do not agree with the outcome, you can ask for a review, but you must do this within 28 days of receiving our response. A review Panel, made up of two senior managers from the Belfast Trust and an Independent Person, will look at your complaint. These people will not have been involved when your complaint was first investigated. We will then contact you again to let you know the outcome.

What if you are still not happy?

You can ask the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman to investigate your case.
Although you can contact the Ombudsman at any time, he will not usually take on a case which has not been through our Children’s Order Representation and Complaints Procedure.

Further information on the services provided by the Ombudsman is available by contacting:

  • The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
    Progressive House
    33 Wellington Place
    Belfast
    BT1 6HN
    Freepost: Freepost NIPSO
    Freephone: 0800 343 424

    Telephone: 028 902 338 21
    Textphone: 028 908 977 89

    Email: nipso@nipso.org.uk
    Website: www.nipso.org.uk/nipso

Useful Contacts

We know making a complaint is not always easy, so remember that you have a right to have a trusted person to support you throughout. If you need help with a complaint you can call these organisations – they are not connected to the Belfast Trust.

You should always feel safe when making a complaint and not be scared to say anything.