Shropshire Council

Children and young people's complaints FAQs

How long will it take to consider my complaint?

We'll write to you within three days of receiving your complaint and let you know what we're doing to help you. We can't always promise to get the result you want, but we'll make sure your complaint is dealt with as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, and let you know what's happening.

What will happen to my complaint?

Our statutory complaints officer oversees the handling of children and young people’s services complaints. There are usually two stages within the process...

Stage 1

An investigating officer (such as the appropriate team manager for Children’s Services) will be asked to investigate the complaint. The complainant will be provided with a written response within ten working days (for statutory complaints). In some cases it may take up to 20 working days, but we let the customer know if this extra time is needed and why. If a customer is unhappy with the response at stage 1 they can request to go to stage 2.

Stage 2

You have up to 28 days after receipt of the stage 1 response to make a request. A stage 2 investigation is arranged and overseen by the statutory complaints officer. This role is independent of the service area being complained about. The investigation will be undertaken by an independent, external investigator, and an independent person will be assigned to the investigation to ensure that the complaint is thoroughly and fairly investigated. The investigation will normally take 25 working days, but can be extended up to a total of 65 working days if taking longer than expected due to the complexity of the complaint, or absences of key members of staff. 

What does a complaint response look like?

Every complaint is different, but generally you can expect the following information to be included in a complaint response:

  • A summary of the complaint
  • How the complaint has been investigated
  • A response to each of the main points within the complaint
  • The outcome of the investigation (this may be one overall outcome or outcomes for each element of the complaint if it's more complex – if some elements of a complaint are upheld and others not upheld, the overall outcome will usually be considered partly upheld).

What does the complaint outcome mean?

There are three main outcomes for complaints:

  1. Upheld - a complaint is upheld when the outcome of the investigation finds in the complainant’s favour.
  2. Partly upheld - the investigation finds in the complainant’s favour, in part. Elements of a complaint may be upheld and others not upheld.
  3. Not upheld - if a complaint is not upheld the investigation finds in the service provider’s favour: the service provided was of a standard a reasonable person could expect.

Have you got information I can share with others?

Please share the link to these webpages. If you'd like any additional information please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email

Do I have to complain to Shropshire Council?

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is the independent body set up to investigate public services complaints in a fair and independent way. Although you can contact the LGO at any time for advice, they will expect you to progress your complaint through our complaints procedure in the first instance. If, once we've responded to your complaint and reached the end of the process set out in our complaints procedure, you're still not happy, you may then wish to ask the LGO to review and investigate your complaint.  

If you feel you'd like additional support to make a complaint to us we can put you in touch with an independent advocate. Please don’t hesitate to raise any concerns you have about making a complaint. We do our best to ensure that making a complaint is as easy as possible.

Where else can I find support for a complaint?

  • Ofsted - if you're being looked after in care you can also contact OFSTED (the government body which inspect councils to make sure they're doing a good job): Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7LA Tel: 08456 40 40 40
  • Childline - You can call the 24 hour free service to talk about any problem in confidence: Freephone: 0800 1111
  • National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS): Freephone: 0800  616101, text: 0777 333 4555, email: