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4.7.2 Advocacy Service for Children in Care

USEFUL GUIDANCE

Please see relevant section of Forms Library to access the required template.

For more information on the East Riding Young People's Participation and Rights Team see Rights4U.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Complaints Procedure


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Responding to a Complaint from a Child or Young Person
  3. The Children’s Commissioner


1. Introduction

All Looked after Children should have access to independent advice, from an independent Advocate and should be provided with information about how to contact the Children’s Commissioner.

The role of the Participation and Rights Team in the complaints system is to offer independent representation to the child or young person and to amplify the young person's views and opinions regarding the complaint.

This chapter outlines how the Complaints Section and the Participation and Rights Team deal with a complaint or representation from a Looked After Child in Care. It also provides information about how a child can contact the Children’s Commissioner.


2. Responding to a Complaint from a Child or Young Person

  • Customer Relations Manager will upon receipt of a complaint meet with the child or young person to discuss the complaint;
  • The Customer Relations Manager will seek permission from the child or young person to pass on details of the complaint to the Participation and Rights Team;
  • The Customer Relations Manager will e-mail the Participation and Rights Team information regarding the complaint from the child or young person;
  • A member of the Participation and Rights Team will visit the child or young person to discuss the details of the complaint and their situation, and to clarify what the young person wants in terms of advocacy and/or support;
  • The Participation and Rights Team will then decide who in the team will provide the service. Where appropriate, for example in complex cases, an independent Advocate will be recruited to provide the necessary service;
  • The allocated Advocate will then contact the child or young person to discuss the details of the complaint and their situation, provide the service required and support the child/young person throughout the complaints process;
  • The allocated Advocate will encourage a resolution to be sought to the complaint or concern raised by the young person, but where it is not possible for a local resolution to be reached, then the Advocate will assist the young person to lodge a formal complaint under Stage 2 of the complaints procedure;
  • Where the Advocate considers that the young person is in need of additional support, e.g. from a legal adviser, then the Advocate will assist the young person to access such support;
  • The allocated Advocate and Customer Relations Manager will liaise as the complaint progresses. The allocated Advocate will continue to offer on-going support to the child or young person at any meetings arranged between Children’s Social Care or with any other agencies.


3. The Children’s Commissioner

All children should be provided with information about the Children’s Commissioner and how to contact them. The Children’s Commissioner listens to what children and young people who live away from home have to say about how they are looked after, gives information about the rights of children who are Looked After, and provides them with an opportunity to be heard. For further information visit the Children’s Commissioner website.

End