What to do if you want to make a complaint…

Sometimes, people are unhappy about the service they have received at a child contact centre. This is something that is regrettable, however, it is often quick and easy to seek resolution.

Whilst a centre can create its own basic structure for the handling of complaints, this will usually contain at least the following basic elements.

Where a complainant is unhappy they should share their concerns verbally with a staff member at the centre.  Often the complaint will be concluded at this point. 

Stage 1. The complainant remains unsatisfied. Complaint put in writing to the person managing the service unless the complaint is about this person, where the procedure will name another person for this complaint to be addressed too. This person should be able to act without bias, demonstrating impartiality. Upon receipt of the written complaint. The person managing the process will respond to the complainant (formally) within 5 working days to confirm receipt and to outline the process moving forward. The complaint will be investigated, in a way outlined by the centre and the complainant will be formally informed of the outcome. This response will inform the complainant of their options should they remain unsatisfied. 

Stage 2. The complainant remains unhappy. Within specified timescales, they will outline the basis of their complaint and the reasons for their displeasure with the process to an impartial person, named in the policy, not already involved in the complaint. This might be a Trustee, Director, Manager, and so on. Within timescales set out by the policy and upon receipt of the written complaint. The person managing the process will respond to the complainant (formally) to confirm receipt and to outline the process moving forward. The complaint will be investigated, in a way outlined by the centre and the complainant will be formally informed of the outcome. This response will inform the complainant of their options should they remain unsatisfied. 

Stage 3. Where the complainant remains unhappy. They will notify the person who lead stage 2 in writing. This will take place within timescales specified within the complaint’s procedure of the contact service.

The complainant will usually be invited to attend a meeting with an impartial panel (the make-up of this will be defined within the policy of the contact service) to discuss the complaint. The panel will consider all previous information and may wish to speak to staff/volunteers involved. A written decision will be sent to the complainant within timescales outlined within the policy. The decision taken at this stage is final.

Alternatively, you might also choose to complain to the organisation that made the referral to that service (Cafcass or Children’s Services). If you have legal advice you might also want to seek advice if you are unhappy with the service received.

If the complainant remains unhappy, and all of the above (equivalent) stages above are complete, the complainant may complete the NACCC Complaints Notification Form and submit this to contact@naccc.org.uk. The form must only be submitted to NACCC after the complainants enquiry has been fully exhausted and/or concluded by the centre and within a twelve week timescale of the complainants initial enquiry to the NACCC.

NACCCs Overview

In order for NACCC to have oversite of a centres complaints process the compliant must first complete the form at the bottom of this page.

This form should then be sent to: contact@naccc.org.uk.

A member of staff from out Administration Team will ensure that the form is fully completed prior to sending this to our Complaints Officer.

If the form demonstrates that the process outlined on this page has not been followed the form will be returned to its author and they will be advised to follow the centres complaints procedure.

Once the form has reached the Complaints Officer 10 working days are allocated for the information on the form to be reviewed. During this time the complainant and the centre may or may not be contacted dependant upon the nature of the information shared.

On or prior to the 10th working day a response will be sent from the Complaints Officer to the complainant and the Child Contact Centres sharing information as appropriate.

Should the complainant or the centre remain unhappy with the resolution offered by the Complaints Officer this can be escalated to the CEO in writing using the above email address. The CEO will respond within 10 working days of receipt.

Important Considerations

Please do not send confidential information to NACCC, this will not be considered as part of the complaints process. Any information of this type received will not be filed and will be deleted or destroyed.

Were cases are in court information relating to the case remains the property of the court and therefore should not be shared without the specific consent of the court.

The complaints process is designed to ensure that a centre has followed its procedure. NACCC will not comment on the outcome of the complaint, conclusions will solely be based upon how well the procedure was followed.

NACCC will not review evidence relating to complaints and will not make a conclusion about any outcomes reached.

Important Point

As a membership organisation NACCC has no responsibility for the staffing or day-to-day running of member centres; however, we do advise, support and accredit centres and require member centres to work to the highest standards.  Therefore, we are unable to investigate individual complaints, but we do have a role in investigating how complaints are handled at centres.

Complaints form can be located below