For the purposes of the guidance a complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction.
Who is entitled to complain?
All young people or their representatives (e.g. family, social worker etc) have the right to complain about the service provided.
Other professionals, members of the community are also entitled to complain about the service.
All staff must inform young people of their right to complain upon admission and a copy of the leaflet "How to Complain" must be given at the time of admission and upon request.
The principle guiding the response to a complaint will be to restore the complainant's confidence in the service and not to allocate blame.
Prompt responses are essential no complaints investigation will take longer than 20 days. Complaints may be about:
- their admission to the Secure Unit
- the type of service provided
- the nature and quality of service delivery
- any infringement of good practice or policy
- there are no restrictions on young people or their representatives on the subject matter of complaints.
- Attempts will be made to resolve the matter informally by the staff/manager of the Secure Unit.If this fails, the complainant should be advised of their right to make a formal complaint by following the formal Complaints policy and procedure. Reprisal's, direct or indirect, against young people or their representative using the complaints system are strictly forbidden. If such practice occurs the Disciplinary procedure will be invoked. A complaint could lead to the initiation of other procedures. Young person protection, criminal investigations and disciplinary procedures take precedence over the complaints procedure.
If a complaint is made in the unit
- Staff must keep accurate notes about what is said by whom. The date and time of the complaint must be noted and the complaint recorded in the Complaints file in the unit.
- The outcome/agreement reached must be detailed on the complaints record.
- Recording of outcome should also be in the young person's file
- If the complainant is another professional the agreed outcome must be detailed in a letter from the manager of the Secure Unit
Guidance for dealing with informal complaints by young people or representatives of young people:
|If the young person is unhappy about how the complaint has been handled within the Secure Unit or is unhappy with the outcome they should be supported to follow the complaints procedure as soon as possible.Any following of the formal complaints procedure must also be recorded in the complaints file in the Secure Unit. Secure accommodation and loss of liberty does not prevent a young person from exercising their right to complain.|
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities