Annual report of complaints against Hartlepool council’s children’s services department discussed

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Councillors praised the work of the council’s children’s social care staff in the area after the annual complaints report was produced.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s children’s services committee said they had received 18 complaints in 2017/18, the same as the previous year.

Of the complaints received, two were from care leavers, two were received from connected carers, 13 were from a parent and one was from a grandparent.

Of the complaints 12 were resolved at stage one, meaning they were dealt with by a manager at local level.

Four of the complaints progressed to stage two, which involves an investigation, while two proceeded directly to stage two due to their serious nature.

The complaints dealt with included alleging the council failed to provide appropriate support to a grandparent looking after her grandchild, and that a children’s social worker was overwhelmed with the complex need of a family.

The children’s and joint commissioning services annual complaints report also included eight compliments praising members of staff for their work, which councillors said should be focused on.

Coun Sue Little said: “The compliments outweigh the negatives, you have to say well done to the team.”

Coun Brenda Harrison, committee chair, said: “I just went to say well done and thank you very much to the team for the work they have put in.”

The report also detailed an action plan for 2018/19 which pledged to continue to raise awareness and promote the complaints procedure and learn from issues raised.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service