Your views are very important to us, they makes a big difference on how we make our services work for you. So who best to tell us about them then you!

There are lots of different ways for you to let us know what you think. You can:

  • have your say on this website
  • text or ring us
  • fill in the questionnaires we will send you from time to time
  • come to the events we run for looked after children
  • come to one of our consultation groups.

What's a consultation?

You might hear the word ‘consultation’ used a lot but what does it actually mean? A consultation is finding out about what people think about things and asking them for their views, feelings and experiences.

We think consultation with children and young people looked after is really important. After all, you are the expert on your life – you know what you think and feel - who would be better than YOU to tell us about how things could be better?

The Corporate Parenting Team runs consultations groups with looked after children and young people throughout the year particularly with VOS.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Finding it hard to speak up?

If you are not happy about something and find it hard to speak to your social worker you should try speaking to another adult that can help you.

This could be another adult you trust like your foster carer, key worker, personal advisor, teacher or social care team manager. If this does not help you can ask for an advocate.

2. How to make a complaint

There will be times in your life when things can go very well and there may be other times when things can go wrong. If you are not happy about something to do with your care then it is your right to make a complaint.

Some of the things that can make you unhappy could be that:

  • you feel you haven’t been treated fairly
  • you're unhappy with your care plan
  • you're not happy where you are living
  • decisions being made are taking too long, which is making you worry and no one is telling you what is happening
  • you’re are not allowed to do the same things as your friends
  • you’re not happy that everyone knows your business.

Its your right to be treated fairly and unless you tell someone that you are unhappy, things may not change. A complaint can help to make things better for you and maybe even other young people like you.

A complaint is not about getting you or other people into trouble, it’s about making sure that you are being listened to. If you want to make a complaint, there are three steps (also known as stages).

Stage 1 complaints

This is called the local stage where you speak to your social worker or the team manager about what is bothering you.

You can also fill in our complaints form. Please tell us as much as you can about your problem, including:

  • what went wrong
  • when it happened
  • who you dealt with
  • any reference numbers you have
  • how you would like the matter resolved.

You can have support from your foster carer, friend, advocate or someone that you trust to do this. They should try to sort out the problem within 10 working days.

Stage 2 complaints

If you still think that there is a problem, the complaints manager will ask for an independent person (someone who doesn’t work for Lambeth Council) to look into it for you.

This is a formal investigation and you should be told within 25 working days about what will happen. A report will also be written up and senior social care manager will go through this with you.

Stage 3 complaints

If you are still not happy then a review panel will look into this for you. The panel is made up of three people who do not work for Lambeth Council.

They will try to sort the problem within 30 working days and will let you know the result.