Social Services complaints

Children and Adult Social Care - have you any comments or complaints?

If you are unhappy with the service you receive or simply want to make a suggestion about how services can be improved we would like to hear from you.

The council has two separate procedures for making comments and complaints about Social Services. These are the Childrens Social Care and the Adult Social Care Complaints Procedures. This page details how each of these procedures work and how to contact the respective complaints departments if you would like to make a comment or complaint.

Children's Social Care complaints - How to make a comment or complaint

The council is required by law to have a procedure for dealing with complaints and representations made about children's social care. We have a three stage procedure which is free to use and is described below.

Stage one - problem solving

If you are unhappy about our services we want you to tell us. You can comment or complain if:

  • you currently use the Childrens Social Services
  • you feel you have a right to a service from Children Social Services  
  • you are a carer, relative or representative acting on someone's behalf

To comment or complain, you should talk first of all, if you can, to the person you usually deal with in Children Social Services or their manager.  They may be able to sort out the problem quickly.

If your complaint is made direct to the Standards and Complaints team we will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and where possible give you the name of the manager responsible for the service your have complained about.The manager will aim to reply to you within 10 working days.

If you are a young person making a complaint you have a right to an advocate to assist you. For details of how to find an advocate please see the useful contacts section.

Stages two and three

We aim to sort out most problems at the first stage. However, if this is not possible, you can ask to have your complaint formally investigated.

You can contact the Standards and Complaints team on the below number:

  • Children's Services - Standards and Complaints team, freephone 0500 291229  

Office hours are weekdays 9am to 5pm, with an answerphone at all other times.

Someone from the unit will also be happy to help you write your letter of complaint if you find this difficult.

For more information about Stage 2 and 3 of the complaints procedure, please call the above number or email us.

Adult Social Care complaints

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your social care service, we want to know as soon as possible so we can try and put things right for you.

Who can make a complaint?

  • Anybody who receives an Adult Social Care service under Community Care Legislation
  • Anybody who believes they have been unfairly refused a service
  • A friend or a family member of the person who receives the service. You will need to get permission from the person to raise a complaint on their behalf.

What happens when I make a complaint?

When you contact us with your concerns we will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within three working days
  • ask you from the outset what you want to happen to put things right
  • tell you how we are planning to respond to your complaint 
  • arrange for somebody to investigate your complaint or mediate between you and the service
  • keep you informed about the progress of your complaint

What happens if I am still not satisfied?

If you remain dissatisfied with the response to your complaint the Standards and Complaints team can help explore further options, including providing information about raising a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman.

How to contact the Standards and Complaints team:

By phone: FREEPHONE: 0500 291229

By email:

By writing:
Standards and Complaints team​
Brighton and Hove City Council
Freepost SEA2717


Additionally you can also download our Adult Social Care Complaints leaflet .

Complaining to the ombudsman

Unhappy with the way the council has dealt with your complaint? Visit the Local Government Ombudsman's website. The  ombudsman investigates complaints about most council matters including housing, planning, education, social services and council tax.

The Local Government Ombudsman has a leaflet called  "Complaint about the Council? How to complain to the Local  Government Ombudsman." You can get a copy by  telephoning or writing to the address above, or you can download a copy of the leaflet