Making a complaint about a conference


This guide explains how to complain if you are not satisfied with the decisions that have been made or the way you have been treated by at the child protection conference or you wish to appeal against a decision.

What can you complain about?

You can complain or appeal against any decision that the conference makes, including the decision to make your child subject to a Child Protection Plan if you believe the decision was not properly made for one of the following reasons:

  • The decision was made without the conference having the necessary information
  • The decision was unreasonable because the conference did not follow the correct procedure
  • You were not given the opportunity to have your views heard by the conference
  • You can also complain if you feel that you were not treated with respect.

What is the difference between an appeal and a complaint?

A complaint is where you are dissatisfied with the way a decision has been made or with the way you have been treated, whereas an appeal is a way of asking for a decision to be reconsidered because, for example, because new information has come to light.

Whether you wish to make a complaint or appeal the process is the same.

How to complaint or appeal

Stage 1

You should first contact the person who chaired the conference as soon as possible and explain that you are not happy and why. If your complaint is about the chairperson or you do not feel comfortable talking to them, you should speak to their manager or the Complaints Manager.

The chairperson will discuss your concerns with you and try to answer any questions you may have. This must happen within 14 days of you contacting them.

If you remain unhappy the chairperson will pass your concern to the Complaints Manager who will meet with you to clarify your complaint and advise you what to do next.

Stage 2

If your complaint is about the child protection conference, the details will be passed to the City of York Safeguarding Children Board Manager. The CYSCB Manager will decide, within 28 days, how your complaint should be dealt with. The CYSCB Manager can decide to:

  • Investigate your complaint or on the information you  have given the CYSCB Manager can request a new child protection conference

If the CYSCB Manager decides that your complaint should be investigated it may be necessary for the investigating officer to speak to you along with other people who have been involved with your family.
When the investigation is complete you will be informed of the outcome and ask whether you are satisfied. If you are not satisfied you will be asked whether you want to continue with your complaint.

Stage 3

If you are still unhappy, your complaint will be heard by a panel of senior managers, 2 of which will be from the CYSCB who have not been connected with your family. The meeting will be chaired by an independent person. You will be invited to attend the panel and will be offered  support to help you explain your concerns.

Recommendations will be made to the CYSCB chairperson.

You will be informed of the CYSCB chairperson’s decision about your complaint and their reasons within 28 days. Depending on the recommendations of the panel the CYSCB chairperson can decide to ask for a new child protection conference if it is felt to be in your child’s best interest.

During the process your child's name will stay on the register until a conference takes place.