Subject: Case Reference 1234/1234567
Dear Ms Hook
Thank you for your email dated 21 July, addressed to the Home Secretary, regarding your complaint about Childrens Services in Biston. Your letter has been passed to this Department as we are responsible for this policy area and I have been asked to reply.
I am very sorry to hear of the problems that you are facing. I appreciate that this must be a very difficult time for you and your daughter.
I should begin by explaining that Government Ministers and officials are not in a position to comment on or attempt to intervene in individual cases.
The Children Act 1989 places a duty on social services to safeguard and protect children. If you are unhappy with the way in which you have been treated you have the right to make a formal complaint under the ‘Local Authority (LA) Complaints Procedure’. You may therefore wish to consider writing to either the Director of Children’s Services or the Designated Complaints Officer. They must then consider the complaint, appointing at least one person independent of the LA to take part in dealing with the issues raised and provide you with a written response within 28 days.
If you are unhappy with the council's response, you may request a Panel hearing by writing to the council within 28 days of the response. The Panel should be chaired by an independent person. If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of the complaint under the local procedures and think that a LA has treated you unfairly as a result of bad or inefficient management ("maladministration"); and that this has caused you injustice (such as loss, injury or upset), you may wish to refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).
More information on making a complaint to the LGO is available at www.lgo.org.uk or by calling the advice line on 0845 602 1983.
I would like to wish you and your daughter all the best for the future.
Public Communications Unit
As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey
Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 1234/1234567. To contact the Department for Education please visit www.education.gov.uk/contactus
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