Customer Experience and Complaints
The Aim of Our Service
Our service aims to provide a non-discriminatory, respectful and professional attitude towards our service users at all times. Our professionals are trained to consider the importance of attending positively to cultural, religious, language, gender, sexuality, disability, age and communication needs.
We recognise that Adoption support and Intermediary work are often conducted when families are at their most vulnerable and our professionals are trained to take this vulnerability into consideration. Every effort will be made to put those working with us at their ease and they will be given re-assurance on the process and progress of their case at all times.
We also value feedback from our Service Users and both positive and negative feedback are considered as very important to developing our practice.
How Will We Take Care of Service Users Who Have a Complaint?
Please entitle your email ‘COMPLAINT’. I will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and may get back to you so that we fully understand the problem. A full record of your concerns will be made at this time and I will then give you a timeframe in which I can resolve the problem.
Making a complaint will not prejudice your work with us but it may, on occasion, be appropriate to appoint an alternative service for you if the complaint remains outstanding.
If we cannot resolve a complaint with you or the complaint is of a serious nature that cannot be discussed with us then it is important that you contact the Registration Authority who will want to hear from you.
The registration authority is Ofsted and they can be contacted at
Telephone: 0300 123 1231
In the case of complaints with regard to children you may also want to contact
Dame Rachel De Souza
Children's Commissioner for England
20 Great Smith Street
Telephone: 020 7783 8330
There are a variety of ways in which we can deal with complaints as follows: We hope to be able to handle challenging situations to your satisfaction within our organisation and all complaints to date have been dealt with to the satisfaction of the service user.
- (a) Our first aim is always to fully understand the situation that is being described by the service user.
- (b) We may be able to find resolution to the problem or complaint by discussion with both Service user and our organisation.
- (c) If this does not apply, we will seek intervention by a Third Party who will be chosen for skills in resolving complaints and who is able to offer support to the complainant and advice to us about any changes needed. We will put you in touch with Dr. Sara Riley a Conflict Resolution Specialist who will guide you with this complaint.
- (d) In the case of a serious problem arising the reporter or conflict with one or our professionals, an alternative professional could be put in their place.
The Time Frame
All complaints will be taken seriously and acted on immediately.
We would always seek to resolve complaints effectively and as soon as possible. Service Users can expect the following response:
Initial acknowledgement of receipt of your concerns
We would expect to investigate the issue on behalf of the Complainant and make a return call to the Complainant within 48 hours and collect more information about the problem. We will initially acknowledge receipt of your communication and tell you how long it will be before we get back to you. (this time frame relates to the working week and excludes weekends).
We would expect to revert to the Complainant within 10 working days of the initial call in order to put solutions in place for the complainant and consider plans for moving forward.
We would put these thoughts in writing to the Service User with copies to relevant parties. We always write to tell Ofsted how we have dealt with complaints.
If the complainant prefers or is not happy, the complaint can be referred to a third party, independent of Joanna North Associates, for dispute resolution. We use an expert in dispute resolution who is Dr. Sara Riley.
However if we cannot resolve your complaint with you, having exhausted our procedure you should contact Ofsted directly informing them that you have exhausted our complaints procedure. They will then take up the matter for you.
You may like to be aware of your Local Authority Safeguarding Designated Officer (LADO) if you need to talk to someone outside of our organisation on a matter relating to Safeguarding. If you google LADO and put in the name of your area. So for example if you lived in Devon you would google as follows:
L.A.D.O. In Devon.
You may also call the above number just to seek advice from a Duty LADO
Alternatively please fill out the online referral form – See more at: (www.devon.gov.uk)
Or you can go to your MASH Safeguarding Board for your area (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) and fill in an online referral form.