Children's care service complaints double

Children's care service complaints double

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Francis Batt

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Children's care service complaints double
Complaints about the Windsor and Maidenhead's children's care service have doubled in just one year. 

The statistic was revealed at a meeting of the Royal Borough's children's services scrutiny panel, held at Maidenhead Town Hall yesterday.

A total of 90 complaints for investigation were received between April last year and March this year - compared with just 43 a year earlier.

But Naveed Mohammed, the Royal Borough's policy and performance manager remained upbeat. He said: "We have pushed hard for people to come forward if they are not happy so this does not represent a deterioration in the service."

He said there had been under reporting before and as more accurate picture was now emerging.

Of the 90 complaints received most were resolved at an early stage he said with only two needing to be taken through all the key stages.

One complaint went to the Ombudsman - three less than the previous year - and was not upheld.

Cllr Lynne Jones (Independent: Old Windsor) expressed concern about a paragraph in the report which said a number of complaints highlighted the need for more staff training.

Head of Early Help Ann Domeney admitted that temporary 'locum' staff had been used for a time and believed more stable, long term staff would improve the situation. She emphasised that none of the complaints had concerned social workers.

Cllr Charles Hollingsworth (Con, Pinkneys Green) hoped the increase in complaints could be seen positively. He said: "It is about transparency."

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