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What to do if things go wrong

Your social worker should keep you informed and included in decisions made about your life as much as possible. They should also ensure you feel listened to. Find out what a social worker should do.

If you're unhappy about a decision, or something that's written about you, there are things you can do.

Speak to your social worker

Let your worker know that you're unhappy and why. They should respond as soon as possible (within one working day) and take steps to resolve the issue with you.

You can also contact your Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).

You should have contact details for your social worker's team manager, so you can also speak to them. Ask your social worker or carer for these details if you do not already have them.

If it's a social work emergency and your worker is unavailable call 0344 800 8020.

If you talk to your social worker or their manager and are still not happy with decisions made, a meeting should be set up.

Have a meeting with your worker and a manager

We call this a restorative meeting. This gives you an opportunity to share your concerns and the impact it has had on your life. In this meeting you should explore:

  • What happened
  • What you were thinking or feeling
  • Who has this affected, and how
  • What you might need so that things can be better
  • What needs to happen to repair some of the harm caused

This approach should let you get your point of view heard, come to a mutual understanding and an agreed way forward.

Other sources of help and support

An independent advocate

You can request an advocate if you do not already have one. Find out more about advocates. 

Norfolk in Care Council meetings

You can attend your local in care council meetings at any time to have your say. This may help you if you think the decision is being made because of a policy.

As part of the in-care council you may be able to change this policy for yourself and other children and young people in Norfolk.

What to do if you’re still not happy with the decision

You can make a formal complaint. You may want support from a family member, carer, advocate or a worker to do this. You have every right to make a formal complaint if you want to. You must never be punished for making a complaint. To punish you would be victimisation and it’s not allowed.

You can make a formal complaint in several ways:

Making a formal complaint

When you make a formal complaint, a member of the Complaints Team will contact you to talk about it.

A member of the Complaints Team will offer you a meeting. The person chairing this meeting will be different than before. Together you may come up with some different ideas of how to solve your problem.

If you're still unhappy about the decision after this meeting, or you don't think the meeting will help, speak to a member of the Complaints Team about the next steps.

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