PACT’s complaints procedure
We realise that despite our best efforts, sometimes things can go wrong, or individuals may be unhappy with the actions of PACT and in such instances, we want to hear from you so that we can address this. We regard concerns and complaints as an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one, as well as an opportunity for us to learn and to improve how we do things.
Who can make a complaint using this procedure?
Anyone who is receiving a service, or who has been provided with, or has been refused a service from PACT may complain to us. This includes children, or a person acting on behalf of a child.
What if I need help to make a complaint?
A friend or representative (although not a legal representative) can act on a complainant’s behalf with their permission. PACT also recognises that any member of the public may choose to raise a concern or complaint following news, announcements and updates which may or may not have come directly from PACT.
How to make a complaint
Stages 1 and 2 will be considered as informal concerns/complaints
We will always try to resolve any issues and concerns quickly and effectively, as we appreciate early and simple resolution benefits all parties concerned.
If you are unhappy with the service provided we hope that you will feel able to tell the person who is working with you or if your concern is relating to PACT more generally we encourage you to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will respond to you to understand your concern and seek to resolve this directly with you.
PACT encourages service users to engage in a conversation with the person you are working with or for other interested parties connected to the organisation to reach out promptly and attempt to resolve any issues, concerns or problems at this stage in an open and communicative way
If, however you would prefer not to speak to the person you are working with, or if your concern is about the person you are working with, you can contact their manager, either by telephone, letter or email, or by asking to see them. Most problems can be sorted or solved by discussing them with the people who manage the service, and we will invite you to meet with us to discuss your complaint (if you are not clear who the relevant manager is, see Further Notes below).
Concerns/comments received via social media, online functions or forums or concerns that are more general (i.e. not related to a specific service or person) that cannot be resolved in Stage 1 and require management intervention/ engagement will be taken forward as below.
In these instances, and where minimal investigation is required, managers may use an Informal Resolution process to resolve the situation. To do this we will:
- Discuss/ address your concerns with you, usually inviting you to an in-person meeting
- Keep a written record of the issue
- Make an effort to resolve the issue within 28 working days of hearing your concern
- Provide you with an outcome either by phone or in writing (as agreed) within the above time frame.
If you are dissatisfied with the response received from the manager/management you may choose to escalate your complaint to Stage 3. Escalated complaints must be submitted to the CEO as per the below process within 28 days of the receipt of any response received in Stage 2.
Stages 3 and 4 will be considered as formal complaints
If you are unhappy with the responses received at Stage 2 and feel your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily you should write to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). All Stage 3 complaints must be made in writing, either by email or letter and must contain full details of your complaint and an outline of why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome or actions you are seeking to achieve.
Your complaint will be formally acknowledged within five working days, and the CEO may look into your complaint themselves or make arrangements for an ‘appropriate individual’ to investigate who has had no prior involvement in your case.
An ‘appropriate individual’ might be:
- A director or head of service
- A director or head of service from another service
- An appropriate person independent of PACT
The CEO/ appointed individual will have 28 days to complete their investigation. If further time is needed, the CEO/appointed individual will advise you of this and provide a date for completion of the investigation. They will initially arrange to meet with you to go through your complaint together as part of their investigation. They will address each element of your complaint within their review and set out their findings, conclusions and recommendations in a report or letter that will initially be shared with the CEO (if the CEO hasn’t led the investigation themselves), outlining any actions PACT plans to undertake.
You will be sent a copy of the review and invited to meet with the CEO to discuss the findings within 14 days of the completion of the investigation report, unless there is a justified reason why this is not possible, in which case you will be alerted to any revised time frames.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the CEO in Stage 3 you have the right to appeal to PACT’s Board of Trustees. You are required to write again to the CEO within 28 days of receipt of PACT’s response to your Stage 3 concern/complaint. You are required to explain why you are not satisfied with PACT’s response and you should highlight what outcome you are looking to achieve.
Within 14 days of the receipt of the above, the CEO/Chair of the Board of Trustees will invite you to meet with them to consider your complaint together. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will appoint three Board members to an appeals panel to consider all the previous information and correspondence regarding your complaint and what you remain dissatisfied about and the outcome you are looking to achieve. You will be invited to a meeting to discuss their conclusions and final decision. In certain circumstances, they may also invite an external advisor to review the complaint and report on their findings, in which event you would be informed of the reasons in advance. The ‘appeals panel’ will have up to 6 weeks to undertake their review.
The CEO will write to you within 14 days of receiving the panel’s written report summarising their recommendations and final decision.
This will conclude PACT’s complaints procedure.
- Failure to comply with the specified time scales by the complainant will result in the concern/complaint being closed by PACT, unless valid reasons for the delay can be verified.
- Please indicate with any complaint if your first language is not English.
- Confidentiality agreements regarding PACT’s work will be maintained.
- If you are unsure who the line manager is please contact PACT’s offices 7 Southern Court, South Street, Reading, RG1 4QS Telephone 0118 938 7600 – E-mail: email@example.com
If, having gone through all the levels above, you are still not satisfied with the outcome, if appropriate or where applicable, you will be told of other avenues for complaint, for example Ofsted.
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Tel: 0300 123 1231 (General Helpline)
General Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD
Reading Borough Council
If you are accessing support from Alana House that has been funded by Reading Borough Council , you can complain directly to PACT, to the council or to the relevant regulation authority. Please speak to your support worker to find out if your support has been funded through Reading Borough Council.
Reading Borough Council can be contacted at:
Tel: 0118 937 2905
Address: Reading Borough Council, Customer Relations Team, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU
The Children’s Commissioner for England promotes and protects children’s rights in England and can be contacted at:
Tel: 020 7783 8330 (general enquiries) or 0800 528 0731 (advice line for children and young people)
Email: email@example.com (advice for children and young people) or
Address: Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT
National Minimum Standards for adoption
As an adoption agency, PACT is committed to meeting the national minimum standards set out in the regulatory framework of the Care Standards Act 2000.
The regulations require adoption and adoption support agencies to be managed effectively and efficiently, and ensure that children’s needs are met.
Under regulation 25.11, the agency must demonstrate it has a written policy and procedural guidelines on considering and responding to representations and complaints in accordance with legal requirements and relevant statutory guidance.
Other relevant statutory/regulatory bodies might include:
- IRM (Institute of Risk management
- The Charity Commission
- The Fundraising Regulator
- The Advertising Standards Authority
- Social Work England
- Information Commissioner’s Office