Complaints, Comments & Compliments Procedure/Policy
We strive to improve our service. We need to know what you think.
The aim of this policy is to provide all service users with ways to communicate their views about our service.
We welcome complaints, constructive criticism, comments and compliments because they help us identify what we do well and where we need to improve.
You can tell us by:
- Emailing us at [email protected]
- Telephoning us on 0151 511 7733
- Writing to us at:
Halton SENDIASS, Information advice and support service
Brookvale Children’s Centre, Woodhatch Road
Runcorn, WA7 6BJ
- Completing evaluation forms at training events
- Completing feedback surveys when you receive them
- Giving us feedback when a worker has worked with you.
- A face to face appointment.
If you indicate that you want a reply we will gladly respond.
If you wish to make a comment or compliment about a member of staff or the service that you have received it would be best to contact the Halton SENDIASS manger.
If you wish to make a complaint about a member of staff or the service you have received please see the stepped procedure below.
Step One: We hope that most things that you are concerned about can be resolved quite easily by discussing them with the Halton SENDIASS manager at the earliest opportunity.
Step Two: If you feel that the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction you should contact the Local Authority Divisional Manager (Inclusion 0-25)
Step Three: If you remain unsatisfied and consider the matter to be unresolved you should contact the Local Authority Operational Director, Learning and Achievement.
Complaints, comments and compliments about another service.
There are different routes for expressing your views about an educational setting, the Local Authority, NHS, etc. The first step would be to discuss your intention with your SENDIASS Officer. They will inform you of the appropriate channel and may support you with the process.
The role of the Halton SENDIASS, information advice and support service, is to ensure that parents/carers and young people have access to confidential and impartial information, advice and support so they can make informed decisions about their own/child’s special educational needs. This is achieved by working in partnership with young people and parents/carers, providing information, services and training, working with relevant agencies and ensuring parents’ views influence local policy and practice.
What impartiality means to us?
It is important that Halton SENDIASS act impartially because:
Our interest is in the needs of the parent/carer or young person who is contacting us; we will listen to the needs of the young person or parent/carer and offer advice and support based on their situation. Advice provided will be factual based upon guidance and legislation. It is not in the interest of Halton SENDIASS to bias one perspective or the other as there is no vested interest in the outcome of any enquires.
Halton SENDIASS will not make decisions for children, young people or their parents/carers; or require them to take action that they do not want to take. We will provide information so that children, young people and parents/carers can make their own, informed decisions.
How will impartiality be maintained?
Following initial contact with the service a copy of this impartiality policy will emailed as part of a welcome pack. Requests made for hard copies will be met.
Parents and young people will not be forced or coerced into taking action. Information, advice and support will be given; parents/ carers, children and young people will then decide whether they wish to follow up on the information and advice given. Parents/carers and young people will be encouraged to speak for themselves and ensure their views are heard.
Halton SENDIASS will not pass judgment on the views and decisions made by children, young people or parent/carers, and will not offer personal opinions but provide information and advice based on guidance and legislation. If there is any conflict of interest this will be declared and steps taken to remove any potential issues.
Halton SENDIASS do not act on behalf of Halton Local Authority or any other service or education setting. Halton SENDIASS is required to meet nationally agreed Minimum Standards for SENDIASS services, including standard 1.5 ‘The IASS is, and is seen by service users to be, an arm’s length, confidential, dedicated and easily identifiable service, separate from the LA, Clinical Commissioning Group and/or host organisation.’
The impartiality policy will be published on the services public website: https://sendiasshalton.co.uk
Every parent/ carer , child or young person that contacts the service will be sent a copy of the policy.
The policy is reviewed annually through the Halton SENDIASS steering group.
Sharing information – Privacy Notice
Unless we have your permission to do so, we won’t share your personal information with any organisations or individuals outside of Halton SENDIASS. The only exception would be where a failure to share your personal information would lead to a risk of significant harm to you or others.
Halton SENDIASS takes your privacy seriously. We will only use your personal information to provide services or information to you, or to create anonymised data for general reporting and statistical purposes. We will ask for your consent to store your personal information (securely, under data protection legislation) and you may give this consent verbally or in writing. You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time. You can ask us to delete your personal information at any time.
You can ask to see the personal information that Halton SENDIASS holds about you, and can choose to receive that personal information in paper or electronic form. You have the right to ask us to correct any inaccuracies in the personal information that we hold about you and you can also choose to reuse your personal information for your own use, e.g. give it to another organisation.
Ensuring the effectiveness of the policy
All staff have been informed of the policy and must adhere to it in their practice. On first contact with the service children, young people and/or the Parents / Carers who represent them will be sent a copy of this policy in a welcome pack, posted to their home address.
What is confidentiality?
- Keeping what you say private
- When you talk to us we will not tell other people what you said. We will keep it private.
- Sometimes we may think it is a good idea to talk to other people about what you tell us, like your parents, teachers or doctors.
- We will always ask you if this is ok first. You can say yes or no.
- There are a few times when we will have to tell someone else what you said:
- We sometimes tell our managers so they can check that we are doing a good job.
- We will write information about our meetings on our computers.
- Only people we work with will see this information.
- We will also have to tell someone if we are worried that someone is being hurt or might be hurt. If this happens, then we will talk to you about it first.
Criteria for face-to-face support e.g. home/office visits, support at meetings. This is determined by needs of parent / young person and their circumstances.
- All parents/CYP will be made aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the CYPA 2014 in the context to which they contact the IASS via whatever means they contact the service e.g. email, helpline etc.
- As many parents/CYP as possible will be provided with telephone/email advice and guidance and be able to access the information they need in order to represent themselves. This can include the IASS reviewing documents on parents/CYP’s behalf, either via email or hard copies and providing feedback and advice accordingly.
- Positive trusting relationships will be promoted between parents/CYP and the professionals they are involved with.
Who will be offered and given priority for face-to-face support?
- Parents with additional needs of their own
- Review meetings where:
- the placement is at risk
- it is a phased transfer and there is uncertainty re next placement
- the child has multiple or complex needs and parents are struggling to engage support or necessary services
- it is a complex situation, may be at risk of going to SENDisT
- following SENDisT decision there are on-going issues re implementation or delivery of the ruling
- Other situations as determined by and at the discretion of the IASS manager as warranting face to face support. IASS staff will be required to log the circumstances relating to such situations and should be prepared to justify their decision to the Steering Group.
Will only be carried out if:
- The parent is housebound either due to:
- their own needs
- caring responsibilities for another
- the child they are contacting you about is unable to leave the house and no other arrangements for their care can be made
- There is no other suitable alternative or accessible place to meet e.g. school, LA building, coffee shop etc.
The purpose of this is not to be obstructive or make life more difficult for parents but to improve efficiency of IASS time and reduce the potential risks associated with lone-working.
Equality Policy 2021 – 2023
Halton SENDIASS Information, advice and support service seeks to create a culture where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. It is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in its service delivery. All service users will be treated fairly and without discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, transgender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other unjustifiable reason will not be tolerated.
The Equality Act 2010 strengthens and brings together into one Act all previous legislation around Equality and Diversity. The Act also introduces the concept of ‘protected’ characteristics and all have equal rights and protection from discrimination under legislation, regardless of: – Age, Gender, Disability, Faith/religion, Race/ethnicity, Sexual orientation, Pregnancy/maternity, Gender reassignment, Marital/civil partnership status.
In Halton two further vulnerable groups have been identified: Carers, Socio – economic disadvantage
Equality and Diversity Context in Halton
The following link gives leads to a range of features of the demographic and other Census information about Halton:
Halton SEND IASS share and support Halton Borough Council’s (HBC’s) vision:
“Halton will be a thriving and vibrant Borough where people can learn and develop their skills; enjoy a good quality of life with good health; a high quality, modern urban environment; the opportunity for all to fulfil their potential; greater wealth and equality; sustained by a thriving business community; and safer, stronger and more attractive neighbourhoods.”
In pursuit of this vision HBC have adopted the following aspirational definition of equality based upon the idea of equal life chances
‘An equal society protects and promotes equal, real freedom and opportunity to live in the way people value and would choose, so that everyone can flourish. It recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be’.
(Extract from HBC Single equality scheme 2016 – 2019) http://www4.halton.gov.uk/Pages/councildemocracy/pdfs/EandD/SingleEqualityScheme.pdf