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Young person's guide to comments, compliments and complaints

Have your say about Children's Services and help us to improve our services.

If you are a child or young person who receives a service from us you can help us to improve our services by giving us:

  • Compliments - if you think we have done well, for example if our services or a member of staff have been helpful.
  • Comments - you can tell us how we could do things better and we will make sure your comments are given to the service.
  • Complaints - tell us if you are unhappy about a service.

How to contact us

You can give us a compliment, comment or complaint by contacting us using the details below:

  • Call our complaints officer on 03000 265 762 or text 07387 252 448 for a call back.
  • Email us at
  • Write to us at Complaints Officer, Children and Young People's Services, Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UJ.

You will need to tell us:

  • your name
  • your address
  • your telephone number
  • your email address if you have one
  • why you are making a complaint - please explain what you are unhappy about
  • what you would like us to do to put things right

About complaints

Sometimes the fastest and best way to solve a problem is to talk to your social worker, independent reviewing officer or manager of the service. We want to sort out your issues quickly but if we can't you may want to make a formal (official or proper) complaint.

Here are some examples of things you may be unhappy about:

  • a decision we have made that affects you
  • the service we gave to you was not good enough
  • you were made to wait too long for a decision that affected you
  • how much or how often we gave you a service
  • staff have not treated you the way you would like
  • we refused to give you a service you wanted

Don't forget - you won't be in trouble if you tell us about something you aren't happy with. Our complaints officer will help you to have your say. They won't take sides and will make sure that your complaint is handled quickly and in the right way to try to sort things out for you.

We will tell you more about what happens, when you make a complaint.

If your complaint is about something that didn't happen recently

We may not look into a complaint if it is about something that happened over a year ago. This is on the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's advice. The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman looks into complaints about councils.

Their contact details are:

  • Local Government  and Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
  • Telephone: 03000 610 614
  • Text 'call back' to 07624 811 595 and someone will ring you back
  • Website: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Make a complaint about school

If you want to complain about a school or school staff, you would need to tell the school's head teacher or school office why you are unhappy, so that they can sort things out for you.

Get help to have your say

If you need help to tell us how you feel about our services, we can offer help if:

  • English is not your first language
  • you need information in Braille, large print or audio format

You can have a friend or supporter, sometimes called an advocate, to help you tell us about your compliment, comment or complaint.

If you are a young person and want help to tell us about something, the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) can help you. Check out the NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) website - their advice is independent (so it's not controlled by us) and confidential (means it's private).

You can contact NYAS by calling 0808 808 1001 or by email

Contact us
Complaints (children's services)
03000 265 762
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