Complaints And Disputes
161. To fulfil the duty the be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of looked after children and young people (section 58(1)(a)), and to identify actions necessary for improving the way it exercises its corporate parenting functions, every corporate parent should have a procedure through which looked after children and care leavers can raise a concern or make a complaint. These concerns or complaints may relate to the quality, or absence, of an opportunity, service or support, or other aspects of how a corporate parent has fulfilled their duties under Part 9.
162. Wherever practical and appropriate corporate parents should try to resolve a child or young person's complaint or concern through informal processes. This will rely on children and young people (with the support of their carers or other advocates) engaging in a dialogue with representatives from the corporate parent.
163. Where dialogue has not been successful, formal complaint procedure may be necessary. The Act does not prescribe a specific form of complaint procedure for corporate parents; where appropriate, corporate parents should use procedures already in place. Corporate parents should also ensure that all looked after children and care leavers are aware of the available complaint procedure(s), and that the procedures are accessible ( e.g. in an age appropriate format) for the eligible population. For some children and young people (including younger children and those with communication difficulties) corporate parents should make provision for their views to be represented by carers, trusted adults and independent advocates.
164. Where a dispute occurs between corporate parents, resolution should be sought through dialogue and collaboration. This guidance has, where relevant, stated the lines of responsibility and accountability in respect to the delivery of services and support for looked after children and young people. However it is the responsibility of all corporate parents to resolve, proactively and in collaboration, any disputes over how activities (in the exercise of Part 9 functions) are fulfilled or provided. Where it is not possible to resolve a dispute between corporate parents through collaboration, further guidance or direction may be sought from Scottish Ministers.
165. For those corporate parents involved in delivering functions under Part 1 (Children's Rights), Part 3 (Children's Services Planning), Part 4 (Named Person), Part 5 (Child's Plan), Part 6 (Early Learning and Childcare), Part 10 (Aftercare), Part 11 (Continuing Care) and Part 13 (Support for kinship care) of the Act, regard should be given to the relevant guidance made available from the Scottish Government.