How to complain

Complaints on behalf of someone else

You can make a complaint on behalf of someone else.


If you make a complaint for another person, we will normally check with them to make sure:

  • they consent for you to act for them
  • they consent for you to access relevant personal information about them

The following exceptions apply.

Complaints on behalf of children

You can make a complaint on behalf of a child and do not require the child's consent to do so if your relationship to the child is among those listed by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman under guidance on 'who may complain' – this includes parents, special guardians, foster carers and adopters. We have a right to obtain consent in certain cases.

If we decide consent is required but the young person does not give consent, we may still investigate the complaint. However, we would need to consider balancing the privacy rights of the young person against the rights of the person making the complaint. We will document any decisions taken in such cases.

If we receive a complaint from a person whose relationship to the child is not listed under guidance on 'who may complain', we will consider whether that person has sufficient interest in the child's welfare to warrant investigating their complaint. If we decide the person does not have sufficient interest, we will document our reasons for the decision.

Complaints by carers

If a complaint is made by a carer about something that affects them in their role as carer, we do not need consent from the person receiving care. This includes complaints by carers who are relatives of their person for whom they provide care.

Complaints on behalf of vulnerable adults

If a complaint is made on behalf of a person receiving care services, we will check that they have given their consent.

Where the person receiving care services lacks the mental capacity to give consent, then:

  • if someone with lasting power of attorney (LPA) has been appointed to act on their behalf, we will check with them as long as the LPA states they have authority to give consent
  • if they have no-one to support them, we will either refer them to an independent mental capacity advocacy service, or we will carry out a 'best interest assessment' to make sure their views are known