22 March 2007
Jane Hutt, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Business, will launch Blaenau Gwent’s new Corporate Children’s Complaints Service on Thursday 22nd March.
The Corporate Children’s Complaints Service is a “One-stop Shop” for children’s complaints and representations about services that affect them.
The service has been set up in response to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner, which outlined that children and young people should have their own facilities for making complaints. Officers from across the Council, and a member of Blaenau Gwent’s “Talk it Up” Youth Forum worked together to set up the new service.
A system of ‘Service Buddies’ has now been put in place to allow children and young people between the ages of five and eighteen to make complaints, compliments and recommendations to the council via a freephone number, text, email or in person. A Service Buddy will log the complaint, and ensure that it is investigated, and a response provided. Ideas for improvement, or other representations, will be noted by the appropriate division within the Council.
An advocacy service will also be provided to enable children with particular needs to have their voices heard. This will include young people aged 16-18 with housing issues; permanently excluded school pupils; pupils on home tuition; pupils in residential homes outside Blaenau Gwent; pupils of black and minority ethnic groups; children of migrant workers and asylum seekers; and travellers.
Young people from Tredegar Youth Café came up with the idea of ‘Service Buddies’, and they have designed posters and leaflets to promote the project.
Councillor Nigel Daniels, Blaenau Gwent’s Executive Member for Governance, said: “It is one of the Council’s strategic aims to shape and deliver services that meet the needs of all our customers, and to be accountable to them.
“Young people are as important to us as any other section of the community, and we need to make sure that they are listened to. The Corporate Complaints Service is there to allow young people to tell us where we can improve, and how they would like to see things change – we want them to know that we will go out of our way to find out what they think, and that their ideas and opinions are valued.”