Making a complaint about The Fostering Network

Should you wish to raise a complaint, give us a compliment or make suggestions about our work then we positively welcome your views and want to hear from you.

We recognise that sometimes raising a concern may not be enough and that you may wish to take the matter through our complaints procedure. 

The Fostering Network seeks to constantly improve our service and ensure we adhere to best practice. Therefore, we regard complaints as an opportunity for us to reflect on our processes and practices and see if there are opportunities for us to strengthen and improve them. However, on occasion we recognise that we may not meet our high standards. 

A complaint is defined as ‘the expression of dissatisfaction concerning the service provided by The Fostering Network, or of the actions of an individual providing that service’. 

Sometimes raising a concern may not be enough and that you may wish to take the matter through our complaints procedure.  If you have any questions about our complaints procedure, please get in touch by emailing or calling 020 7620 6400.

If you make a complaint about any aspect of The Fostering Network's work there are three possible stages that the complaint may go through:

Stage 1: preliminary informal stage

We hope that every effort will be made to resolve your complaint at stage 1 as many complaints may be dealt with by simply talking to the person.  You may contact the person who is providing the service that you are complaining about so they can try to put things right for you. Alternatively, email your complaint to and it will be reviewed by the most appropriate member of staff.

We will 

  • respond within two working days to a telephone call
  • acknowledge a written complaint within three working days
  • write to you with a response within 10 working days of the complaint being received. 

Stage 2: formal stage 

If stage 1 does not lead to a satisfactory outcome and you wish your complaint to be formally investigated, then please email the complaint to  giving the reasons for your dissatisfaction with the outcome of stage 1. You will receive an acknowledgement of the complaint within five working days and given relevant information about the process, including who will investigate your complaint and the timelines.

The complaint will be investigated by a person not involved in the complaint; the aim is to reach an agreed resolution. The investigator may be a manager at The Fostering Network or an external independent person appointed by The Fostering Network.

This process will be concluded with a report within 20 days of receiving the written complaint. Where more time is required to complete the investigation, the reason for the delay will be agreed with the parties concerned. The report will clearly set out The Fostering Network’s response to your complaint and, where appropriate, propose actions to be taken.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, the report may be shared with chief executive. 

Stage 3: independent review 

If you remain dissatisfied with the response at stage 2 and wish to take the matter further then you should write to our chief executive, within 10 working days of receiving the report from stage 2, stating the reasons you are unhappy and outlining what you think The Fostering Network needs to do to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. 

An independent review panel will be comprised of The Fostering Network chief executive or senior manager who does not have line management responsibility for the area of complaint, a member of the board of trustees and an independent person (appointed by the board of trustees) who will chair the panel.

The panel will meet within 28 days of the request being made. 

The role of the chair is to consider the report, decide whether the complaint is upheld, what action is required to improve the service and the way forward.

The chair’s decision will be reached within three working days when you can expect written notification explaining whether the complaint has been upheld, further action, or redress if necessary.

This would be the final stage of the complaint procedure. The decision of chair is final and there is no further right of review.

All times may be agreed otherwise by mutual consent.


While the Fostering Network will accept complaints that are made in confidence, it should be recognised that dealing with a complaint made in confidence can make investigation difficult.  If there is any indication that the complaint involves a child being at risk of harm then The Fostering Network will pass on the information to the statutory agencies.