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After you've raised a concern

Information for those who've raised a concern

This page is intended to help members of the public, carers and social work colleagues, who have raised a concern about a social worker, understand next steps. 

Once we have received your concerns, we will review them to decide if we need to investigate further. We aim to get back to you within 15 working days. You don’t need to do anything until you hear from us. 

You can read more about what happens when we receive a new concern

If we need to investigate your concerns, we will let you know as soon as possible. If we do not need to investigate your concerns, we will let you know the reasons why. For example, you may need to complain to the social worker’s employer rather than us.

You can read more about other organisations that may be able to help you.

If your concern is investigated

If we decide to investigate your concerns, we will tell the social worker involved about the nature of the concern. We will also need to tell the social worker that you raised the concern about them.

You may want to read the guidance on how we use personal information when considering concerns.

We may need to ask you to provide further information about your concerns during the investigation. 

We’ll be in contact every six weeks to keep you updated and let you know what we’re doing.

You are encouraged to send us any new evidence, even if an investigation is on hold. 

Investigation process

Investigations usually take around six months to complete. In some cases this can take longer, especially if we are waiting on further information from others. 

You will be given a named contact at Social Work England should you have any questions. Your named contact will keep you updated with our progress throughout the investigation.

You can read more about the investigation process.

After an investigation

Once an investigation into a concern has finished, the evidence is considered by two independent case examiners: a lay case examiner and a professional case examiner. One of the case examiners will always be a practising social worker. 

Case examiners review the evidence collected during an investigation to decide next steps. You can read more about what happens after an investigation


A hearing might not be necessary, but if it is, you may need to be involved.

We will let you know what you need to do to prepare nearer the time.

You can read more about what to expect at a hearing.

You can also find more information in our witnesses support guidance

Further information

If you have any questions, you can contact us on 0808 196 2274 or [email protected].

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your concern, you can make a complaint to us.


Last updated: 28 November 2019

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