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The Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 1996

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Complaints procedure of approved adoption societies

4.—(1) The procedures established by an approved adoption society for the purpose of dealing with complaints arising in relation to the exercise of its functions shall comply with paragraphs (2) to (8) hereinafter known as the “complaints procedure”.

(2) The complaints procedure shall apply to any representations (including complaints) received by the approved adoption society in writing from–

(a)any person, or anyone acting on behalf of a person;

(b)a child or, on behalf of a child, any person with parental responsibilities or parental rights in respect of the child; or

(c)any person with an interest in the child and in the functions of the society in relation to the child,

where the representations relate to the society’s exercise, or failure or refusal to exercise, in respect of that person or child any of the functions for which the society is approved under section 3 of the Act.

(3) The complaints procedure shall provide for the appointment of–

(a)one of the employees of the approved adoption society for the purpose of receiving, and acknowledging as soon as reasonably practicable, any representations under the procedure, arranging for the consideration of them and for the giving of a response to them on behalf of the society; and

(b)one or more persons for the purpose of investigating the representations, each being a person who is not a member or employee of the society, or related or married to, or living with such a member or employee.

(4) The complaints procedure shall provide for–

(a)a response in writing by the adoption society to the substance of the representations to be given to the person who made them, as soon as reasonably practicable following receipt of the representations by the society;

(b)arrangements to be made by the society to appoint a complaints review committee for the purpose of considering further representations, where within 28 days from giving a response under sub-paragraph (a), the society receives notice in writing from the person who made the representations that he is not satisfied with the response;

(c)any complaints review committee appointed by the society to be composed of 3 persons, at least one of whom shall be a person who is not a member or employee of the society and is not related or married to, or living with such a member or employee, and none of whom shall be a person appointed by the society for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(b);

(d)the complaints review committee to consider the representations as soon as reasonably practicable, and to report to the society in writing with a recommendation on the disposal of the matter along with reasons for that recommendation; and

(e)the society, as soon as reasonably practicable, to take a decision on the matter after it has received the report from the complaints review committee, taking account of the recommendation of that committee, and to give notice in writing of that decision, with the reasons for it, to the person who made the representations.

(5) An approved adoption society shall keep a record of–

(a)any representations received under the complaints procedure;

(b)the investigation into any such representations, including the report of any complaints review committee appointed under sub-paragraph (4)(b); and

(c)the disposal of the representations.

(6) An approved adoption society shall make available information about its complaints procedure to–

(a)any person having an interest and who requests it; and

(b)every person in respect of whom the society exercises, or decides not to exercise, any of the functions for which it is approved under section 3 of the Act.

(7) An approved adoption society may make arrangements to deal with any informal representations received by it from any person in relation to the exercise, or failure or refusal to exercise, any of the functions for which it is approved under section 3 of the Act, provided that–

(a)when replying to any informal representations the society advises the person who made them of the entitlement to make representations under the complaints procedure; and

(b)the society provides that person with such assistance as is appropriate and as he may require in making representations under the complaints procedure should he wish to do so.

(8) An approved adoption society shall take such steps as are appropriate to ensure that the employees of the society are aware of its complaints procedure.

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