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Independent Social Work Services UK
Independent Social 
            Workers London

Stage 2 Complaint Investigations – Investigating Officer

What is an Investigating Officer?

An Avocet Investigating Officer is a qualified Social Worker with knowledge of and/or experience in the field relevant to the complaint. An Avocet Investigating Officer has overall responsibility for investigating the complaint at Stage 2 and has no responsibility for or prior involvement with the service being complained about.

When is an Investigating Officer necessary?

When a Local Authority has been unable to resolve a complaint at Stage 1 the complainant has the right to request their complaint is considered at Stage 2.

What is the process?

Once the Avocet Investigating Officer has been appointed by the Local Authority they will make contact with the Independent Person and arrange to visit the complainant to ascertain the exact complaint that needs to be investigated and determine the complainant’s desired outcomes.

Once the complaint has been finalised the Investigating Officer will start to investigate by arranging to view Local Authority case files/records and identifying the relevant people to interview to gather information and evidence. The Avocet Investigating Officer carries out a fair, thorough and transparent investigation and with the Independent Person working alongside throughout. The Investigating Officer provides written accounts of all interviews which have to be agreed and signed by the interviewees.

When all the evidence has been gathered and analysed the Avocet Investigating Officer writes a detailed report outlining the investigation and its findings, the Investigating Officer makes clear and logical recommendations about whether or not the complaint is upheld and how to put things right and considers the complainants desired outcomes.


An Avocet Investigating Officer will aim to complete the investigation and provide a comprehensive report with clear recommendations within the required 25 days with the option of extending to a maximum of 65 working days.

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