Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, children & education summaries 26 Sept 2019

All cases can be found at this link

Isle of Wight Council (18 013 094)
Summary: Mr and Mrs X complain about the Council’s decision to remove children they were fostering from their care and to restrict their ability to foster going forward. In particular they complain the social worker involved in their case did not act appropriately. The Ombudsman found there was fault in some of the Council’s approach to dealing with concerns about Mr and Mrs X’s fostering capability. However, only a decision to remove two foster children without notice caused them an injustice which it should remedy. The Council has agreed with our recommendation to apologise and pay a financial remedy for the distress caused to Mr and Mrs X.

Durham County Council (18 011 766)
Summary: Mrs D complained the Council had unreasonably stopped paying Special Guardianship allowance even though it knew the family’s finances were very strained. There is evidence of fault leading to injustice for Mrs D and the Council has been asked to make a financial settlement and it will consider all relevant information when it assesses whether the family’s circumstances are exceptional and merit further financial support.

London Borough of Croydon (18 006 479)
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint about information the Council shared with other agencies when Ms J’s daughter was on a child protection plan, because the events happened too long ago to allow a fair and robust investigation.

Thurrock Council (18 008 697)
Summary: Miss X complains a Council officer has a personal vendetta against her; another Council officer is corrupt and; the Council has unfairly terminated her contract for services. The Ombudsman has discontinued the investigation because it is unlikely we would find fault; allegations of corruption should be dealt with by the police and; the courts are better placed to consider any contractual dispute.

West Sussex County Council (18 019 748)
Summary: The Council was not at fault in how it assessed and supported Z, under section 17 of the Children Act, prior to court action being taken.

Cumbria County Council (19 000 535)
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Ms J’s complaint about children’s services’ involvement with her family, because the law does not let us investigate what happens in court, and it would be reasonable for Ms J to raise her concerns in court.

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (19 002 199)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the accuracy of reports written for court and the actions of a teacher in her child’s school. This is because the matters complained about are outside our jurisdiction.

Norfolk County Council (18 009 566)
Summary: Ms X complained the Council prevented her from having adequate contact with her grandchildren from June 2017. There was no fault in the Council’s actions.

London Borough of Merton (19 001 238)
Summary: The Ombudsman should not investigate Ms F’s complaint about an incident involving a social worker, because we cannot achieve the outcome Ms F wants.

Central Bedfordshire Council (19 001 493)
Summary: The Ombudsman should not investigate Mr J’s complaint about the actions of a social worker, as there is another body better placed to consider this.

Wolverhampton City Council (19 001 717)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s children services team’s refusal to involve him with its action in connection to a child. It is reasonable to expect Mr X to ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to decide his other dispute about information sharing.

Suffolk County Council (19 002 056)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint about unprofessional conduct by a council social worker. This is because the Information Commissioner is best placed to consider complaints about the accuracy of data recorded about individuals.

South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council (19 000 220)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the information the Council’s children services team gave him about his child’s hospital treatment. The alleged fault does not warrant our investigation as there is no direct significant injustice caused to Mr X.

London Borough of Lambeth (19 003 127)
Summary: The Ombudsman should not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the remedy offered by the Council in a children’s social care complaint. The events are inextricably linked with current Court proceedings.

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