UKCORRUPTFAMILYCOURTS

February 20, 2010

Complaints Local government ombudsman dealt with

Filed under: Uncategorized — nojusticeforparents @ 3:50 am
In a case of adoption breakdown the Council failed to conduct initial and core assessments which
would have resulted in the involvement of other agencies and failed to give a clear response to the
parents’ request for a referral to a private therapeutic centre. The Council did not work in partnership
with the parents and there was inadequate planning for the child’s best interests. This resulted in
additional anxiety for the complainants and considerable frustration. The Council apologised and
agreed to make a payment of £750.
A young person looked after by the Council complained that the Council had failed to make
appropriate care plans for him and had moved him without consultation and without seeking his views.
He further complained that it had failed to take action, even after he had made a formal complaint, to
prevent him being bullied in the children’s unit where he had been placed and that the physical
conditions in the unit were poor. The young person felt that he was not being listened to and that
no-one cared. He was unhappy, frightened and at real risk of physical harm. He made his complaint
after he had been moved to a safe environment where he felt secure. It is to the Council’s credit that it
swiftly agreed to settle the complaint locally by apologising and making a payment of £2000. I am
pleased that the Council recognises the need to respond promptly where complaints from young or
vulnerable people are concerned.
A complaint about education concerned efforts made by the Council to integrate a young person with

In a case of adoption breakdown the Council failed to conduct initial and core assessments whichwould have resulted in the involvement of other agencies and failed to give a clear response to theparents’ request for a referral to a private therapeutic centre. The Council did not work in partnershipwith the parents and there was inadequate planning for the child’s best interests. This resulted inadditional anxiety for the complainants and considerable frustration. The Council apologised andagreed to make a payment of £750.A young person looked after by the Council complained that the Council had failed to makeappropriate care plans for him and had moved him without consultation and without seeking his views.He further complained that it had failed to take action, even after he had made a formal complaint, toprevent him being bullied in the children’s unit where he had been placed and that the physicalconditions in the unit were poor. The young person felt that he was not being listened to and thatno-one cared. He was unhappy, frightened and at real risk of physical harm. He made his complaintafter he had been moved to a safe environment where he felt secure. It is to the Council’s credit that itswiftly agreed to settle the complaint locally by apologising and making a payment of £2000. I ampleased that the Council recognises the need to respond promptly where complaints from young orvulnerable people are concerned.

Five complaints were decided on the basis of local settlements. Four of those cases concerned

complaints about children and family services. In one case your Council had failed to implement the

recommendation of a social services review panel which meant that the complainant did not receive a

reimbursement of monies he had lost because of incorrect information your Council had provided.

Your Council arranged for an appropriate officer to meet with the complainant, clarify the sums

involved, assess his needs and make suitable provision for him. In addition your Council paid £5,000

compensation.

In the other three cases about children and family services that were decided as local settlements

your Council paid £4,100 in compensation.

I decided two children and family services complaints as local settlements. One concerned delays

by the Council in making appropriate financial and other planning arrangements for a young person

when he reached 18 years of age. The other concerned the failure by the Council to provide

adequate information to potential foster parents

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1 Comment »

  1. Local Settlements are agreed between the council and the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) and are a way to get the council and the LGO off the hook for a few hundred pounds.

    At the start of every investigation the LGO will ask the council to make an offer in order for the case to be closed quickly so they can meet their targets and save money conducting a proper investigation into the matter. Local Settlements benefit the council and the LGO not the complainants.

    Comment by Trevor Nunn — February 21, 2010 @ 1:53 pm | Reply


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