The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has ordered a council to apologise to a grandmother and pay a total of £400 for its poor handling of a child protection case.
The complaints body, which investigates council misconduct, found Lancashire County Council guilty of maladministration and service failure, which included errors in paperwork, assumptions made by staff that were reported as fact and failures to organise meetings.
The grandmother said that the process had left her feeling frustrated and demoralised.
Four areas were identified in the complaint, each made up of several incidents:
- Incorrect names and details added to records – which still do not appear to have been corrected;
- Social workers failing to make several child protection visits;
- Multiple failures to separate assumptions from fact;
- Multiple failures to send minutes of child protection meetings in time, causing the grandmother distress.
The council was ordered to pay £100 for the inconvenience caused and a further £300 for the distress the grandmother experienced because of the council’s failings.
The latest decisions published by the Ombudsman highlight an ongoing trend in complaints by parents around adoptions and foster placements, despite the Ombudsman not being able to rule on such cases.
Complaints centred around false allegations by councils, unprofessional social work reports, data breaches, failures to follow the law and procedure, and inappropriate placements for children.
There had been an initial dip in the number of complaints after Researching Reform wrote a post explaining the Ombudsman’s inability to investigate care orders, but the lull was short-lived and could suggest that parents are turning to the complaints body out of desperation.
This week’s complaints and the decisions made by the Ombudsman can be read here.
Paul Roberts said:
wow £300 for causing distress and £100 for the inconvenience caused. they’ll be sure not to do that again (not). what drugs was the judge on, or was it a group of them council appointed magistrates who do as they’re told by the council’s legal team?
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That’s peanuts! Still, a bit better than the measley £150 compensation I got from one solicitor firm losing my files and £50 from another for breaching my confidentiality admitted in their own paperwork for me and decided in her absence when she could not be traced on the solicitors register at that time due to a surname change which was later discovered.
How it can be thought this helps make up for serious procedural errors I don’t know. Discover later on, no trace of your child even being registered on the adoption register then irregularities apparent on or ‘re 2 adoption certificates (with intention to adopt order passed off to you, by family court as an adoption order!) you get NO compensation even when it’s the child’s (or rather young adult’ s by then wishes as well as the parent’s) to want to learn the truth if an adoption had really taken place or not (and that’s even once your led to believe 2 adoption years your Council had on written record 4 years apart took place for the same child with no alleged adoption placement breakdown) apparently being corrected on written record with your Council years later. That’s even though it got discovered approximately 11 years, maybe a little less years later! Remember, there’d been no trace, so how did they come about? 🤔
Instead you get told at family court, no jurisdiction post adoption, we can’t carry out a full investigation you and your son require, or not in so many words.
Miscarriage of justice remedies? What a joke! Your either given peanuts for your trouble and distress, which affects the rest of your child’s/natural life and your’s and your family’s or your simply fobbed off and left to get on with it with the more questions to ask with outcomes.
Slightly impressed, when grandparents get some small bit of justice even if it is small but criminal trials for perpetrators would be much better and affective? Or else we’re still going to be hearing of these kind of mistakes (i use that word lightly) in another decade like all the decades before it.
So, the LGO can get involved in Court matters when it comes to complaints. So all parents and grandparents told before hand they could not, should have all their complaints to the LGO reopened now? Xx
Hi Tumtum, this case may not have been going through the court process at that time, so perhaps that was why the Ombudsman felt it had jurisdiction? xx
[Name Withheld] said:
haha I be wanting at least £400.000
[Name Withheld] said:
the judge in our case did actually advise the LA how to obtain threshold and how to draft care plans but did not share Dr M’s evidence to the person who authorising funding for long term foster care of our grandchildren otherwise the funding would not be provided . SW did exactly the same , so our grandchildren lost a chance of not going into foster with estimate costs £5,000000 for next 10 years . dose anyone make sense of this .? the family court Judge believing that the children thrive better in commercial environment rather than be with their blood relatives !