The latest child welfare complaints published by the Ombudsman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published the latest round of complaints submitted by parents and carers to the body, and its decisions about those complaints. They touch on children’s social care, local authority handling of child protection cases and the provision of education and educational support.

Children and Education

Please note: decisions are published six weeks after they are issued to councils, care providers and the person who has made the complaint. The cases below reflect the caselaw and guidance available.

We don’t know about you, but we are always astounded by the number of complaints published every week. Over the course of a year, this really adds up.

Royal Borough of Greenwich (21 002 330)

Summary: Mr F complains the Council failed to secure the provision in his son’s education, health and care plan from April to November 2020 and about the way it dealt with his education in that period. We have ended our investigation into most of Mr F’s complaints because they are either outside the Ombudsman’s remit or should not be pursued further as no injustice has been caused. We will incorporate one element into Mr F’s separate complaint to the Ombudsman about provision following a SEND Tribunal.

Essex County Council (22 000 235)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the actions of the Council as it is not the relevant authority for dealing with Mr and Mrs X’s child’s special educational needs. We cannot investigate the actions of a school or the Council’s response to a complaint about the school.

Norfolk County Council (21 006 362)

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about children services actions. We are unlikely to add to the Council’s reply and unlikely to find fault with its decision on how to include him in meetings.

Leeds City Council (22 000 702)

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about a children services officer’s actions. We cannot investigate the preparation and content of reports prepared for Court proceedings. Nor an officer’s attendance at Court.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council (22 000 891)

Summary: We will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about the Council using her information without her consent, an officer lying to her and a failure to reply to her complaint. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. There are other bodies better placed.

Wiltshire Council (22 000 939)

Summary: We will not investigate this late complaint about what the Council may have not told Mr X when a person and her child moved into his home in 2016. Mr X was able to complain about it in 2016 and there is no good reason to exercise discretion to investigate the complaint now.

Surrey County Council (21 001 931)

Summary: Mr A complains on behalf of Mrs X, his daughter, that the Council has not dealt properly with education provision or Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision for his granddaughter Y. The Council is at fault because it delayed issuing a decision about Y’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), it delayed Mrs X’s appeal rights, used disrespectful language, did not provide a Child In Need (CIN) plan in time and did not postpone a meeting. The Council has made some service improvements. In addition, the Council should apologise, Pay Mrs X £3,000 for missed education provision, Pay Mrs X £500 for distress/outrage, pay Mr A £50 for time and trouble and provide guidance to staff.

London Borough of Southwark (21 003 651)

Summary: Ms X complains the Council failed to ensure her son is receiving the provision named in his Education Health and Care Plan so he has lost the support he needs in school causing distress. We have found no evidence of fault in the way the Council responded to Ms X’s concerns about the provision being made. So, we are completing our investigation.

Oxfordshire County Council (21 009 141)

Summary: Mrs X complains the Council delayed in issuing her daughter’s final EHC plan. We find fault as there was significant delay in the Council issuing the final EHC plan. We have made recommendations for the Council to remedy the injustice caused to Mrs X and her daughter.

Staffordshire County Council (21 009 819)

Summary: Miss X complained about the way the Council handled her daughter, Y’s Education, Health and Care Plan review in 2020, and that it delayed issuing its decision to maintain the plan for six months in 2021. Miss X also complained the Council incorrectly declined school transport for Y and its communication about matters was poor. We found the Council delayed in issuing its decision not to amend Y’s Education, Health and Care Plan by 15 weeks, however, it has already remedied the injustice that caused. There was no fault in the Council’s decision on school transport or in its communication with Miss X.

Royal Borough of Greenwich (21 018 710)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council failing to provide Occupational Therapy provision. This is because the Council has provided a remedy and we would not obtain a significantly different outcome for Mr X if we investigated.

London Borough of Sutton (21 018 463)

Summary: The Council is at fault for not progressing this complaint to stage three of the children’s statutory complaints procedure. The Council has now agreed to arrange a stage three panel.

City of Wolverhampton Council (22 000 431)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint that social workers have made false accusations against Mr X. The matters complained of are not separable from issues concerning contact with Mr X’s children, in respect of which Mr X has a right to go to court it would be reasonable to use.

London Borough of Bexley (21 003 540)

Summary: Miss X complained that the Council failed to make special educational provision for her adult son in line with his Education, Health and Care plan. She also complained that the Council failed to review her son’s Education, Health and Care plan, failed to provide onsite learning during COVID-19 lockdowns, and failed to provide work experience. Miss X said her son’s education suffered as a result. We find the Council at fault for failing to provide special educational provision and for failing to review the Education, Health and Care plan. To remedy the injustice caused, the Council will apologise to Miss X’s son, makes a payment to him, and provide additional speech and language therapy sessions.

Somerset County Council (21 004 521)

Summary: Mrs C complained the Council delayed in providing her son with an Education, Health and Social Care Plan naming a suitable school. Also, that it failed to provide him with suitable education while she appealed the content of that plan. We uphold a complaint the Council took too long to finalise the plan. This delay caused both Mrs C and her son injustice. The Council accepts this finding and at the end of this statement we set out the action it agreed to remedy that injustice. The statement also explains why we are unable to investigate or uphold other parts of Mrs C’s complaint.

Cambridgeshire County Council (21 006 895)

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council failed to ensure her son’s (A’s) school made provision for his Education Health and Care Plan requirements. This is because it is unlikely our involvement would add to the investigation carried out by the Council or lead to a different outcome.

Suffolk County Council (21 008 105)

Summary: Ms E complained the Council did not provide her son with the education and specialist provision as set out in his Education, Health and Care plan when he started a new school in September 2020. We find the Council was at fault for failing to provide Ms E’s son with alternative education when he was not attending school. It has also delayed finalising his Education, Health and Care plan. The Council has agreed to our recommendations to address the injustice caused by fault.

Warwickshire County Council (22 000 163)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about misleading information in both policy and process. The complaint concerns a school admission and Mr X has a right to appeal against the refusal of a place it would be reasonable to use.

London Borough of Ealing (21 016 388)

Summary: The Council was at fault when it refused to escalate Mrs X’s complaints to stage 2 of the statutory children’s complaints procedures, after considering them at stage 1. It has agreed to start the stage 2 investigation without delay and make service improvements to prevent a reoccurrence of the faults identified.

Oxfordshire County Council (21 017 421)

Summary: We uphold Mr X’s complaint, as the Council delayed considering a complaint at stage two of the children’s statutory complaints procedure. The Council has agreed to complete its stage two without further delay and make a payment for the delay so far.

Coventry City Council (21 018 182)

Summary: We cannot investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council’s court report in a private family law case was flawed. We cannot lawfully investigate what happens at court including the content of a court report.

Wiltshire Council (22 000 110)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint that the Council failed to consider Mrs X’s Asperger’s diagnosis in its communication with her. That is because it is reasonable for Mrs X to raise these concerns in the family court.

Reading Borough Council (22 000 149)

Summary: Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s children protection actions from late 2020 and its handling of his complaints. There is no fault in the Council investigating the child protection referral or holding child protection case conferences. The Council has remedied or is acting to remedy Mr X’s injustice arising from the complaint handling and social worker actions. If Mr X wishes to pursue other claims it is reasonable for him to use his legal remedies.

Staffordshire County Council (21 006 997)

Summary: Miss X complained the Council failed to adequately safeguard her niece Y and did not investigate information she provided indicating Y was at risk of harm. Miss X also complained the Council unfairly restricted access between Miss X’s family and Y. There was no fault with the Council’s actions.

London Borough of Newham (21 008 441)

Summary: Ms X complains the chair of a child in need meeting bullied her and the Council has delayed in providing respite for her daughter. We cannot come to any view on whether the chair of the child in need meeting bullied Ms X. The Council is not at fault for the delays in securing respite provision for Ms X. But it is at fault for not considering Ms X’s complaint through the children’s services statutory complaints procedure

Sunderland City Council (21 005 119)

Sunderland City Council (21 005 119)

East Sussex County Council (21 007 748)

Summary: Mrs B complains about the Council’s decision not to award Child B school transport, causing him to be without transport he is entitled to. The Ombudsman does not intend to find fault with the Council for how it decided not to grant Child B transport. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for how it handled representations to the panel, and for how it communicated with Mrs B. However, the Ombudsman has found no further action is needed as the remedies and actions taken by the Council are proportionate to the fault and injustice.

Leicestershire County Council (22 000 392)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about alternative educational provision. Matters before March 2022 are not separable from those that were before a Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, and there is not enough evidence of injustice since then to warrant investigation. We can as yet reach no view on matters in the future.

Cheshire East Council (21 004 831)

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s child protection investigation in 2019 and subsequent complaint handling. Mr X complains late about the child protection and complaint handling in 2019 and 2020. There is no reason to exercise discretion to investigate because he could have complained sooner. There is no ongoing injustice.

London Borough of Redbridge (22 000 283)

Summary: We cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint about recommendations a social worker made in court during family court proceedings because it lies outside our jurisdiction. The law prevents us from considering complaints about matters that have been considered in court. We have no discretion to do so.

Surrey County Council (22 000 661)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the effect on Mr X’s contact with a child of an alleged improper connection between a social worker and the child’s mother. This matter is not separable from matters concerning the contact arrangements for the child, which are subject to court proceedings.

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council (21 000 076)

Summary: Mr B complained the Council did not carry out the statutory children’s complaint procedure correctly. Mr B said this caused him emotional distress. We found fault with the Council for delays in its complaint procedure. This caused Mr B injustice. The Council will make a financial payment to remedy this injustice.

Call for natural mothers who have lost their children to forced adoption to take part in university research

Researchers at the University of Essex and the University of Kent are hoping to find natural mothers interested in taking part in a paid study exploring ways to process the loss and other associated emotions when a child is taken without parental consent.

Dr Samantha Davey and Dr Stella Bolaki have shared more information about the project, which we’re adding below:

“We are looking for birth mothers [you can explain why you prefer the term ‘natural mothers’ if you contact them] whose children have been adopted to take part in a paid research study located at the University of Kent. This is part of a joint initiative between Dr Samantha Davey (University of Essex) and Dr Stella Bolaki (University of Kent).  

The study has three main parts: two short telephone interviews and attendance of an art book workshop, looking at ways of reflecting and exploring grief and other emotions related to the adoption process. There is the potential for involvement in video recordings and blogging but there is no requirement to take part in this aspect of the study.

Participants will be paid for their time, travel expenses and cost of child care. If you or someone you know might be interested in taking part, please e-mail Dr Davey at smdave@essex.ac.uk.”

If you are interested but would like to ask questions before engaging, you can also get in touch with Dr Davey.

We imagine a great many of you will feel wrongful removal is a key element which should not be ignored in this kind of research. You can tell the researchers why unjust removals or forced removals create obstacles to any benefits this kind of healing process is trying to offer. It is important for them to understand.

We have attached the full proposal in the gallery below.

Thanks to Paul Brian Tovey who alerted us to this research.

The Buzz

These are the latest child welfare items that should be right on your radar:

Ofsted consultation looks at support for SEND children, asks children for feedback

A new consultation launched by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is looking for feedback on proposals for a new joint framework for inspecting provision for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) within a local area.

The press release for the consultation says the new framework “will build on and strengthen accountability for local areas” by:

  • introducing an ongoing cycle of inspections and 3 distinct inspection outcomes.
  • carrying out engagement meetings in all areas.
  • strengthening Ofsted’s response where there are concerns through monitoring inspections and/or early re-inspections.
  • promoting continuous improvement for all by requesting visible action plans following full inspections

The initiative includes a second consultation exclusively for children so they can share their thoughts and recommendations as well.

A description added on the page for the adult consultation says, “We are seeking the widest possible range of views from those who have an interest in, or expertise relating to, disability, special educational needs (SEN) and/or alternative provision.

We particularly want to hear from children and young people who have SEND, and their parents and carers.

We are also keen to hear from local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, professionals and practitioners involved in the commissioning and delivery of services to children and young people with SEND.”

You can access the adult version of the consultation here.

The deadline to submit responses to the consultation is .

The latest

Welcome to another week.

These are the latest child welfare items that should be right on your radar:

In the news

The latest child welfare items that should be right on your radar:

Photo by Mateus Henrique on Pexels.com

Ombudsman’s latest child welfare complaints

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published the latest round of complaints submitted by parents and carers to the body and its decisions about those complaints. They touch on children’s social care, local authority handling of child protection cases and the provision of education and educational support.

Children and Education

Please note: decisions are published six weeks after they are issued to councils, care providers and the person who has made the complaint. The cases below reflect the caselaw and guidance available.

Worcestershire County Council (20 010 788)

Summary: Mr B complains the Council did not provide services outlined in his son, Y’s, EHCP after he transferred from another local authority. He says the Council placed Y in an unsuitable school and delayed in reviewing the EHCP, which had a significant negative impact on his son’s education and development. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault for delay in completing a reassessment, not providing the services set out in Y’s existing EHCP and not considering Mr B’s complaint in line with its complaint procedure.

Buckinghamshire Council (21 000 791)

Summary: Mrs B complains the Council delayed in completing her son’s final Education Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”) and placed him at an unsuitable school. Mrs B says that due to the delays he was in the school for 18 months, which had a detrimental impact on his education and caused distress. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault for the delay in issuing a final amended EHCP.

Surrey County Council (21 013 381)

Summary: Ms X complained the Council failed to ensure her son received suitable education after he stopped attending school, resulting in loss of education, costs to the family, distress, time and trouble. We have found the Council at fault. We recommended it apologise to Ms X, make payments for time and trouble (£300), distress (£500), missed education (£2000), costs incurred (£7498), take action to ensure Y receives education and provide training to staff to prevent recurrence.

Liverpool City Council (22 000 459)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the conduct of a Council officer at a school attendance meeting in 2019. There is no good reason to exercise discretion to investigate now.

London Borough of Hounslow (20 010 933)

Summary: Ms X complained that the Council did not act on safeguarding concerns she raised, about a lack of support for her as a foster carer, and about the way the Council handled her complaint. Ms X said this caused frustration and concern. Largely we do not find the Council at fault. However, we find the Council at fault for failing to log Ms X’s complaint. As recommended by the Ombudsman, the Council has apologised to Ms X for the injustice caused by this failure.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (21 009 551)

Summary: Ms X complained the Council did not properly deal with her application for its holiday activities and food programme. She also complained the Council did not effectively deal with her complaint about this matter. Ms X says the Council’s actions caused avoidable distress and led to the loss of opportunity for her children to take part in the activities. We found fault by the Council and the Council agreed to make a payment to recognise the injustice identified.

Wiltshire Council (21 011 707)

Summary: Ms X complained about errors during the Council’s pre-birth safeguarding assessment processes. The Council was not at fault.

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council (22 000 069)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the actions of the Council. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The matters complained of are not separable from matters that have been subject to court proceedings, or which could reasonably be raised in court.

Swindon Borough Council (22 000 679)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the Council’s actions concerning Mr X and his family, regardless of whether these amount to the Council presenting untruths to a court or concealing information from it. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The matters complained of are not separable from matters concerning contact with children that are before a court and can only be decided by a court.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (21 000 633)

Summary: The Council’s actions contributed to the breakdown of K’s specialist school placement. The alternative education then offered by the Council while K was out of school did not include all of the special educational provision set out in his Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. The Council also delayed finding K an alternative permanent school placement and delayed amending his EHC plan. The Council has agreed to apologise and make payments to K and his mother, Miss B.

London Borough of Lewisham (21 003 533)

Summary: Mrs X complained on behalf of her son, Mr Y, that the Council failed to properly meet his special educational needs. The Council accepted there were delays in planning and meeting Mr Y’s needs. However, the remedy it offered did not fully recognise the education Mr Y missed or the distress this caused him. The Council agreed to pay an improved financial remedy to Mr Y.

Kent County Council (21 004 563)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s alleged failure to provide a finalised Education Health and Care Plan. The Council has now provided the plan, and it is reasonable to expect Miss X to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Oxfordshire County Council (21 007 422)

Summary: Mrs Y complains the Council delayed in issuing its decision to end Mr A’s EHC Plan. The Council has now accepted there was a delay in issuing this decision. The Ombudsman also finds the Council at fault for failing to maintain the Plan while Mrs Y appealed its decision to the SEND Tribunal. This caused Mrs Y and her son significant distress. To remedy this, the Council has agreed to apologise to Mrs Y and her son and make them several payments. The Council has also agreed to make certain service improvements.

Surrey County Council (22 000 611)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the content of the education and healthcare plan issued for Mrs X’s daughter. She has a right of appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal to resolve these issues. We will not investigate Mrs X’s remaining complaint about the admission decision for an academy school. The law prevents us from considering complaints about an academy’s admission decisions.

West Berkshire Council (21 018 588)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the Council’s children’s services involvement with her family. This is because this matter is subject to ongoing court proceedings. We will not investigate how the Council has dealt with complainants about these matters because there is insufficient evidence of fault causing the complainant a significant injustice.

Kent County Council (20 011 100)

Summary: The complainant alleged that the Council had failed to provide some of the support specified in his Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and, in particular, failed to carry out an Occupational Therapist’s assessment. The Council has accepted this. But we cannot assess the level of injustice or a suitable remedy until after the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal has decided the complainant’s current appeal. We are therefore discontinuing our investigation.

Suffolk County Council (21 001 406)

Summary: Mrs X complained the Council failed to provide appropriate support to her daughter, Miss Y, who has an Education, Health and Care plan, during her first year in college. The Council was at fault for not ensuring all the support in the plan was delivered and not properly considering whether an urgent annual review was needed. It should apologise and make a payment to Miss Y for the missed support. It should also reimburse Mrs X for the cost of a private report she had to obtain as a result of the failings.

Royal Borough of Greenwich (21 005 320)

Summary: There was a failure to provide suitable full-time alternative education between June 2020 when Y was unable to continue to attend her school and May 2021 when she started a new school. This was fault and caused loss of education as well as distress and inconvenience to the family. The Council will apologise, make a financial payment and service improvements.

Wokingham Borough Council (21 018 879)

Summary: We will not investigate the Council’s requests to Mrs X for information about home educated children. It is unlikely we would find fault or any significant injustice. The Information Commissioner’s Office is better placed to consider her data protection complaint.

London Borough of Lewisham (21 001 866)

Summary: The Council failed to make a reasonable contribution to Miss B’s nursery expenditure and loss of earnings when she became a Special Guardian, after it agreed to do so. The Council also failed to ensure the nursery provided Miss B with clear invoices. The Council has agreed to make a payment to Miss B and to take action to ensure all providers of free early education are providing parents with clear, transparent and itemised invoices.

Kent County Council (21 014 846)

Summary: Miss B is complaining about the Council’s handling of her grandchildren’s child protection case over the past six years. However, we have no jurisdiction to investigate this complaint. This is because part of Miss B’s complaint is late and there are no good reasons to exercise discretion in this respect. The other parts of Miss B’s complaint have been subject to legal proceedings and I have no jurisdiction to investigate in these circumstances. We have therefore discontinued our investigation.

Buckinghamshire Council (21 017 599)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the way the Council has dealt with the care of her son, because this matter has been to court.

Wokingham Borough Council (21 018 264)

Summary: We should not investigate Mr X’s complaint about foster care issues. It is reasonable to expect Mr X to complete the Independent Review Mechanism.

Gloucestershire County Council (21 018 897)

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s children services actions. It is unlikely we could add to the Council’s replies, there is not enough direct injustice caused by Council fault, and there are other bodies better placed.

Herefordshire Council (21 004 629)

Summary: Mrs X complains about the Council’s decision not to provide school transport to her child, Y who has special education needs. The Council was at fault for not considering Mrs X and her family’s circumstances and fettering its discretion to assist a disabled person with accessing education. Since making her complaint to us, the Council has acted to resolve the personal injustice caused to Mrs X and her child. The Council has also agreed to review its policy and remind relevant staff of its duties under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (21 008 249)

Summary: Mrs X complained that the Council failed to provide alternative education when her son, Y was unable to attend school due to anxiety. The Council accepted it was at fault and offered Mrs X £1000 to support educational opportunities for Y. It has also improved its procedures for the future. We consider this is a reasonable and proportionate way of resolving the complaint.

Hartlepool Borough Council (22 000 022)

Summary: We will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about a children social worker’s actions. We cannot investigate opinions and evidence given to a Court, and Social Work England is better placed to consider her complaint about professionalism.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (21 004 199)

Summary: Ms E complained the Council failed to follow child protection procedures when it was involved with her family. We find the Council was at fault for allowing Ms E’s son to visit his grandmother without her knowledge or consent. The Council has agreed to apologise to Ms E to reflect her injustice.

Suffolk County Council (21 006 296)

Summary: Mr and Mrs C said the Council failed to respond adequately to their enquiries about the care of their granddaughter, X. The Council was at fault for a failure to communicate adequately during early 2021. This fault caused injustice to Mr and Mrs C who were distressed by these failures. The Council has already apologised and no further remedy is required.

Birmingham City Council (21 009 103)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the Council withholding letter contact between Miss X and a grandchild. The matter complained of is not separable from matters included in court action.

Kent County Council (21 018 692)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about a breach of confidentiality during the adoption process. This is because the Information Commissioner is better placed to consider the complaint than us.

Cumbria County Council (21 019 109)

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about a report prepared for a fostering panel by the Council’s children services team. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. There is not enough injustice and the Information Commissioner’s Office is better placed.

London Borough of Lambeth (21 010 041)

Summary: Miss X complained the Council refused to provide transport support for her son to attend school. The Council’s failure to properly advise Miss X on the availability of transport support and how to formally apply for this amounts to fault. This fault has caused Miss X an injustice.

Surrey County Council (21 011 446)

Summary: There was a delay in issuing Y’s amended Education, Health and Care Plan which caused his mother Mrs X avoidable uncertainty about whether the Council would continue to fund the provision the next school year. The Council will apologise and pay her £150.

Torbay Council (21 018 131)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s involvement with the complainants family. This is because it is unlikely we could add to the investigation already carried out by the Council.

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (21 018 869)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint from a parent about a school admission appeal panel. The parent complained about the panel’s decision to refuse her appeal concerning a place for her daughter at her preferred school. But there is insufficient evidence of fault by the panel to warrant our further involvement.

Blackburn with Darwen Council (21 017 917)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s involvement in the contact arrangements between the complainant and his children. This is because it is reasonable to expect him to take the matter to court.

Leeds City Council (21 018 380)

Summary: We cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint the Council’s court report was flawed and resulted in him not having contact with his children for a long time. The Ombudsman cannot lawfully investigate actions which are part of court proceedings.

Torbay Council (21 019 023)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s actions regarding Mr X’s family. This is because the Council has corrected the inaccurate information and apologised. This is an appropriate remedy for any injustice caused. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council incorrectly sharing information with him because he can submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner about any alleged data breach. We cannot investigate Mr X’s concerns about police actions and recordings as we cannot investigate complaints about the actions of police.

Kent County Council (21 019 030)

Summary: We will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about children services actions. It is unlikely we could add to the Council’s reply nor that we would find fault in the Council’s decision not to change social workers. The Information Commissioner’s Office is better placed to consider her data protection complaint.

Nottinghamshire County Council (21 019 048)

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about advice the Council gave to the complainant’s former partner. This is because there is no evidence of fault on the Council’s part.

Nottinghamshire County Council (21 019 111)

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the actions of social workers in dealing with Mr X and his former partner. The matters complained of are not separable from matters that were or could reasonably have been before a court.

The latest

The latest child welfare items that should be right on your radar:

In the news

The latest child welfare items that should be right on your radar:

Image of the Month

Welcome to another week.

This month’s featured image is by Paul Brian Tovey, an adult adoptee who was abused by his adoptive parents as a child. Paul is also Researching Reform’s Artist In Residence.

Paul now campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities.

Paul’s paintings reflect his experiences as an adoptee including the loss of identity he suffered as a result of being forcibly adopted.

The painting is titled, “Unknown.” Speaking to Researching Reform, Paul said:

“The picture describes an “internal world” mind-state some Adoptees feel (and I felt as an Adoptee) when inside the socially constructed limbo of half-identifying with “something” that cannot be fully known (birth-self) and half identifying inside the tortured state of what is known as “Adoption.”

Neither one identity or the other… Tortured. The twin states are contrary and before therapy cannot be resolved, only lived with as semi-dissociative states… A neurosis. A partly frozen crucifixion in which the Adoptee is sacrificed for the “sins of the world.”

“Unknown” becomes a long state for some Adoptees in which they half know they are in fact socially validated to be something that runs counter to the strange feeling that part of them is a banished Self.

This is an area of profound damage some Adoptees encounter in therapy before having to grieve for a Self and others they never had. I show it for witness’ sake. The inner at last becomes seen as “outer,” Identified.”

The poem below, by Paul, is meant to be read alongside the painting:

In therapy where the clawing cowling shadows howl

It was back to the “Going Home Road” of the Unknown

There by the hill of Istol’s kill and the cross of the bone

Across dimensions of body pain and screaming organic lists

There on the cross you come across “Adoptee” tied by its wrists

You were even inside the myth of the “good”, painted by bleached mud

And even Mr Jesus Christ was recruited in his dripping blood

Here comes belief in the cloak of a thief of moral illusion

Leaving you to Art Therapy and maps to undo the delusion

This is the truth of the Adoptee living the crucifixion….

Paul has a blog where he publishes his art which is titled, Paul Brian Tovey’s Arts Of The Adoptee Going Home. Many of his artworks include poetry, adding another dimension or layer to the paintings.

We remain very grateful to Paul for allowing us to share his brilliant and powerful art.