Decision : Upheld
Decision date : 22 Feb 2017
A family complains about the council's decision to remove their niece from their care.
They complain the council refused to consider their complaint at stage 3 of the statutory children's complaints process, that the stage 2 investigation was flawed and failed to consider all available evidence.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice the council has agreed to:
write to the teenager to apologise for removing her from the care of her family without following the correct process;
write to the aunt and uncle and the grandparents separately to apologise for removing the girl from their care without carrying out a review;
pay the teenager £550 for the distress caused to her as a result of being removed from her family’s care and the unnecessary time and trouble pursuing her complaint;
pay the aunt and uncle £850 for the distress caused to them as a result of their niece being removed from their care and the unnecessary time and trouble of pursuing their complaint;
pay the grandparents £400 for the distress caused to them as a result of not being informed of the decision to remove the teenager from the family’s care and the unnecessary time and trouble of pursuing their complaint.
The events complained about happened some time ago. Nevertheless the council will also undertake a review of decisions it has made within the past 12 months regarding the termination of foster care placements to ensure the correct procedures are now being followed.
The council should report its findings to us within three months.
Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 25 August 2017.