Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 16 Oct 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about the actions of social workers before 2018. The complaint is late, and Miss X could have approached the Ombudsman sooner.
- Miss X says there were failings by social care staff concerning her son, Z.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
- We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I read Miss X’s complaint to the Council and asked the Council for details about which parts of it concerned social care. Most of the matters concerned special educational needs and the Council is still dealing with them, so I have not considered those matters here. I gave Miss X an opportunity to comment on a draft before reaching a final decision.
What I found
- Miss X complained to the Council in June 2020. Her complaint contained little detail about social care matters. The Council told me it would not consider social care matters as its last social care action was in November 2017 and Miss X’s last contact with social care staff was in January 2018. The matters complained of are not specific. I have seen no good reason why Miss X did not complain to us sooner that would warrant an investigation of the Council’s actions before 2018.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because Miss X could have come to the Ombudsman sooner.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman