Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Adoption 06-Jan-2021
Summary: Mrs B complained that the Council wrongly stopped her and her husband from adopting a child from the Durham area, despite being approved by the Adoption Panel to do so. The Council fully upheld the complaint but failed to offer any remedy for the injustice or properly explain how the situation arose. We found fault in the Council's actions causing distress and uncertainty to Mr and Mrs B. The Council agreed to pay them £500.
Statement Upheld Adoption 05-Jan-2021
Summary: Mr X complains the Council has not properly apologised for fault with how the Council dealt with an adoption process. The Council is at fault because it has not completed the actions agreed to in a mediation meeting. Mr X has not received a full apology. The Council has agreed to write a letter of apology to Mr X as detailed in the mediation outcome.
Statement Upheld Adoption 29-Oct-2020
Summary: The Council was at fault for delaying the progression of Mr C's complaint to stage 2 of the statutory complaint's procedure. However, it has apologised and is now progressing the complaint.
Statement Upheld Adoption 20-Oct-2020
Summary: Ms B complains about the Council's decision not to progress an application she made to become an adoptive parent. We uphold the complaint finding several faults in the Council's process of decision making. These caused Ms B injustice as distress as the decision reached by the Council cannot be relied on as a result. At the end of this statement we set out action the Council has agreed to take to remedy that injustice.
Statement Upheld Adoption 13-Oct-2020
Summary: Mr B complains the Council failed to apply to renew an injunction to prevent the birth family of his wife's adopted daughter contacting her. He says that as a result the birth family were in touch with her and had a detrimental impact on her well-being, behaviour and education. He said the contact from the birth family also caused significant distress to the rest of the family. There was fault by the Council that caused injustice to Mr B. The Council will make a payment to Mr B.
Statement Not upheld Adoption 12-Oct-2020
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council unreasonably stopped financial support for his adopted son in breach of a previous agreement and failed to respond adequately to his complaints. He also complains about comments made by Council staff. The complaint about the breach of the previous agreement has been made too late and there are no good reasons to investigate now. There is see no evidence of fault in the Council's decision to cease financial support or in the comments complained of.
Statement Upheld Adoption 30-Sep-2020
Summary: Mr Y and Mrs Z complain about the lack of financial support provided by the Council following the adoption of their daughter, whom I will call J. They also complain about the way the Council handled their complaint. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for wrongly stating that Mr Y and Mrs Z were eligible for adoption allowance payments, thus raising their expectations. The Council also delayed in sharing relevant information and documents with Mr Y and Mrs Z after their adoption of J. The Council will apologise and pay £200 for the time, trouble and worry caused by the fault.
Statement Upheld Adoption 25-Sep-2020
Summary: The complainant alleges that the Council misled him and his wife about the possibility of future medical difficulties for a child, whom they had expressed an interest in adopting, prior to them agreeing the placement. The child was subsequently diagnosed with significant difficulties. The Ombudsman agreed to accept the complaint even though the Council had not considered the complaint at the final stage of the statutory complaint procedure. The Ombudsman finds fault causing injustice in the way the Council has managed the adoption and complaint processes. The Council has agreed the Ombudsman's findings and recommendations and therefore we are closing the complaint.
Statement Not upheld Adoption 28-Aug-2020
Summary: it is too early for the Ombudsman to consider Ms M's complaint about financial support for her adopted son. The Council has agreed to consider Ms M's complaint under the formal procedure set out in law for children's complaints. We have also advised Ms M to complain to the Council for the area where she lives. Both Councils have a duty to cooperate to respond to her complaint. If she remains dissatisfied once both Councils have completed the three-stage complaints process, Ms M can complain to the Ombudsman again.
Statement Upheld Adoption 08-Jul-2020
Summary: Mr G complained the Council failed to arrange for its insurers to contact him so he could make a claim for unfair loss of income that the family sustained while fostering to adopt. There was fault in the significant delay in the insurers acting, which the Council did not oversee.