Statement Upheld Adoption 27-Jul-2021
Summary: Mrs M complained the Council had not properly considered her adoption application or fairly assessed her. She said the Council had discriminated against her due to her ethnicity and her husband's mental health. She said this has stopped her being considered properly for adoption and caused delay and distress. The Council were at fault for not following the statutory guidance and have agreed to a remedy for the injustice caused to Mrs M.
Statement Upheld Adoption 30-Jun-2021
Summary: The Ombudsman finds fault with how the Council managed the complainant's assessment for adoption allowance payments. The Ombudsman also finds fault with the Council for failing to advise the complainant of his appeal rights. This caused uncertainty and distress to the complainant. The Council has agreed to provide a financial remedy to the complainant and reinstate the support until a new assessment is completed.
Statement Upheld Adoption 08-Jun-2021
Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X's complaint about the Council's adoption support for her family. The remedy offered by the Council is suitable for the injustice caused by fault in matters that are within our jurisdiction. We cannot investigate other matters, as they are ones it would have been reasonable for Mrs X to raise when she took court action.
Statement Upheld Adoption 12-May-2021
Summary: Mr and Mrs X complained about a lack of support from the Council leading up to and following an adoption breakdown. They are unhappy the Council has refused to investigate their complaint at stage two of the statutory complaints procedure. The Council's refusal to consider their complaint at stage two of the statutory complaint procedure is fault. This denied Mr and Mrs X the opportunity for independent oversight of their complaint.
Statement Upheld Adoption 30-Apr-2021
Summary: Mrs J says the Council failed to provide her with important information about her adopted children prior to adoption. She says this caused her and her adoptive children injustice as they did not receive vital support. The Council has lost most of the relevant evidence and failed to keep documents it was required to keep but, on the available evidence, the Council was not at fault for withholding information from Mrs J. The Council has agreed to pay a sum to Mrs J and her adoptive children in recognition of the injustice caused.
Statement Not upheld Adoption 15-Apr-2021
Summary: Mr and Mrs B complained that the Council incorrectly calculated their adoption support allowance by including their child's Employment and Support Allowance in the calculation. We find no fault in the Council's decision to include ESA in the calculation.
Statement Upheld Adoption 15-Mar-2021
Summary: Mr and Mrs B have an adopted child. They complained about how the Council dealt with the placement of their adopted child's birth mother in a mother and baby foster placement close to their home, and the issues arising from this. We find there was fault by the Council causing injustice for which an apology and appropriate financial remedy has been offered. The Council has also implemented service improvements. We find there was some fault in complaint handling, and the Council agreed to our recommendation to take steps to review and act on lessons learned about the framing of complaints.
Statement Not upheld Adoption 04-Mar-2021
Summary: Mr X complained the Council wrongly ended an adoption allowance for his son Y and retrospectively changed the reasons for its decision to try and justify treating Y's older sibling differently. There is no evidence of fault in the Council's decision to cease Y's adoption allowance in July 2019.
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.