Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 30 Jan 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate Mr F’s complaint as it is about the quality of evidence and information the Council’s children services team gave a Court.
- The complainant, whom I shall refer to as Mr F, says the Council’s children services team carried out inadequate work with his family.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate a complaint about the start of court action or what happened in court. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5A, paragraph 1/3, as amended)
- We have the power to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been, raised within a court of law. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information Mr F provided with his complaint. Mr F had an opportunity to comment on a draft version of this decision.
What I found
- Mr F’s child, D, left its biological parents’ care in October 2013. Mr F says the Council took D into its care without the parents’ agreement. He says in 2014 a Court ordered D should be cared for by the Council and issued an order agreeing to an adoption.
- Mr F says the Council did not do enough with the family to keep D within the family. He says the Council failed to carry out the number of assessments recommended by a psychologist. He also says the Council gave the Court inadequate information. He says the Court criticised the Council’s approach and work.
- Mr F says he has not complained until now as he believed his solicitor had on his behalf.
- We cannot investigate the adequacy of evidence given by a Council to a Court.
- It is reasonable to expect Mr F to have told the Court of his concerns about the Council’s work if he believed it affected his case.
- We cannot investigate this complaint as we cannot look at issues considered by a Court.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman