Newcastle upon Tyne City Council (18 008 090)

Category : Children's care services > Adoption

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 30 Sep 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs A’s complaint about the conduct of social workers because an investigation would not achieve the outcome Mrs A wants.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will refer to as Mrs A, complains about the conduct of social workers.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
  2. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone could take the matter to court. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to go to court. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
  3. 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)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mrs A has said in support of her complaint and in response to my draft decision.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mrs A says the Council removed her grandchildren from her care. The court has now given the Council the authority to place the children for adoption. Mrs A complains about the conduct of the social workers involved. She wants the Council to consider her as carer for the children before placing them for adoption.
  2. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs A’s complaint because he cannot achieve what Mrs A wants. The decisions to remove the children and to place them for adoption were for the court to make. If Mrs A wants the court to make a different decision, she must apply to the court and ask it to do so. The Ombudsman cannot investigate a decision of the court.
  3. As the Ombudsman cannot investigate the decisions about which Ms A is aggrieved, and cannot achieve that she wants, there is nothing to be gained from investigating the actions of social workers. We will not investigate Mrs A’s complaint.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.