Gloucestershire County Council (18 008 181)

Category : Children's care services > Adoption

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 15 Oct 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint about the information that Council has used to support court proceedings regarding the adoption of the complainant’s children. This is because court proceedings are out of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction and we cannot consider anything relating to them.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I refer to here as Mr S, says that the Council has used false information that it holds on his file, to take his children into care and place them for adoption.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. 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 considered the information provided by Mr S and I sent him an initial view for his comments.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mr S’s children have been taken into care, and have been put up for adoption. Mr S complains that the Council holds untrue information about him on its files, and that social workers for the Council used it in court.
  2. Mr S has now complained to the Ombudsman, but we cannot investigate the matter.
  3. This is because the decisions to take his children into care and to put them up for adoption were taken by a court. We are not allowed to look into any issue that has been considered as part of court proceedings, as those decisions can only be challenged in court.
  4. I recognise that Mr S feels the court was presented with untrue information about him. However, that can also only be challenged in court, as it is out of our jurisdiction.
  5. If Mr S wants to complain about the information held on him, he can approach the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is the body set up to consider such complaints.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. I cannot investigate the complaint. This is because any complaints relating to court proceedings are out of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction and we cannot consider anything relating to them.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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.