Essex County Council (18 017 391)

Category : Children's care services > Adoption

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 19 Mar 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaints about the Council’s plan to place his children for adoption which includes stopping his contact. The courts have made the decision on the future of Mr X’s children and the plan can only be challenged at court.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains that the Council has stopped him seeing his children who are in its care. Mr X says he disagrees with the adoption plan for the children and wants them returned to his care.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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 Mr X’s information and comments. I have discussed the complaint with him by telephone. I have considered the Ombudsman’s March 2018 decision on Mr X’s complaint (reference 17 017 275) about the removal of his children into care.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mr X says in 2017 the Council applied to court for an adoption order on his children. He says the court approved the plan for adoption.
  2. In July 2018, a court considered and rejected an application from Mr X challenging the plan due to a change of circumstances.
  3. Mr X tells me that he went to the appeal court in the Autumn of 2018 but was not successful.
  4. In October 2018, the Council stopped Mr X’s contact. Mr X tells me that the Council does not have an adoption placement. He says earlier this year a review meeting decided not to restore his contact.

Analysis

  1. I will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because it is outside the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman (see paragraph 2). The Ombudsman cannot investigate what happened in court including evidence and the court’s decisions. The courts have approved the plans for the children.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaints about the Council’s plan to place his children for adoption which includes stopping his contact with them. The courts have made the decision on the future of Mr X’s children and the plan can only be challenged at court.

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.