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Northumberland County Council (14 000 259)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 13 Aug 2014

Summary

Two sisters complain the council failed to properly investigate their complaints about Children's Services for three and a half years

The complaint

Two sisters complain the council failed to properly investigate their complaints about Children's Services for three and a half years. By failing to investigate the complaints the council also failed to implement a remedy agreed with the Ombudsman in December 2012.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the council:

  • undertake a detailed review of its statutory complaints procedures and provide us with evidence of the review and any outcomes within three months of the date of our report;
  • investigate the sisters' newest complaint through Stage 2 of the statutory complaints procedures within the published timescales;
  • pay the sisters a total of £500 in recognition of their distress at not being able to obtain a response to their complaints and uncertainty about the outcome; and
  • pay the sisters a total of £500 for their time and trouble and for the expenses they incurred in pursuing their complaints over an extended period of time without resolution.

 

The council agreed to carry out these recommendations.

Action taken and LGO satisfied with Council's response: 8 January 2015

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