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Somerset County Council (14 006 354)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 13 Mar 2017


A father complains that the council helped his wife to take their children to Australia without his knowledge or consent.

The complaint

He complains that when he approached the council for advice and support, the council instead encouraged and assisted his wife to take their children to Australia after he made allegations of domestic abuse against him. He also said the council delayed dealing with his complaint.


The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the injustice caused, the council should:

  • pay the father £4,000 in respect of expenses incurred in ensuring his children were returned to the UK
  • pay the father £1,000 in respect of the distress, anxiety, anger and frustration he experienced and the unnecessary time and trouble he has been put to

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 17 July 2017

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