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Kent County Council (17 019 606)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 01 May 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Miss A’s complaint that the Council failed to prevent her losing residence of her daughter. The law prevents the Ombudsman from investigating matters which have been decided in court.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will refer to as Miss A, complains that the Council failed to prevent her from losing residence of her daughter.

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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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Miss A has said in support of her complaint.

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What I found

  1. Miss A’s daughter was the subject of legal proceedings. Miss A lost residence to her daughter’s father.
  2. Miss A says that, despite its Section 37 Report recommending she keep residence, the Council failed to do enough to help her and has blamed her for the outcome.
  3. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Miss A’s complaint. The issue of residence is a matter for the court and the law prevents the Ombudsman from investigating it. A Section 37 report is produced for the court and the Ombudsman cannot consider its content.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. This is because it concerns matters which the court has decided.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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