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Kent County Council (18 000 458)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 02 May 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Miss M’s complaint about a report the Council produced for court proceedings as the law prevents it.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Miss M, says the Council produced an inaccurate children services’ court report.

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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)
  2. We have the power to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been, raised within a court of law. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information Miss M provided with her complaint. Miss M commented on a draft version of this decision.

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What I found

  1. Miss M says there have been recent Court proceedings to decide how much contact her child should have with the father. As part of those proceedings, she says the Court ordered the Council to provide a report on the child’s welfare. She says the Court considered this report when it decided the contact arrangements.
  2. Miss M says the Council did not take seriously enough her concerns that she believed the child had become injured during a contact session with the father in October 2017. She would like a new investigation.
  3. We have no power to consider the accuracy of reports the Council provides for a Court.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. This is because we have no power to consider a report produced for court proceedings.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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