Decision : Upheld
Decision date : 26 Nov 2020
Summary: Mrs B complains about the way Kent County Council and the London Borough of Croydon responded when her daughter, child C, disclosed sexual abuse.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the Councils take the following action.
Kent County Council should
- pay C £ 1,000;
- pay Mrs B £1,000 to a cknowledge the distress and impact of the faults;
- pay Mrs B £150 for the a dditional time and trouble she exp erienced pursuing her complaint; and
- remind all staff dealing with children’s services complaints when the statutory complaints process should be used. It should also ensure its staff understand who can m ake a complaint in this process.
Kent County Council and London Borough of Croydon should
- share the learning points from this case across its organisation to ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities in respect of information sharing, professional curiosity, and cro ss border child protection referrals; and
- conduct an audit of 50 cases closed in similar circumstances between 2 018 to date. If more than 25% of those cases identify similar issues the Council should make resources available to conduct a full case audit. The full audit should review a ll cases closed in similar circumstances between 2018 to date.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 20 September 2021.