Medway Council (20 007 597)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 04 Dec 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We do not have the power to investigate this complaint about the Council’s report about children which has been considered in court.

The complaint

  1. Mrs Y complains about the judgement made by the Council’s social workers in a report which was completed for the court under section 7 of the Children Act. She said this led to the court ordering that her grandchildren should have monthly access to their mother, who Mrs Y says is dangerous and will cause the children harm.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. 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)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information provided by Mrs Y and the Council about the complaint.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mrs Y complained to the Council about the contents of a section 7 report provided to the court in private family court proceedings and the outcome of those proceedings in October 2020.
  2. The Council responded, saying it was unable to consider the complaint because it could not overrule the order made by the courts to allow contact between the mother and Mrs Y’s grandchildren. Consequently, Mrs Y contacted the Ombudsman in November 2020.


  1. The content of the social worker’s reports and evidence provided to the court is a matter for the court to consider. In this case the court has considered the report and any other evidence before it made the court order Mrs Y is unhappy about. We do not have the power to investigate a complaint about what happened or what was considered in court so cannot investigate this complaint.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We do not have the power to investigate this complaint about the Council’s report about child which has been considered in court.

Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.