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London Borough of Ealing (21 003 668)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 28 Jul 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about how the Council’s children’s services handled a child protection case involving the complainants child. This is because the events happened too long ago.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will call Mr C, complains about the actions of the Council’s children’s services when it dealt with a child protection case involving his child. Mr C says inaccurate information about him was provided to the Council, but he was not given the opportunity to dispute it.

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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 late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered Mr C’s complaint and the Council’s responses.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. The Council’s children’s services became involved with child protection matters relation to Mr C’s child. It completed it’s enquiries and closed its case in February 2019.
  2. I will not investigate this complaint about how the Council dealt with these matters, because the events happened too long ago, and I see no reason why Mr C could not have complained sooner.

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Final decision

I will not investigate Mr C’s complaint because the events happened too long ago.

Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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