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Kent County Council (21 011 676)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 09 Dec 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Miss X complained to the Ombudsman after the Council refused to investigate her complaint it had failed to safeguard her grandchild. We will not investigate this complaint because the Council has now agreed to investigate.

The complaint

  1. Miss X complained to the Council it had failed to safeguard her grandchild. The Council refused to investigate because it said the complaint was late. It referred Miss X to the Ombudsman.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse effect on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. In response to the Ombudsman’s enquiries the Council said it was wrong to reject Miss X’s complaint and it was not late. It said it would now investigate.
  2. Because at this stage we could not achieve anything more we will not investigate Miss X’s complaint. But If Miss X is not happy with the Council’s eventual response, she can make a fresh complaint to the Ombudsman.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Miss X’s complaint because the Council has agreed to investigate.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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