Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 10 Apr 2022
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about whether the Council’s children services team should have spoken directly with a child. The Courts are now considering the child’s care and we cannot investigate the same issues it is considering.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Mrs X, says the Council should have spoken to her grandchild, D.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by Mrs X.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- Mrs X says that she reported concerns about D and their sibling in May 2021. She says the Council should have spoken to D directly. The Council has accepted it would have been good practice for its children service’s officers to speak to both siblings.
- Mrs X has confirmed they are waiting for the Courts to reconsider the children’s care arrangements. She says D’s sibling B has no contact with their maternal family. She would like contact re-established.
- We cannot consider the same issues a Court is considering. We cannot achieve the remedy Mrs X seeks about sorting out or enforcing contact. The Court has the power to order the Council to carry out an assessment if it believes it is necessary.
- We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint because we cannot consider the same issues as the Courts.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman