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London Borough of Hounslow (21 018 437)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

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 complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mrs X, says the Council should have spoken to her grandchild, D.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mrs X.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint because we cannot consider the same issues as the Courts.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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