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Leeds City Council (22 003 082)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 13 Jun 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the actions of a social worker. The matters complained of are not separable from those that were or could have been raised in court.

The complaint

  1. Miss X said a social worker was rude and wanted her changed. She said this is because of what the social worker reported about her and because the social worker removed Miss X’s grandchild from her. She wanted a different social worker.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We have the power to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been, raised within a court of law. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)
  2. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide further investigation would not lead to a different outcome. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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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. I read the complaint correspondence. This showed the matters of which Miss X complained either were or could have been raised in a court case earlier this year. The Council also confirmed the allocated social worker was due to change.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Miss X’s complaint because the matters complained of are not separable from those that were of could have been raised in court.
  2. Even if that were not the case, investigation would not lead to a different outcome as the Council has already confirmed it plans to change the allocated social worker.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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