Kent County Council (14 015 230)

Category : Children's care services > Disabled children

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 07 Jun 2016


Complaint from a woman that the council refused to consider her need to work when assessing her son's care needs. She complains the council failed to consider awarding direct payments to provide for care of her son while she is at work. The woman also complains the council delayed responding to her complaint.

The complaint

The woman complains that the council:

  • refused to consider her need to work when assessing her son's care needs;
  • fettered its discretion when considering what direct payments can be used for;
  • discriminated against a working carer;
  • failed to understand the impact of her caring relationship with her other child;
  • failed to consider Government legislation and guidance; and
  • delayed considering her complaint.


The Ombudsman found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the injustice caused, the council should:

  • pay the woman £1,000 to reflect the time and trouble she had to go to pursuing her complaint, the added stress she was under during the period and the uncertainty about whether the council would have provided additional support if it had considered her case properly;
  • revise its direct payments policy;
  • review the sufficiency of childcare and range of short breaks available for older disabled children; and
  • provide training for officers and managers carrying out social care assessments and dealing with direct payments.

The council has agreed to carry out these recommendations.

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 31 August 2016


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