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London Borough of Hillingdon (13 014 547)

Category : Children's care services > Fostering

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 21 Aug 2014

Summary

Complaint from an advocate that the council failed to take proper account of a child's wishes and feelings and the views of others when making plans for her long term care arranagements.

The complaint

Complaint from an advocate that the council failed to take proper account of a child's wishes and feelings and the views of others when making plans for her long term care arranagements.

The advocate complains that the council failed to act in the child's best interests by failing to:

  • make proper plans and arrangements for her long term foster placement following its decision to stop seeking an adopter for her in December 2012; and
  • consider a complaint about this under the statutory social services complaint procedure.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the council:

  • arrange a looked after review chaired by the independent reviewing officer as soon as possible to balance the relative risks to the child of moving her to a more legally secure arrangement or leaving her with her current carers, having regard to her wishes and the history of past attempts to find adopters for her;
  • reconsider options for the girl's future including applying to the court to revoke the placement order;
  • review social work practice and provide training as necessary to ensure that in future officers follow the proper process to amend the care plans of looked after children;
  • consider the need for appropriate therapeutic help for the girl to manage this process and the uncertainty surrounding it; and
  • pay the child's foster carers £500 to spend on the girl on as they consider appropriate.

 

The council has agreed to carry out these recommendations. It will confirm it has taken this action within three months of the date of our report.

Ombudsman satisfied with the Council's further response: 3 October 2014

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