Statement Upheld Fostering 25-May-2021
Summary: Mr X complained about the way the Council managed a disruption meeting. We find fault by the Council which caused avoidable distress and uncertainty to Mr and Mrs X. The Council has already identified a number of service improvements and has agreed to apologise and make a financial payment to remedy the personal injustice caused to Mr and Mrs X.
Statement Upheld Fostering 28-Apr-2021
Summary: Mrs X complains about the Council's failure to consider her complaints under the statutory procedure for children social care services. The Council was at fault for suspending stage two and three complaint investigations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has agreed to start the stage two statutory complaint investigation without delay.
Statement Upheld Fostering 08-Apr-2021
Summary: Mrs X complained the Council inappropriately placed children with complex needs into her and her husband's foster care without providing the appropriate support or financial payment. We find the Council was not at fault in how it matched children to Mr and Mrs X's care. However, we find the Council was at fault for delays in it holding and finalising their fostering review which delayed their opportunity to apply to be level four carers. The Council has agreed to increase the financial remedy already offered to reflect those delays.
Statement Not upheld Fostering 17-Mar-2021
Summary: Ms X complained that she was bullied and intimidated by her social worker and decisions the Council made about foster care arrangements were wrong. We did not find there was fault in the way the Council reached the decisions she complains about.
Statement Upheld Fostering 26-Feb-2021
Summary: Mrs B complained the Council failed to ensure her information, and that of her foster children, was kept confidential. It shared her address with the birth mother who was not allowed contact with the children. This has caused significant distress to the family whose human rights have been affected. The Council has agreed to make a payment for the family to move house and to change its procedures to ensure such data breaches are prevented in the future. It has also agreed to disseminate the learning from this complaint.
Statement Not upheld Fostering 01-Feb-2021
Summary: The Council was not at fault for its consideration of whether to extend Ms B's transitional special guardianship support payments. Ms B did not provide information to justify an extension of the payments. We cannot look at Ms B's complaint that she did not agree her support plan before becoming a special guardian, because the Special Guardianship Order says she did, and we cannot question a court order.
Statement Upheld Fostering 05-Jan-2021
Summary: There is fault by the Council in that it failed to carry out a risk assessment before placing two children, in its care, with the complainant and her partner. This caused avoidable difficulties in the placement. The Ombudsman does not find fault in other aspects of the complaint. The Ombudsman has recommended actions to remedy the complainant's injustice which the Council has accepted. Therefore, the Ombudsman is closing the complaint.
Statement Upheld Fostering 11-Dec-2020
Summary: Ms X complains the Council failed to provide the correct financial support to her as a foster carer. We have found no evidence of fault in the way the Council paid Ms X a foster carers allowance. But there was fault in its failure to provide clarity over Ms X's status as a specialist foster carer during the complaint procedure. We have suggested a suitable remedy and so are completing our investigation.
Statement Upheld Fostering 13-Oct-2020
Summary: Ms X complains the Council incorrectly deducted money from her pay as a foster carer. She also complains the Council's complaint handling was poor. The Ombudsman does not find fault with the Council for deducting money from Ms X's pay. We do find fault with the Council's complaint handling.
Statement Upheld Fostering 09-Oct-2020
Summary: Mr and Mrs P complained the Council had failed to put in place what had been agreed by the independent investigating officer and a senior Council officer at adjudication. This had caused them time and trouble and distress trying to get clarity. Agreements that were meant to be agreed in 2019 were still outstanding. There is evidence of fault and the Council has agreed to complete the outstanding actions and to make appropriate payments.