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London Borough of Croydon (21 018 809)

Category : Children's care services > Friends and family carers

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 11 Apr 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about fault in the process of dealing with Mr B’s complaint about the actions of Children’s Services. This is because the complaint has already been upheld and the Ombudsman’s intervention is not warranted.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will refer to as Mr B, complains that the Council was at fault in the process of dealing with his complaint and in the implementation of the findings of the complaints process.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse effect on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

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

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My assessment

  1. Mr B cares for a child. He complained to the Council that it had been at fault in failing to support him in caring for the child. Specifically, it had been at fault in the course of his application for a Special Guardianship Order.
  2. The Council considered Mr B’s complaint under the statutory procedure for children’s services complaints. The three stages were completed and the complaint was upheld.
  3. Mr B says there was fault in the way the Council implemented the complaints process, and that this caused distress and anxiety. He also argues that the Council has failed to implement the recommendations of the review panel.
  4. We will not investigate Mr B’s complaint. It is not our role to reinvestigate complaints which have already been upheld. The Council has recognised that there was fault in complaints process and has provided a reasonable response to it. It has apologised for the fault identified on its part. Mr B is not satisfied with the apology or the financial offer the Council has made. This does not, in itself, justify the Ombudsman’s involvement.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr B’s complaint because it has already been upheld and our intervention is not warranted.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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