Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 07-Feb-2020
Summary: Mrs X complains the Council has repeatedly underpaid her special guardianship allowance since 2012. The Ombudsman has found fault with the Council. The evidence does not support its calculation of an underpayment it says it made to Mrs X, and its refusal to carry out a Stage 2 investigation did not comply with the law. This caused Mrs X a significant injustice in the form of frustration, uncertainty and put her to the time and trouble of complaining to the Ombudsman to get the independent investigation she was entitled to.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 06-Feb-2020
Summary: The Council is at fault as it failed to provide clear, written information to Miss X about what support it could offer with her housing and what action she needed to take following the granting of a special guardianship order for Miss Y. As a result the process of becoming a special guardian for Miss Y was more stressful than necessary and caused Miss X to take unpaid leave. The Council has agreed to remedy the injustice to Miss X by sending an apology, making a payment of £500 to acknowledge the distress to Miss X and reimbursing her lost wages. The Council will also review the advice and information it provides to special guardians.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 21-Jan-2020
Summary: The Council was at fault for delays in agreeing funding for an extension to Mr C's property, in order to create an extra bedroom for his grandson who was placed in his care in 2016. This fault has resulted in the family living in cramped conditions. The Council has agreed to offer a payment to remedy this injustice.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 20-Jan-2020
Summary: Mr and Mrs X complain the Council wrongly considers the placement of their grandchildren with them is a family arrangement and it failed to advise them on the options for securing the case of their grandchildren. There is no evidence to show the Council placed the grandchildren with Mr and Mrs X. The Council is at fault as it failed to provide sufficient advice to Mr and Mrs X about securing their care for their grandchildren and it delayed in considering their complaint through the children's services statutory complaints procedure. The Council has agreed to remedy this injustice by making a payment of £450 to Mr and Mrs X.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 02-Jan-2020
Summary: Miss X complained that the Council failed to offer appropriate financial assessment and support when she became a special guardian. The Council has investigated and upheld her complaint; however, she is unhappy with the remedy offered. The Council was at fault for failing to consider her loss of earnings at her annual review as agreed. The Council should make these considerations and whether it is appropriate to offer a remedy.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 16-Dec-2019
Summary: Miss X complained the Council has not given her contact with her grandchildren as agreed in a court order. There was no fault in the frequency or length of contact. However, the Council was at fault for not telling Miss X about changes to contact arrangements and its decision to suspend contact for three months. It also failed to consider her complaint at stage two. The Council should apologise to Miss X for any injustice caused.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 12-Dec-2019
Summary: The Council took over three years to investigate Ms X's complaints about her request for support for looking after her grandson. The law says it should have taken the Council 65 working days. The Council has already taken some action to remedy the injustice caused to Ms X. The Council's remedy is not sufficient. The Council should pay Ms X a further £1500 to recognise distress and uncertainty she has been caused. The Council should also take action to improve its complaint handling processes.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 11-Dec-2019
Summary: Mrs X complains about the support provided to her and her husband when they cared for their grandson following his birth. We find fault in the Council's failure to treat Mr and Mrs X as friends and family foster carers. We also find repeated failings in the Council's communications with them. This causes injustice in a loss of financial support and distress. The Council accepts these findings and has agreed action to remedy this injustice, set out at the end of this statement.
Statement Not upheld Friends and family carers 10-Dec-2019
Summary: Mrs P complains about her lack of contact with her granddaughter, G. The Council has not prevented Mrs P from seeing G. It has suggested she attend contact with other family members, including her son, G's father. The Council declined Mrs P's request to take G away for a weekend but gave reasons for its decision. The Ombudsman cannot question the Council's decisions.
Statement Upheld Friends and family carers 05-Dec-2019
Summary: there is no fault in the Council's consideration of Ms F's requests for financial assistance related to her intended application for a Special Guardianship Order but it failed to consider her complaint properly under the relevant complaints procedure and will apologise for this.