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London Borough of Lewisham (19 014 855)

Category : Children's care services > Looked after children

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 28 Apr 2021

Summary: Miss X complained the Council failed to protect her from harm when she suffered significant and repeated incidents of abuse while in its care.

Finding

The Ombudsman uphel;d the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, the Council has agreed to:

  • apologise in writing to Miss X for the impact of the faults identified in the statutory stage two complaint investigation and its handling of her complaints;
  • pays £7,500 to Miss X for:
    • avoidable distress caused by the Council’s faults identified in the stage two complaint investigation;
    • avoidable harm Miss X suffered as a vulnerable young person in the Council’s care;
    • avoidable delay in completing the stage two complaint investigation;
    • time and trouble in bringing complaints to us to get the outcome of Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) investigations; and
    • outrage given the significant and serious nature of the faults and their impact on Miss X.
  • provide Miss X with the outcome of the LADO investigation into her former foster carers, together with details of any other action taken following Miss X’s allegations relating to the foster carers’ continued approval and child protection enquiries (where these issues relate directly to Miss X);
  • review its approach to information sharing in the statutory complaints procedure and within our investigations; and
  • provide us with an action plan detailing how and when it intends to complete the recommendations made in the Investigating Officer’s stage two complaint report. The Council should then provide us with evidence when it has completed the actions within its plan.

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