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Surrey County Council (21 004 347)

Category : Children's care services > Looked after children

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 12 Sep 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate Ms X’s complaints about issues relating to B for whom she is their mother. B does not consent and therefore she is not a suitable representative.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Ms X, complains about issues on the Council’s children and education services teams dealings with, B, a young person of whom she is their mother.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We may investigate complaints made on behalf of someone else if they have given their consent. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26A(1), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Ms X and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
  3. I considered Ms X’s comments on a draft version of this decision.

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My assessment

  1. Ms X says the Council:
    • Failed to provide her with B’s education plan;
    • Failed to follow correct procedures for B’s pathway plan and it’s content is poor;
    • Failed to stick to a communication agreement;
    • Has been dishonest with B’s savings;
    • Has not provided a full account of how B’s advocate was employed;
    • Has breached B’s human rights to family life for not investigating B’s complaints and made up stories.
  2. The Council says B is now 16 and has made it clear they do not want Ms X complaining on their behalf. The Council told Ms X this in an email in July 2021.
  3. Ms X says she is. She says B is not capable of making decisions.
  4. We have provided Ms X with consent forms for her and B to complete if B does want Ms X to represent them.

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Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate this complaint as Ms X is not a suitable representative of the person directly affected by the alleged fault as she does not have their consent.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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