London Borough of Croydon (21 008 544)

Category : Children's care services > Looked after children

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 29 Nov 2022


Key to names used

Miss Y The complainant

W Her child

Mr Z Her brother


Miss Y complained about her experiences as a young person leaving foster care and the Council’s failure to provide the support she needed as a young, single parent.


Fault found causing injustice and recommendations made.


The Council must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Council should consider the report at its full Council, Cabinet or other appropriately delegated committee of elected members and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended)

To remedy the injustice caused the Council should:

  • pay £9,250 plus any accrued interest to recognise the impact on Miss Y’s university studies in 2018. This should be paid when Miss Y provides evidence of the cost of the additional year of study. The Council may pay this sum directly to Student Finance England to offset against the debt owed;

  • pay Miss Y £1,000 to recognise the significant distress she experienced whilst living in unaffordable accommodation and for the credible fear she endured whilst providing an unregulated placement for Mr Z, her brother;

  • pay Miss Y £300 to recognise the avoidable time and trouble she experienced, both from delays in the complaint handling and the later delay in reimbursing her rent arrears;

  • carry out work to understand why, when it was aware that Miss Y and W were at risk of harm, it did not make inquiries to establish whether it needed to safeguard W; and

  • ensure that all staff in its care leavers service receive a briefing that makes clear it has a duty to ensure that young people leaving care are supported to find suitable and affordable accommodation.

The Council has accepted our recommendations.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 15 August 2023.

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