Lancashire County Council (17 019 219)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 12 Apr 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about a payment owed to him as a foster carer. The payment is for a period in 2015 which means it is late and there are no good reasons to disapply the late complaint rule.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, says the Council owes him money from his time fostering a then child.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information Mr X provided with his complaint. Mr X had an opportunity to comment on a draft version of this decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr X started fostering a child, B, in August 2004. B turned 18 in August 2015. Mr X continued to care for B under the ‘Shared Lives’ adult carers scheme.
  2. In December 2017, Mr X complained to the Council that he felt he had been underpaid during his time as a foster carer by £370. The Council said it had checked its records and decided it had paid all it had to.

Analysis

  1. Mr X’s complaint concerns events known to him for more than 12 months. He has provided no good reasons why he could not complain to us or the Council within those 12 months. Nor why he delayed for over two years in complaining.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. This is because it is about events known to Mr X for more than 12 months and he has provided no reasons why he has not complained sooner.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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