Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 30 Jul 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s actions and social worker’s opinions. A court is considering the case which is about the welfare of a child.
- Mr X complains the Council’s social worker has not acted properly regarding an ongoing family court case and the provision of a report to court. Mr X disagrees with the social worker’s opinions and says she has not properly informed the court about the situation. He objects to the use of school for family contact or assessment work. Mr X wants a new social worker and for the Council to fairly represent the child’s position at court.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate a complaint about the start of court action or what happened in court. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5A, paragraph 1/3, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered Mr X’s information and comments and the Council’s reply to his complaint.
- I cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint because it is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction (see paragraph 2 above). The complaint is about a court case dealing with an application by the parent of the child. The court has directed the Council to provide a report on the child’s circumstances. The court will consider the welfare of the child, the family relationships, the history of the case, and issues relating to contact between family members. Mr X can challenge the Council’s evidence and opinions at court.
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s actions and opinions of a social worker. A court is considering the case which involves the welfare of a child.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman