Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 02 May 2022
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint that social workers have made false accusations against Mr X. The matters complained of are not separable from issues concerning contact with Mr X’s children, in respect of which Mr X has a right to go to court it would be reasonable to use.
- Mrs X said social workers made false accusations against him and told lies. He said he was unable to speak to his children as often as he used to. He wanted the Council to see evidence he had submitted and not frustrate his children’s wishes to spend time with him when the children ask for this.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone could take the matter to court. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to go to court. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- Regardless of whether Mr X is right, it is not our role to recommend a council takes a different view of one parent where the issue is contact with children. Only a court can decide the contact arrangements for children.
- We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because the matters complained of are not separable from the issue of contact with children, which only a court can decide. Mr X has a right to go to court it would be reasonable to use.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman