Complaints about children’s services jump by more than 50 per cent in one year

Children|Family|News|November 29th 2013

TeenagerComplaints about local authority children’s services increased by 53 per cent in the year to March, the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has reported.

The commissioners investigated 1,496 such complaints re in 2012-2013, up from 980 the previous year. This is, they say, “a significant and national problem”.

In the newly published report, the LGO examines the plight of people who take on the children of relatives and friends. Many are untreated unfairly and even unlawfully by their local authorities, it claims.

The report, Family values: Council services to family and friends who care for others’ children, contains evidence suggesting that some councils:

*treat family and friends foster carers less favourably than their own foster carers – paying them a lower allowance for example.

*refuse family and friends foster carers financial support altogether despite their legal obligation to assist “looked after children”, and despite often helping to place the children with the carers in first place.

*fail to properly assess the suitability of some family and friends foster carers, placing children at risk of harm.

Ombudsman Dr Jane Martin said:

“The cases in this report show examples where children and their families, some of whom are very vulnerable and at risk, are being treated unfairly. They highlight the importance of fair treatment so that all children have the best start in life and the best possible support to make their own way and contribute effectively as adults.”

She added:

“I hope this report will assist councils in meeting their statutory obligations, and that it helps to initiate a cultural shift to recognise the efforts of all foster carers.”

The Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints about councils and similar organisations.

Photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comment(1)

  1. Tristan says:

    In private law disputes or cases leaning that way when mothers deny contact, social services unfailingly come to the rescue of mothers to the point of favouring their phony evidence in preference to that of a father’s. I’ve got a five figure sum in compensation which they had to pay me (that, or fight a court case) following their quite ridiculous conclusion – backed up by those other enemies of separated fathers, the police – that ‘concerns’ I had abused my child were founded. Needless to say I have little time for those of them at operational level. They are influenced by social policy beliefs, not evidence. They are anti-father to a man, not that there are too many of those in their profession.

    If you want to have some sport, ask a social worker whether she believes parental alienation exists.

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