The LGO found that Royal Borough of Greenwich failed to act appropriately and in a timely manner to help a young woman regularise her immigration status after she became a looked after child. The Council agreed the below:
apologise for its identified failings;
pay the complainant £5,000 to acknowledge the distress caused by the failure to provide consistent support and advice to her as a 'looked after child', and by the uncertainty caused that, if it were not for those faults, her application to the Home Office for leave to remain in the UK would have been as a child, which may have given her a greater chance of success. This amount also included a sum to acknowledge the time and trouble caused because the council failed to consider her complaint as fully as it should have.
provide specialist advice and guidance to its social work staff on the different requirements of the immigration rules
devise an action plan to ensure it gave full and proper consideration to its duties to all its 'looked after children' who may be in need of legal advice,
to ensure officers record both the questions raised and any legal advice given; and
ensure all of the complaints it has considered at Stage 1 of statutory Children Act complaints procedure were progressed to Stage 2 if that is the complainant's wish, as is their right.
The LGO considered a claim brought by Miss X against Lancashire Country Council. Miss X was a care leaver who complained that the Council failed to pay her financial support to retake her final year at university after she was unable to complete her third year due to mental health and relationship problems. A charity paid for Miss X’s course fees. Miss X moved to a cheaper social housing but sais she was left with significant dept. The Council agreed to pay Miss X the accommodation costs Miss X incurred. The Council agreed to pay Miss X £3,879.
Mr X, a vulnerable young person brought a claim against London Borough of Croydon. The LGO found that the Council failed to provide Mr X with sufficient support when he left care. This has caused Mr X a great deal of uncertainty and distress. The Council failed to comply with recommendations made by an Independent Investigator despite agreeing with his findings in relation to the complaint. The Council agreed to pay Mr X £3,000 to help Mr X secure private rented accommodation and £750 for the distress and uncertainty caused by its failure to make payments for his bed and breakfast accommodation, delay in securing permanent accommodation as well the time and trouble caused in having to complain to the Ombudsman.
The LGO considered a claim against Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. The LGO found that the Council failed to properly manage various aspects of Mrs B’s case when she provided foster care to child A. The Council agreed to put in place a detailed action plan to deal with the faults identified by the stage two investigator. The Council apologised to Mrs B, agreed to pay her legal fees and offered her £1,750 compensation.
The LGO found that in this case Birmingham City Council failed to provide Mrs X with adequate information about the financial implications if she agreed to care for her granddaughter, N, when N’s mother was unable to do so. The Council’s decision N could no longer live with her mother put Mrs X under pressure to care for her and she lost out financially when the Council decided it was a private arrangement. The Council agreed to backdate the payments it has made for N during the date of the child protection conference, less any payments already made during that period. The Council also agreed to pay Mrs X an additional £250 for her time and trouble in having to approach the Ombudsman to secure a remedy. This was because she should not have had to do so when the Council’s own investigation had already upheld her complaint that it had failed to provide her with adequate funding to look after N.
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