Wakefield Council ordered to pay dad £500 over children's services complaint delay

Wakefield Council has been ordered to pay a father £500 after it failed to escalate a complaint he made about his child's care.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 9:41 am
The council has apologised over the matter.
The council has apologised over the matter.

A report by the Local Government Ombudsman said the delay had caused the parent, whose identity was anonymised, "time and trouble".

It said the man first lodged a grievance with the council in 2019 "about the care and support his child has and is receiving" from the authority's children's services.

The local authority replied in March of that year, but then after the family asked for the complaint to be escalated, the report said this didn't happen "for various reasons."

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The Ombudsman said this should have happened within 13 weeks.

No further details around the substance of the man's initial complaint, which was made at a time when the council's children's services were in special measures, were given in the report.

In its conclusions, the Ombudsman said it should pay the father £500, "To remedy the time and trouble he has gone to pursuing the complaint so far."

In response, the council's acting corporate director for children and young people, Vicky Schofield said: "There was a delay in responding to this complaint and we are very sorry for any inconvenience or distress caused to the family.

"We have learnt from this experience and have seen continued improvements in our children’s services since this complaint was received, which resulted in our ‘good’ rating from Ofstedearlier this month."

Local Democracy Reporting Service