Lancashire County Council apologises over bungled children's services complaint

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Lancashire County Council has agreed to apologise to a father after it told him it could not investigate his children’s services complaint without the consent of his son.

The case came to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after Lancashire Council did not properly investigate a complaint about the services it provided to a father and his partner when they took on the care of his previously estranged son.

The man claimed that the lack of support meant the relationship with the son broke down, his and his partner’s mental health was negatively affected, and the couple’s relationship broke down. The boy was eventually taken into the local authority’s care.

When the man complained, the council did not take his complaint through the statutory three-stage process, and instead directed him to the Ombudsman. Michael King, of the Ombudsman, said: “I welcome Lancashire County Council’s readiness to accept the report’s findings and hope this clarifies the complaints process in future.”

An LCC spokesman said: “We have fully apologised to the person involved and we are very sorry for the distress our failings have caused.”