Written evidence submitted by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman


22 April 2021



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LGSCO contribution to the Education Committee inquiry into Children’s Homes

Dear Mr Halfon,

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) investigates complaints about councils and some other authorities and organisations, including independent adult social care providers, in England. It is a free service. Our role is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way – we do not take sides. As part of our role, we can also consider complaints about children’s social services.


Although our primary role is to remedy personal injustice, we also have a role in improving public services by sharing lessons learned from our complaints. We have received comparatively few complaints about the specific issues raised in the inquiry, and therefore do not have a substantial submission to make.


However, in December 2020 we published a Focus Report about the children’s social care sector. The report Careless: Helping to improve council services to children in care sets out some of the common problems we see about children’s social care through our complaints, and what steps local authorities can take to address these. You can find a link to the report on our website: https://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/reports/focus-reports 


In addition, one of our objectives for the coming year is to raise awareness of our role with care-experienced children and to reinforce the important role we play in redress and accountability. Through this we hope to increase the number of complaints we receive, which in turn will help us to improve these services.


Should you find it useful, I would be happy to talk to you about the issues raised in our report and children’s social care in general.


Yours sincerely

Michael King

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

April 2021