Council rapped by ombudsman after not following safeguarding procedures

The investigation into Tower Hamlets Council's youth service concluded in 2017. Picture: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council said it has apologised to the man and paid compensation - Credit: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council did not follow safeguarding procedures when a father raised an allegation that his daughter was hit by a foster carer, an ombudsman report said.

The authority agreed to apologise and pay £600 compensation after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigated the man's complaint.

The unnamed man, referred to as Mr X in the report, complained that the council had not taken “appropriate action” after he made the allegation.

The report says: “In February 2020, Mr X forwarded to the council an email he received from one of his daughters in December 2019. In it, she alleged that her foster carer had struck her and that she was not nice to her or her sister. Mr X asked the council to investigate this.”

The report later says the council referred Mr X’s “concern about the foster carer hitting his daughter” to the local authority designated officer (LADO), who oversees investigations into allegations about people who work with children, but accepted it did not follow the correct procedure after the referral.

It adds: “The council has accepted it was at fault for not following its safeguarding procedures after Mr X raised concerns about the safety of his daughters.

"This has caused Mr X avoidable uncertainty about whether the council safeguarded his daughters as it should have done."

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The report also said the LADO did not make a decision about the allegations Mr X raised and the council was ordered to carry out a detailed LADO investigation to reach one.

A council spokesperson said: “We have apologised to Mr X for the distress caused by this incident and issued a payment, and have actioned all of the agreed recommendations from the ombudsman.

"We remain committed to continuous improvement and have implemented formal training to improve awareness of the role of the LADO, to ensure this does not happen again.”