William Eichler 19 July 2018

Council fined for causing autistic child ‘severe distress’

Council fined for causing autistic child ‘severe distress’  image

Brighton & Hove council has apologised after a mother and her autistic son were caused severe distress due to their temporary accommodation placement.

The mother and son were placed below a neighbour who had previous warnings for anti-social behaviour, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) found.

The LGO’s investigation also revealed they were placed in the unsuitable accommodation by the council after it told them they would not be provided with another flat if they refused.

Ombudsman Michael King found there was lots of evidence provided by professionals that the son’s autism meant he was particularly sound sensitive, with loud noises causing him acute stress and anxiety.

‘This family were caused significant stress being placed in thoroughly unsuitable accommodation by the council, and at one point they were even split up because of the neighbour’s poor behaviour,’ Mr King said.

‘While I appreciate the strains councils are under to find the right accommodation, particularly in areas of high property prices, they still need to ensure the suitability of the accommodation they are offering.

‘I now call on the council to revisit the report and provide the remedy I have recommended to the family.’

Cllr Anne Meadows, chair of the council’s housing and new homes committee, said: ‘We fully accept the Ombudsman’s findings and recommendations.

‘We’re extremely sorry for the distress caused in this case and have apologised to the family involved. We’re taking action to ensure lessons are learnt from the mistakes made in this case and procedures are improved.’

The council paid the mother £1,000 in recognition of the injustice of the decision, as well as to cover expenses.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Social Worker - Leaving and After Care

Essex County Council
£27775 - £41425 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Knowledge, Skills and Experience * Diploma or Degree in Social Work, CQSW, CSS or equivalent * Registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Registered Social Worker * Demonstrable capability of practice in accordance with curre England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Built Heritage Consultant

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Job Purpose
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£44,632 - £47,534 per annum
We have an established management team, committed to developing excellent practice and ensuring that our staff receive the best support we can offer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

ASC Occupational Therapist - Physical & Sensory Impairment Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine