William Eichler 19 January 2021

Council pays mother £8,000 after failing to protect her from violent son

Council pays mother £8,000 after failing to protect her from violent son image

Three young children were left without any protection from their violent older brother after Somerset County Council failed to help their family, Ombudsman finds.

The boy’s mother asked the council to consider placing him in a residential school because she struggled to cope with his violent outbursts, which were the result of his disability and special educational needs.

Between 2015 and 2018, specialists working with the family witnessed the brother hitting and kicking his siblings and throwing and using objects against them. A specialist nurse at his school reported the school had recorded 36 separate incidents of violence involving the boy.

The council provided the boy with a 52-week residential placement in May 2018.

An investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found the council failed to provide the respite it had assessed the family as needing for nearly three years. It also found the council did not do enough to assess the risk the brother posed to the younger siblings.

‘Throughout the three years the council had a wealth of evidence both the mother, and the boy’s school, struggled to cope with the boy’s violent and unpredictable outbursts. Despite this, it sought to blame the mother’s parenting style rather than provide the respite the council itself assessed the family as needing,’ said Ombudsman Michael King.

‘This left the family suffering both physical and psychological distress: the children have had to unlearn three years of coping behaviours, and the family was unable to enjoy quality time together.’

A spokesperson from Somerset County Council said: ‘In this case we did not meet the standards we set for ourselves in the period up to 2018. We are a learning authority and have carefully considered, accepted and actioned all of the recommendations from the LGO, including giving an apology to the family.’

The council has agreed to apologise to the mother and pay her £8,250. This is made up of £2,000 for her injustice and £2,000 each for the younger children’s injustice and £250 for the older boy, each to benefit the children.

Mr King commented: ‘I am pleased the council has now agreed to my recommendations and hope the changes it has agreed to make will ensure disabled children and their families are safeguarded appropriately in future.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Estate Surveyor x2

City of Bradford MDC
£28,226 - £42,614
The Council has an opportunity for a general practice and agricultural MRICS/FRICS qualified Estate Surveyors. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Apprenticeship Hub Account Manager

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£30,095 - £32,798
A fantastic opportunity has recently opened for an ambitious and dynamic individual with a background in sales. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Customer Access Officer x3

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
We have three exciting opportunities within our Housing Inclusion Service, for people looking to further their career in housing. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Construction Quality Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Urban Design & Building Services team is looking to employ a permanent Construction Quality Officer. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£37,260 - £45,381
In Kensington and Chelsea, we support people’s independence and wellbeing. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.