FOI & Investigation Team

Has anyone dealt with their local authorities FOI and Investigations team. It’s the team that deals with complaints in the 2nd stage of 3 in total when social workers refuse to give you a service.

My question is are they part of the council or a seperate independent company?

Also, any success with them would be welcome.

They say usually it goes to the ombudsman anyway as they want you to go through stage 1 and 2 before 3 rather than 1 to 3.

In Hampshire, if the local team are useless, then you complain to the Complaints Officer.
He is in the Operational Team, but can ask that team to investigate. They usually try to ignore his contact, or drag things out, again, and again.
Then you go to the Ombudsman, who cannot tell the council what to do, but will cease his investigations when they agree certain action. I read somewhere that only about 6-700 of LGO investigations found against the council. Mine was one of them.
Then the council sort of do what they say, but it doesn’t comply with the Care Act. In my case, they said they’d do new Needs Assessments for my son, and Carers Assessment for me. These were done, but WITHOUT CONSULTING US!
Then you go back to the Ombudsman, who says he won’t do anything further, as the care provider is going to change.
This all took about 2 years, as the Ombudsman I was given kept going off sick.

700 investigations!

How on earth can they do an assessment without consulting yous its impossible? They must have taken your previous assessment and just called it new.

Yeah, ive heard it takes approx 2 years if not 2 and a half years to resolve everything. I’m in year 1!

I don’t know how it works with the Ombudsman element, and how they want you to go through all the complaints procedure before getting them involved, BUT I was told not to bother with the council complaints procedure at all, and just write straight to the monitoring officer.

Apparently they’re more likely to listen then and things get taken more seriously, but I can’t personally vouch for that method because I haven’t done it myself yet, but I will be doing so once the social worker decides if the cuts they want to make to care will be enforced or not.

As for FOI requests, I strongly advise making one to your council to ask for details regarding what their refusing to fund. Like their care cost caps, upper and lower limits and prices for domestic care and care homes, or basically anything you feel you need to know in order to dispute anything they are trying to push on you or refusing to provide.

Social workers sadly are way more money orientated than people orientated and they are not above straight up lying about what should and shouldn’t be covered if it means keeping the council in the black. Even if you ask them straight about costs for care homes for example, they won’t tell you, because they don’t know but will still claim care homes are cheaper or alternatives work better when there’s no data to support that.

Whatever the case, don’t go down without a fight. They count on people not knowing their rights or having the ability to fight back. The more of us who stand up and make ourselves heard, and show them they can’t get away with taking from those in need, the more things are likely to change for everyone.

It takes 4 working days to send them a letter for them to receive it and process it!

I’ve just found out you can email your complaint I got a reply immediately they said they sent me a letter its been over a week and no letter to confirm receipt of letter!

Also they say it takes upto 21 working days to deal with your complaint and may exceed them under exceptional circumstances they are allowed.

I wonder if anyone has sued the council for missed timescales.

I also went down the Monitoring Officer route - he just referred me back to the useless Area Team I was complaining about!