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.
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.