The Children and Education Board in Söderhamn municipality decided on and carried out follow-up pursuant to Chapter 11, section 4a, of the Social Services Act (2001:453) with regard to a child who had moved to another municipality. The Parliamentary Ombudsman considers that the wording of the provision implies that the municipality must be authorised to take decisions on interventions in order to be able to decide on and carry out follow-up. Such interventions can only be decided upon after a new investigation has been opened and in most cases this cannot be done after the child has changed their municipality of residence. If a child moved during a child investigation, the board therefore cannot decide on follow-up after the investigation ends. The board cannot escape criticism for having decided on and carried out follow-up.
During the follow-up period, two reports of concern about the child were also received. The Parliamentary Ombudsman states that, when another municipality is responsible for support and assistance, the responsibility of the municipality of residence is limited to emergency situations. Conducting an assessment of whether a child who is staying in the municipality needs immediate protection must be seen as part of that responsibility. On the other hand, the responsibility cannot include subsequently conducting a preliminary assessment in order to establish whether or not to open an investigation. The board is criticised for having done two preliminary assessments without being authorised to do so.
Finally, the Parliamentary Ombudsman recalls earlier statements on the conditions for interviewing a child without their guardian’s consent during a preliminary assessment and follow-up.