In June 2021, Social Services started an investigation into the child AA, born in 2006. Shortly after that, the legal guardians and BB agreed that AA would live with BB over the summer. BB and AA knew each other since AA was friends with BB’s child.
To start with, JO is critical against the Council seemingly being of the opinion that the agreement that AA was to live with BB was a so-called private placement. JO points out that such a placement presumes that the child is not in need of care, which AA was. There were therefore no conditions for such a placement. JO finds that the Council should have conducted an urgent family home investigation and, based on what the investigation showed, made a decision on where AA would be placed. Awaiting the completion of that investigation, the Council should have made a temporary decision on placement with BB.
AA continued to live with BB after the summer as well. BB asked the Council on several occasions about the Council’s placement of AA’s living situation and AA did not want to move back to her home. JO feels that it must have fairly quickly been clear to the Council that AA would not be living with BB for a shorter period of time only. Despite this, the Council did not start an investigation into the home environment at BB’s, but instead allowed BB to handle the issue of where AA would live. JO is critical of the Council’s management of this case and that AA continued to live with BB for a considerably long period of time without an investigation into her suitability to provide a family home.
In January 2022, AA was granted emergency foster care with BB. The decision on placement was made even though BB had still not been approved for emergency foster care. JO is critical against this and points out that the situation was not so acute as to warrant placement in emergency foster care.
In conclusion, JO is critical of how the Council managed the matter of compensation for BB.