A young and vulnerable woman was told by Sutton Council she could go through records of when she was put into care instead of investigating her complaints, a report has revealed.

The woman, known only as Miss B, went to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after the council refused to investigate complaints about the actions of children’s services when she was a child.

She claims that in 2009 she was not supported as a child in need when she was evicted from her mum’s home and lived in an abusive relationship for up to a year until she was placed in care by the council.

She also claims that the council ignored complaints about “several foster carers” and failed to pay her a clothing allowance.

The ombudsman report also states: “[She complains that Sutton Council] failed to properly investigate her complaint about the fourth foster carer who made an unfounded allegation about her ability to look after her newborn daughter, which resulted in further social services involvement.”

When Miss B officially complained to the council in June last year she was told that the historic complaints were too old to consider.

Instead, Sutton Council said she could take a look at her records to understand what happened at the time she came into care.

It did acknowledge this would be “an emotional process” and that it would take time to go through the many files.

The ombudsman concluded: “I felt it was wrong for the council to let a young vulnerable woman wade through a large number of social care files on her own but refuse to allow a complaint investigator to do so.

“There were grounds within the statutory guidance for the council to exercise its discretion on time, in exceptional circumstances.

“I felt there was little evidence that it had considered this or given adequate reasoning to justify its decision not to investigate.”

The ombudsman asked the council to reconsider its position and investigate the complaints made by Miss B.

On June 8, Sutton Council confirmed that it will consider the complaints.

A council spokesman said: “We have met the resident concerned and agreed to consider her complaints through the statutory procedure.”