Birmingham social services has been criticised for putting an autistic teenager in lodgings without telling his land-lady the full extent of his past, including starting a fire in a hostel and self-harming.
The department also neglected to carry out progress reviews on the youngster and dragged its heels in making payments for his care to the landlady. A catalogue of "maladministration" by the service was highlighted in a report published yesterday by the local government watch-dog, which told the local authority to pay £5,000 to the landlady who cannot be named for legal reasons but was referred to as Ms Day.
Birmingham City Council accepted the case "highlighted some areas of weakness" and promised to make improvements.
However, Local Government Ombudsman Anne Seex expressed concern that "serious failings" identified may be "symptomatic of a system with inherent weaknesses".
In a damning report, Ms Seex said the landlady "could and should have been given more information" about the youth's previous behaviour.
"The fact that this did not happen was maladministration", she said.
Ms Seex, who also recommended the council comply with a six-point improvement plan, said the struggle Ms Day experienced in getting the money owed to her was an "injustice".
"If the payment system has repeatedly failed Ms Day it is likely that this will have been the case for others in her position," she said.
The youngster was in council care before being placed with Ms Day and had a number of problems, including Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism.
He experienced difficulty living in a hostel and care workers decided he would be better off transferring to supported lodgings under super-vision of landlords selected by social services.
The arrangement involves a weekly allowance for accommodation and additional support paid to the person in charge of the residence.
Ms Day claims it soon became apparent the youngster's ability to care for himself was much more limited than she had been led to believe.
She claimed that given his past behaviour, he should not have been considered suitable for supported lodgings.
The authority has apologised to Ms Day for failing to provide full information about his condition.
It was also heavily criticised by the ombudsman for failing to conduct an assessment of the teenager upon turning 18.
Peter Hay, strategic director of social care and health, said: "The city council accept that this case has highlighted some areas of weakness in the transition between services provided by social care and health for young people leaving care."
They were working on improvements, he said. ..SUPL: