Child Protection or Child Trafficking for Anthony Douglas?

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

LS Palmer (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Torbay Borough Council,

The standard letter from the Department of Education states:

"The law is clear: children should live with their parents wherever possible and, when necessary, families should be given extra support to help keep them together. In most cases, support from the local authority enables any concerns to be addressed and children remain with their families."

S17 of the Children Act places a duty on Children's Services to assist families in need.

Please could you provide a year by year breakdown since 2003 of how much of your budget has been allocated for assisting families in need and give general information as to what that budget is spent on.

Please could you further provide a year by year breakdown of how much of your budget is allocated to families subject to 'care proceedings'.

Please confirm you abide by the following laws:

1. All families subject to care proceedings have had the benefit of a Residential Family Assessment before the child's permanent removal in accordance with L (A Child) and H (A Child) [2007] EWCA Civ 213 which held:

"before removing children from their natural families and placing them for adoption with strangers the court should be astute to ensure that the case had been fully investigated and that all the relevant evidence necessary for the decision was in Place, Art 6 of the ECHR required it…..There would of course be cases in which a s38(6) assessment would be a waste of public funds: parents who had inflicted injuries on their child but had failed to acknowledge their responsibility or a woman who did not accept that a paedophile partner was a risk to the child"

2. All parents who are guilty of abusing/neglecting their children to the extent that nothing short of removal from the parents will protect the children from SIGNIFICANT HARM have been convicted of a criminal offence for abuse/neglect and have been referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

Please provide a positive or negative affirmation in relation to the following statements:

3. That since removal of children from the parents no child in the care of the Local Authority has:
a. Suffered sexual abuse
b. Suffered physical abuse.
c. Suffered emotional abuse.
(In this respect data referring to convictions/complaints of misconduct of social workers/foster carers/care workers and statistics relating to child suicides/children running away would provide the relevant assertion as to whether or not children were suffering 'in care')

4. That since removal of the children from the parents no child in the care of the Local Authority has been used for medical testing or registered on any program by the NIHR, MRCN or any other medical research program without the explicit consent from the biological parent.

5. That since removal of the children from the parents the children have been raised in the same faith they would have been raised in if they had not been removed from their parents.

6. That no child has been returned to the care of the local authority post adoption.

7. That no child in the care of the Local Authority has been criminalised, ie gained a criminal record having not previously had a criminal record while in the care of their biological parents.

Yours faithfully,

LS Palmer

Torbay Borough Council

Dear LS Palmer

Request for Information made under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 19
January 2011. We are currently processing your request under the terms of
the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 and will contact you within 20
working days.

In a small number of cases, the cost of fulfilling a request may exceed
the appropriate limit which is currently set at £450.00 and a fee may be
payable. If this is the case, we will stop processing your request and we
will endeavour to issue a fees notice within 10 working days. You will
then be required to pay this before we will proceed with your request. To
find out more about fees, please visit [1]www.torbay.gov.uk/foi-fees

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us, quoting the reference number listed at the top of this email in all
communications.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Wills

Information Governance Officer

Torbay Council

Email: [Torbay Borough Council request email]

Phone: 01803 207467

Mail: Information Governance, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus,
Torquay, TQ1 3DR

Find out more at: [2]www.torbay.gov.uk/accesstoinformation

Please note...

The content of this email and any attachment/s are solely for the use
of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential information
and/or may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient,
please notify the sender and delete the message from your system
immediately. The views in this message are personal, they are not
necessarily those of Torbay Council.

Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under the UK Data
Protection and Freedom of Information legislation these contents may have
to be disclosed in response to a request.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Torbay Borough Council

Dear LS Palmer

I am writing to apologise for the delay in responding to your request. I
have collated all of the information you have requested however I am
awaiting the response to be signed off by a Senior Manager.

I would hope to have a response to you by Friday 25 February.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Wills

Information Governance Officer

Torbay Council

Email: [Torbay Borough Council request email]

Phone: 01803 207467

Mail: Information Governance, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus,
Torquay, TQ1 3DR

Find out more at: [1]www.torbay.gov.uk/accesstoinformation

Please note...

The content of this email and any attachment/s are solely for the use
of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential information
and/or may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient,
please notify the sender and delete the message from your system
immediately. The views in this message are personal, they are not
necessarily those of Torbay Council.

Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under the UK Data
Protection and Freedom of Information legislation these contents may have
to be disclosed in response to a request.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Torbay Borough Council

Dear L S Palmer

Further to your request received on 19 January 2011, I confirm that Torbay
Council has completed its search for the information that you
requested.  I apologise for the delay in providing you with this
information.

This information is as follows:

The standard letter from the Department of Education states:

"The law is clear: children should live with their parents wherever
possible and, when necessary, families should be given extra support to
help keep them together. In most cases, support from the local authority
enables any concerns to be addressed and children remain with their
families."

S17 of the Children Act places a duty on Children's Services to assist
families in need.

A.    Please could you provide a year by year breakdown since
2003 of how much of your budget has been allocated for assisting families
in need and give general information as to what that budget is spent on.

        Below are the budgets for section 17

        2005-2006 £136,900

        2006-2007 £151,000

        2007-2008 £155,600

        2008-2009 £160,300

        2009-2010 £156,700

        2010-2011 £159,900

        In general the budgets allocated to Section
17 are spent in accordance with Act , in areas such as providing
accommodation and giving assistance in kind or, in exceptional
circumstances, in cash.

B.    Please could you further provide a year by year breakdown
of how much of your budget is allocated to families subject to 'care
proceedings'.

        Budgets for Children Looked After

        2005-2006 £4,146,900

        2006-2007 £4,122,900

        2007-2008 £4,252,900

        2008-2009 £4,634,500

        2009-2010 £4,641,000

        2010-2011 £5,303,900

C. Please confirm you abide by the following laws:

          1.     All families
subject to care proceedings have had the benefit of a Residential Family
Assessment before the child's permanent removal in accordance with L (A
Child) and H (A Child) [2007] EWCA Civ 213 which held:

                 
"before removing children from their natural families and placing them for
adoption with strangers the court should be astute to ensure that the case
had been fully investigated and that all the relevant evidence necessary
for the decision was in Place, Art 6 of the ECHR required it.....There
would of course be cases in which a s38(6) assessment would be a waste of
public funds: parents who had inflicted injuries on their child but had
failed to acknowledge their responsibility or a woman who did not accept
that a paedophile partner was a risk to the child"

                  In
our view your analysis of L (A Child) and H (A Child) [2007] EWCA Civ 213
is incorrect. This case relates to s.38(6) Children Act 1989, which
provides that when a Court makes an interim care order or supervision
order, it may give such directions as it considers appropriate with regard
to assessments of the child. Case law is clear that s.38(6) assessments
can include residential family assessments, however there is no
requirement for a residential assessment to take place. This is supported
by part of the quote to which you have referred from the judgment, namely

               "There would
of course be cases in which a s38(6) assessment would be a waste of public
funds: parents who had inflicted injuries on their child but had failed to
acknowledge their responsibility or a woman who did not accept that a
paedophile partner was a risk to the child"

               Therefore we
can confirm that during the course of care proceedings, some families do
indeed have residential assessments, however not all families do so.
Ultimately it is the Court that decides whether any further assessment of
parents is necessary in order for the Court to reach a determination, and
it is the Court that decides the form that such assessment takes.

          2.     All parents who
are guilty of abusing/neglecting their children to the extent that nothing
short of removal from the parents will protect the children from
SIGNIFICANT HARM have been convicted of a criminal offence for
abuse/neglect and have been referred to the Independent Safeguarding
Authority.

There is a difference in the standard of proof required in family
proceedings which is on the balance of probability, as opposed to criminal
proceedings which is beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore not every case
where there are care proceedings will result in criminal proceedings. In
respect of a referral to the ISA each individual case is considered on its
facts, and referrals will be made to the ISA as is considered appropriate.

D.      Please provide a positive or negative affirmation
in relation to the following statements:

3.     That since removal of children from the parents no
child in the care of the Local Authority has:

        a. Suffered sexual abuse

        b. Suffered physical abuse

        c. Suffered emotional abuse

(In this respect data referring to convictions/complaints of misconduct of
social workers/foster carers/care workers and statistics relating to child
suicides/children running away would provide the relevant assertion as to
whether or not children were suffering 'in care')

        This information is not recorded on a system
which allows us to easily extract this information. Therefore in order to
provide this information we would need to read all the children's files
individually.  This would be an excessive amount of work and would
likely exceed the appropriate limit of approximately 18 hours of officer
time.

4.     That since removal of the children from the parents no
child in the care of the Local Authority has been used for medical testing
or registered on any program by the NIHR, MRCN or any other medical
research program without the explicit consent from the biological parent.

        No there hasn't.

5.     That since removal of the children from the parents the
children have been raised in the same faith they would have been raised in
if they had not been removed from their parents.

        A child's needs, including their faith are
considered as part of their care plan and these needs addressed
accordingly. The CLA review process monitors this and ensures this is
continually considered.

6.     That no child has been returned to the care of the
local authority post adoption.

        We are unaware of any child returning to the
care of the local authority post adoption (order).

7.     That no child in the care of the Local Authority has
been criminalised, ie gained a criminal record having not previously had a
criminal record while in the care of their biological parents.

        There have been incidents of a child looked
after gaining a criminal record. There is significant work undertaken to
reduce the likelihood of this occurring between our social work team and
the youth offending service.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purpose of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

Torbay Council publishes Access to Information requests and responses on
its online Disclosure Log. Only requests deemed to be in the public
interest will be included and any request included within this log will be
de-personalised accordingly.

To view the Council's Disclosure Log, please visit
[1]www.torbay.gov.uk/disclosurelog

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
me directly, quoting the reference number listed at the top of this email
in all communications.

If you are unhappy with the Council's response to your request and wish to
make a complaint please write to Information Governance, Town Hall, Castle
Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR or complete the on-line complaint form that can
be found at www.torbay.gov.uk.

If after going through the Council's complaints process you are still not
satisfied, you can contact the Information Commissioner direct.

Information Commissioner Helpline: 08456 30 60 60
01625 54 57 45
Wycliffe House
01625 545700
Water Lane Switchboard:
01625 524510
Wilmslow Fax:
www.ico.gov.uk
Cheshire SK9 5AF Website:
[email address]
Email (general):

Yours sincerely

Mrs Vicky Wills

Information Governance Officer

Torbay Council

Email: [Torbay Borough Council request email]

Phone: 01803 207467

Mail: Information Governance, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus,
Torquay, TQ1 3DR

Please note...

The content of this email and any attachment/s are solely for the use
of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential information
and/or may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient,
please notify the sender and delete the message from your system
immediately. The views in this message are personal, they are not
necessarily those of Torbay Council.

Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under the UK Data
Protection and Freedom of Information legislation these contents may have
to be disclosed in response to a request.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.torbay.gov.uk/disclosurelog
http://www.torbay.gov.uk/disclosurelog