Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request- Project 17
Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request
We write to request the following information under the FOIA in relation to assessments of, and the provision of support to, families with No Recourse to Public Funds (“NRPF”) seeking access to support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. If you require any further clarification as to our request, kindly inform us promptly and we would be happy to assist.
1. Does your local authority have a separate team dealing with requests for support under section 17 Children Act 1989, for example an ‘NRPF team’?
2. If yes, please provide contact details for this team (telephone and email)
3. If no, please confirm where referrals for such support should be directed to and the contact details (telephone and email)
4. Please also provide contact details for the relevant legal team supporting children’s services or dedicated NRPF team
5. Do you have any guidance or policy documents or other such written material in respect of undertaking assessments and providing support pursuant to section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to families with no recourse to public funds (including documents specific to this issue, or of more general application but covering this issue)?
6. If yes, please provide us with a copy.
7. Do you pay a set rate of financial subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds?
If you answered yes in response to Q7 please consider questions 8-14, but ignore questions 15-16. If you answered no, please ignore questions 8-14 and proceed to question 15.
8. If yes, what is paid?
9. How has that figure been reached? E.g. is it by reference to Child Benefit rates, asylum support (section 4 or section 95 rates)?
10. When was this level set?
11. Who took this decision?
12. Please provide copies of any reports, minutes, decision documents detailing the setting of this rate.
13. If you do not pay a set rate of financial subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds, do you have any guidelines relating to rates of financial support?
14. If yes, please provide a copy.
15. If you do not pay a set rate of financial subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds, in the months April to September 2020, how many families with NRPF were receiving regular financial subsistence support under section 17 (CA 1989) from your local authority?
16. Please specify how much financial support each family received per week (or fortnight if subsistence is paid fortnightly rather than weekly) as regular subsistence in each of the months April, May, June, July, August and September 2020. Please provide a breakdown for each of these months and when doing so please provide the following information:
a. Specify the composition of the household (i.e. whether it is a two or single-parent household and how many children there are)
b. identify whether the household has any children under 1-year-old and, if so, how many
c. identify whether the household has any children between 1 and 3 years old and, if so, how many;
d. identify whether the household has any children between 4 and 17 years old and, if so, how many
e. identify whether any of the members of the household were pregnant
f. identify whether the household ever received any discretionary payments for individual items from the Council and, if so, how much;
g. identify whether the household ever received additional funds for travel costs, and if so, how much.
Please note that we are not requesting personal data and we are not requesting identifying information. We are expecting to receive something along these lines. Please note, we are not prescribing the format of your response, though you are welcome to follow our suggestion ( a table format). We are trying to provide clarification that we hope will assist you in responding.
We anticipate that this information will be easily accessible to you as we understand that the majority (if not all) of the families will receive automated payments to their subsistence cards.
If you require any further clarification as to our request, kindly inform us promptly and we would be happy to assist.
If you hold any of the information requested but consider it is exempt from disclosure, please state specifically what exemption you rely upon (including the relevant statutory provision) and the reason you consider it to be applicable.
We look forward to receiving your response within 20 working days as per the FOIA.
Thank-you for email,
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twenty working days. The 20 days starts from the first working day after
your request has been received.
The provision of requested information is subject to the information not
being exempt under the Act or containing reference to third parties.
o If there is any denial or redaction of the requested information we will
contact you to explain.
o There is a possibility that certain questions may attract a cost for the
requestor. This will be considered and you will be informed if a charge is
o Were there to be a problem in supplying your requested information, we
will contact you for clarification, or discuss the issues.
If you require further information on Freedom of Information Requests
generally we suggest you visit the Information Commissioners website or
ring their advice line.
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Dear Sefton Council,
I am writing in regards to our FOIA request submitted on 23 November 2020 (Ref: 5400101) asking for information on the assessments of, and the provision of support to, families with No Recourse to Public Funds.
I have recently taken over from Blessing and am following up on her requests.
We recognised the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that there may be delays in processing requests for information during the pandemic. However, it has now been quite some time since we submitted the request. Could you please update us on the progress of processing and when we might expect a reply.
Hope you are all safe and sound.
All the best,
Thank you for your response to our FOIA request (ref 5400101)
I am afraid there has been a serious breach of confidentiality as the information you provided us with contains names and date of birth for unaccompanied asylum seeking minors. I have deleted the information off our system and I have contacted WhatDoTheyKnow to ensure the information is removed from their systems and is not published.
I ask that you check that you have not provided personal information in response to other FOIA requests and to consider whether this breach needs to be reported to the ICO. I have also alerted the Sefton Council data protection officer in a separate email as this system does not allow me to add additional email recipients.
After you have addressed the data breach could you please provide us with the information we had requested.
In reference to questions 1-4 could you provide us with contact details for the relevant departments.
For question 5-6 could you confirm that you have no policies or guidance documents or other such written material in respect of undertaking assessments and providing support pursuant to section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to families with no recourse to public funds (including documents specific to this issue, or of more general application but covering this issue)?
Question 15 and 16 relates to the provision of support – number of families, demographic make up and level of weekly support – for families with no recourse to public funds. The information you have sent us in respect of this question relates to unaccompanied asylum seeking minors which by definition are not families.
Thank you in advance for your help and we look forward to receiving the requested information.
All the best,
Our reference: 5400101
Thank you for your request for clarification.
Please find attached our response to your request.
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.
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