This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Independent advocacy for Looked After Children'.




 
 
Essex County Council 
Schools, Children & Families Directorate 
PO Box 47, County Hall 
Chelmsford, Essex 
CM1 1YS 
 
 
Ms D Cruickshank 
Our ref: ECC-009635-11
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
Your ref: N/a
Date: 14 February 2011  
 
Dear Ms Cruickshank 
 
Your Freedom of Information Request: 
 
I am pleased to enclose the following information, which I believe satisfies your 
request.   
 
You requested the answers to the following questions regarding Looked After 
Children (LAC) within the care of our local authority. 
 
1) What is the lower age limit of children to whom advocacy services are 
offered? 
 
There is no lower age limit, we provide non instructed advocacy where required. 
 
2) What is the upper age limit of children to whom advocacy services are 
offered? 
 
The age range of children to whom advocacy services are offered is 0 - 19 years 
and up to 25 years for young people with learning disabilities. 
 
3) How many individual referrals for LAC are provided for per year within 
the Service Level Agreement (SLA)? 
 
We must reach at least15% of total looked after population, but there is no upper 
limit set. 
 
4) How many referrals to independent advocacy services in the last year 
were made by: 
 
 
 

Contd. 
 
 
 2007-2008 Emergency Planning 
 
 

 
Page 2 
 
The current contract commenced August 2010; therefore the figures below are 
from August 2010 to January 2011: 
 
a) 

Social 
workers 
      22 
b) 
Families 
of 
LAC 
      3 
c) Carers (foster or otherwise) 
of 
LAC 
   1 
d) Self referral of children 
 
 
 
 
9 
e) Other professional (please specify in this case) 
Education 
 
       2 
 
Voluntary 
sector 
      16 
 
5) Please provide a copy of the SLA with Barnardos. 
 
Please see attachment 1 – Barnardos Final Contract. 
 
6) What is the position if demand for advocacy services by LAC exceeds the 
provision in the SLA? Are children then left without access to advocacy 
services. 
 
Advocacy would be spot purchased. 
 
7) When does the contract with your current independent advocacy service 
end? 
 
Contract end date is 31/3/2012 (+ 1 year option subject to funding) break clause 
dates of 28/2/2011 & 30/9/2011. 
 
8) Will the contract be renewed? If not what provision for independent 
advocacy will be put in place? 
 
This is a statutory service so will have to be provided in some form at the end of 
this contract. 
 
9) Is independent advocacy used in decision making processes with 
children and young people outside of the complaints system? If so, can you 
please indicate typical scenarios where advocates may be involved. 
 

 Statutory 
Reviews 
  Child Protection meetings  
  Pathway Planning meetings  
  Personal Education Plans 
  Service Provision and Planning Consultations  
  Access to legal advice and support 
  Family Group Conference 
 
 
 
 
Contd. 
 
 

 
Page 3 
 
10) In the last year how many complaints received from LAC involved the 
child or young person being represented by an independent advocate? 
 
One. 
 
11) What was the total number of complaints from LAC in the past year? 
 
The number of complaints where the child was Looked After was 70.  However, 
this is not the number of complaints from Looked After Children as our report 
filters does not allow us to separate such data. For example we can report on 
how many complaints are from children (not specifying Looked After) or how 
many complaints are regarding Looked After Children (not specifying who they 
are from). 
 
You may reuse all or part of this information free of charge in any format or 
medium.  You must reuse it accurately and not in a misleading context. 
 
Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your 
request or your right to access information held by Essex County Council. 
 
If you are not satisfied with my response to your request, please let me know.  If I 
am unable to resolve the issue immediately, I will explain our complaints 
procedure.  If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied, 
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our decision.  You 
can contact him at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, 
telephone 01625 545700. 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
Lauri Almond  
Information Governance Officer 
Schools, Children and Families 
Essex County Council 
Telephone: 08457 430430  
Email: 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx