Dear Home Office,
1. We understand that a number of social services departments of Local Authorities have Home Office workers placed with them either on a full-time or part-time basis who are involved with, and sometimes sit in on Children in Need (section 17 Children Act) assessments.
a. Please provide a list of all local authorities who have a Home Office worker placed with their social services department either on a full-time or part-time basis
b. Please indicate in which of those authorities the Home Office worker sits in on the Children in Need assessments.
c. Please indicate whether the Home Office worker is allowed to ask questions in these assessments and if so any guidance as to what questions can / cannot be asked
d. Please provide all documentation (including but not restricted to protocols, procedures, policies, Memorandum of Understanding or guidance) concerning the placements.
e. Please provide details of any qualifications or training in relation to your duties towards children that is deemed necessary before a particular officer is so placed.
f. Please provide details of any training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children that is undertaken by the officers prior to the meetings, together with the training notes.
2. We understand that the Home Office workers placed with the Local Authorities provide immigration advice both to the Local Authority staff, but also to the parents / carer of the child being assessed. We understand that this advice has included both advice about the child’s parents immigration status and the child’s immigration status and also advice on what application for leave should be made to the Home Office.
a. Please provide confirmation of whether the Home Office workers are authorised to provide immigration advice
b. Please provide details of any legal qualifications deemed necessary prior to the particular officer being authorised to provide immigration advice.
c. Have the officers passed the competence assessments of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)?
d. Do the officers comply with the OISC Guidance in relation to the provision of immigration advice ?
e. Is the advice provided in writing ?
f. Please provide details of the clear line of accountability necessary any supervision of any advice provided or details of any other mechanism by which the advice can be regulated
3. What steps, if any, are taken to prevent parents of Children in Need being discouraged from attending interviews with the social services department due to the fear of immigration enforcement action ?
4. What steps are taken to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children?
5. Please provide the job description and/or person specification of the embedded Home Office worker.
6. Please provide all documents, procedures, policies and / or protocols relating to data protection and information sharing between the Home Office and the local authority.
Dear Amy Murtagh,
Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.
This email has been assigned to a caseworker case ref 46332. We will aim to send you a full response by 22/12/2017 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.
If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Dear Ms Murtagh
Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.
Immigration Enforcement Secretariat
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