Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request- Project 17

The request was refused by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Sir/Madam,

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.

Contact details:

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

Policies:

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.

Subsistence:

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.

Yours faithfully,

Blessing

Freedom of Information, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Blessings

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. In order for us to log your request I would be grateful if you could submit your full name. This is following ICO guidelines, please see below.

Section 8 states that a request for information should state the name of the applicant.

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list.
Example
Is this a valid request? What would the ICO’s approach likely to be?
The applicant only uses one name e.g. Adrian or initials e.g. S.P.H. No Albeit that the Act only states that “the” name of the applicant is required rather than ‘the full’ name of the applicant, the Commissioner would not consider it unreasonable to ask for a full name to be provided. This is also appropriate given that it could lead to unnecessary confusion/delay/possible data protection breaches if applicants cannot be distinguished from one another.

Kind regards,

Customer Liaison Team
Knowsley Council
Archway Road
Huyton
Knowsley
Merseyside
L36 9YH

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