Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care Agreements

The request was partially successful.

Dear East Lothian Council,

Under FOISA please provide me with the information contained in your records as follows:
1. The Total amount of the tax payers money spent on Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care Agreements since 1st April 2014 until present date?

Please break this figure down year on year month on month and week on week.
Please also include the number of types of agreement into your criteria, i.e. Informal Residence order: Informal Guardianship Order: Informal Kinship Carer Agreement?

2. The Total number of children that social work have arranged an Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care Agreements since 1st April 2014 until present date?

Please break this figure down year on year month on month and week on week.
Please also include the number of types of agreement into your criteria, i.e. Informal Residence order: Informal Guardianship Order: Informal Kinship Carer Agreement?

3.Please provide me with your full policy and procedure used to ensure that all informal agreements are done so within the confines of the law.

I shall expect your full and frank response within 20 working days or I will be requesting an internal review with a view to getting this request to the Scottish Information Commissioner as quickly as I possibly can.

Yours faithfully,

Samantha Kerr

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

Thank you for your email.

 

This automated message is East Lothian Council’s acknowledgement that your
information request has been received and is receiving attention.  The
statutory timescales for responses are as follows:

 

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 20 working days
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 20 working days
Internal Reviews 20 working days

 

We will contact you again in due course.

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

Email: [1][East Lothian Council request email]

 

Information about East Lothian Council’s complaints procedure can be found
[2]here.

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [3]here.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for the enforcement
of Scotland's freedom of information laws.  Guidance regarding your rights
of access to information held by Scottish public authorities is available
on the Commissioner’s [4]website.

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[East Lothian Council request email]
2. https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/2105...
3. Link to ELC website
http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/704/d...
4. Link to SIC website
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/

Dear East Lothian Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of East Lothian Council's handling of my FOI request 'Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care agreements.

Failure to respond: Should you require any clarification regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Samantha Kerr

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

Thank you for your email.

 

This automated message is East Lothian Council’s acknowledgement that your
information request has been received and is receiving attention.  The
statutory timescales for responses are as follows:

 

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 20 working days
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 20 working days
Internal Reviews 20 working days

 

We will contact you again in due course.

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

Email: [1][East Lothian Council request email]

 

Information about East Lothian Council’s complaints procedure can be found
[2]here.

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [3]here.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for the enforcement
of Scotland's freedom of information laws.  Guidance regarding your rights
of access to information held by Scottish public authorities is available
on the Commissioner’s [4]website.

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[East Lothian Council request email]
2. https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/2105...
3. Link to ELC website
http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/704/d...
4. Link to SIC website
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

Our Ref: 2019/649785

 

Dear Ms Kerr,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2004

 

Thank you for your email of 28 September.

 

I confirm that East Lothian Council will carry out an internal review of
your information request of 30 August.  In order to ensure an impartial
approach, an independent senior officer will be appointed to carry out the
review.  The reviewing officer’s  response should be issued to you no
later than 28 October.

 

In order for East Lothian Council to process your original request
efficiently, it would be most helpful if you could please clarify the
following. We are not sure which legislation you are referring to. While
kinship carers can apply for a Residence Order from Scottish Courts under
s12 of Children (Scotland) Act 1995, there is no such thing as an
“Informal Residence Order” which is arranged by social work.

  

“Special Guardianship Order” is an English term and does not apply to
Scotland. We think you may be using English legal terminology. If so
Scotland has different legislation. There are some broad similarities but
there will be differences. Our legal duties and powers come from different
legislation. 

 

We are also bound by an agreement on parity payments with looked after
children’s foster carers, made between COSLA members and Scottish
Government as well as Scottish Government Guidance which influences our
payments to some carers.  

 

For your information, I have provided an extract from the website of the
Scottish Information Commissioner which explains how our request affects
the timescales of this enquiry:

 

[1]What happens to the 20 working day period if I need more information
from the applicant to let me deal with the request?

 

If you need to ask the applicant for further information to help you
identify and locate the information they want, the 20 working days "clock"
does not start counting down until you have received their clarification.
The deadline for compliance will be the twentieth working day after you
receive additional information from the applicant.

 

Public authorities must not misuse this by delaying asking the applicant
for further information in order to give themselves more time to reply
when the additional information isn't really needed.

 

Thank you for your assistance in this matter, I look forward to hearing
from you in due course. 

 

If you are still not satisfied with our decision following the review
process, then you may ask the Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner (OSIC) to investigate the matter.  You may submit your appeal
online via OSIC’s website, a link to the online appeal service is provided
for your convenience: 
[2]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR...

 

Alternatively, you may contact OSIC at:

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

 

Telephone:  01334 464610

Fax:  01334 464611

E-mail:  [3][email address]

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the Commissioner’s decision, you may
be able to appeal to the Court of Session.   You should, however, obtain
legal advice before deciding on this course of action.  This is because an
appeal may only be made on a point of law, not because you disagree with
the Commissioner’s view of the case. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

William Kelley

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

Email: [4][East Lothian Council request email]

 

Information about East Lothian Council’s complaints procedure can be found
[5]here.

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [6]here.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for the enforcement
of Scotland's freedom of information laws.  Guidance regarding your rights
of access to information held by Scottish public authorities is available
on the Commissioner’s [7]website.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Byrne, Lindsey, East Lothian Council

Our Ref: 2019/649785

 

 

Dear Ms Kerr,

 

Following your request for an internal review of East Lothian Council’s
handling of your Freedom of Information request, I am now in a position to
provide you with a response.

 

In reviewing the records, I can confirm that your request was received by
East Lothian Freedom of Information Team on 30^th August 2019. The request
was then sent to East Lothian Children’s Services on the 2^nd September
2019. Children’s Services were unable to respond to the request
immediately and it would appear that human error led to further delay.
Unfortunately, there was also an internal administrative error within our
Freedom of Information which resulted in a lack of follow up to prompt
Children’s Services for a response.  When the Freedom of Information Team
highlighted the delay, Children’s Services subsequently requested further
clarification about the parameters of the information required and this
was sent to the Freedom of Information Team on 30^th September 2019.  

 

It would appear that your request relates to English legislation which
does not necessarily translate to Scottish legislation, terms and
procedure. We await clarification from you about this.

 

I would like to apologise for the delay you have experienced and we will
be reviewing our processes to ensure we avoid similar issues in the
future.

 

If you are still not satisfied with our decision following the review
process, then you may ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to
investigate the matter. You must do so within 6 months of the date of this
notice. You may contact the Commissioner at:

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

 

Telephone: 01334 464610

Fax: 01334 464611

E-mail: [1][email address]

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the Commissioner’s decision, you may
be able to appeal to the Court of Session. You should, however, obtain
legal advice before deciding on this course of action. This is because an
appeal may only be made on a point of law, not because you disagree with
the Commissioner’s view of the case.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Lindsey Byrne

Group Service Manager, Children’s Services

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Byrne, Lindsey,

To assist, I will narrow the scope to kinship care payments, child numbers and policy, procedures (guidance).

Yours sincerely,

Samantha Kerr

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

2 Attachments

Our Ref: 2019/649785

 

Dear Ms Kerr

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2004

 

In response to your enquiry of 30 August, which was clarified on 25
October, on behalf of East Lothian Council I am now able to provide the
information you require; please refer to the PDF attachments.  I hope this
information will be of interest to you.

 

Please note that an internal review of your request was recently carried
out by Lindsey Byrne, Group Service Manager, Children’s Services.  The
internal review was because of the Council's failure to respond to your
request within timescales and the review decision was issued to you 23
October.  Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the information we have
now provided in response to your request, then you may ask the Office of
the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC) to investigate the matter. 
You may submit your appeal online via OSIC’s website, a link to the online
appeal service is provided for your convenience: 
[1]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR...
 

 

Alternatively, you may contact OSIC at:

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

 

Telephone:  01334 464610

Fax:  01334 464611

E-mail:  [email address]

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the Commissioner’s decision, you may
be able to appeal to the Court of Session.   You should, however, obtain
legal advice before deciding on this course of action.  This is because an
appeal may only be made on a point of law, not because you disagree with
the Commissioner’s view of the case. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Shelley Neville

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

Email: [2][East Lothian Council request email]  

 

show quoted sections