Locking up innocent children

The request was successful.

Dear Birmingham City Council,

1. Since 1 January 2014 how many girls looked after by Birmingham Childrens Services, under the age of 14 were placed in a secure unit?

2. For the children relevant to question 1 please state:

A. How many were under a Care Order?
B. how many were accommodated under section 20?
C. How many had NO criminal record/convictions.

3. Why are girls under the age of 14 placed on secure units?

4. Prior to placing a girl under 14 on a secure unit, who is consulted and whose opinions are considered?

5. Do you have any policies relating to 13 year old children who run away from placements. Eg increasing parent contact, asking child's wishes and feelings etc?

Yours faithfully,

Sophie

Tracey Robinson, Birmingham City Council

Dear Sophie

 

Thank you for your request for information held by the Council under the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which was received on
12.5.2014.

 

We will contact you again once it has been ascertained what data is held
by Birmingham City Council.  In some circumstances a fee may be payable
and if that is the case, we will let you know.  A fees notice will be
issued to you, and you will be required to pay before we will proceed with
your request.

 

If you require any further information or are not happy with our response
please do not hesitate to contact me quoting the reference number above in
any future communications.  Steve Cullen should also be copied in on any
correspondence relating to this request.

 

Yours sincerely

Tracey Robinson

Business Continuity and Information Governance Officer

 

 

Sent on behalf of:

Steve Cullen

Information Governance Manager

Governance and Policy

Children, Young People and Families Directorate

Birmingham City Council

 

Tel: 0121 464 4591

Email: [1][email address]

 

Data Protection Act 1998

The information you have provided within your Freedom of Information
request will be held on our database and may also be held within manual
records for a period of 2 years from the date Birmingham City Council
received your request. Any personal data that you provide to Birmingham
City Council will be held in line with the requirements set out within the
Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Re Use of Public Sector Information

Where Birmingham City Council is the copyright holder of any information
that may be released, re-use for personal, educational or non-commercial
purposes is permitted without further reference to the City Council. Where
the re-use is for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, the applicant
should notify the City Council in writing to seek approval or agree terms
for re-use.

 

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Tracey Robinson, Birmingham City Council

 

Dear Sophie

 

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the
Authority under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

 

1. Since 1 January 2014 how many girls looked after by Birmingham
Children’s Services, under the age of 14 were placed in a secure unit?

 

2.  For the children relevant to question 1 please state:

 

A.  How many were under a Care Order?

B. how many were accommodated under section 20?

C. How many had NO criminal record/convictions.

 

3. Why are girls under the age of 14 placed on secure units?

 

4. Prior to placing a girl under 14 on a secure unit, who is consulted and
whose opinions are considered?

 

5. Do you have any policies relating to 13 year old children who run away
from placements. Eg increasing parent contact, asking child's wishes and
feelings etc?

 

Please see response below:

 

Response to Question 1, Question 2 A, B & C

1.     Since 1^st January 2014 no girls looked after by Birmingham
Children’s Services, under the age of 14 were placed in a secure unit.

 

Young women under the age of 14 may be held in secure accommodation for
welfare reasons, and for youth justice reasons.

 

2c is not applicable based on response for question 1. 

 

3. Why are girls under the age of 14 placed on secure units?

As with any young person, this would only be considered if the legal
conditions are met.  These are

(a) that—

(i) s/he has a history of absconding and is likely to abscond from any
other description of accommodation; and

(ii) if s/he absconds, s/he is likely to suffer significant harm; or

(b) that if s/he is kept in any other description of accommodation s/he is
likely to injure himself or other persons.

 

4. Prior to placing a girl under 14 on a secure unit, who is consulted and
whose opinions are considered?

If it appeared that the legal provisions were met the social worker would
initially discuss the proposal with their manager.  It would then be
discussed with other managers within the local authority who likely to be
able to identify alternative courses of action to avoid the need for a
secure placement. 

Then discussion with the child’s current carer is likely – to plan the
level and type of supervision the young person will need while the
proposal is under consideration. 

Discussion must take place with the young person and with their parents –
unless this would put members of the public at risk of serious injury
(Children Act 1989 Section 22(4) – (6))

 

5. Do you have any policies relating to 13 year old children who run away
from placements. Eg increasing parent contact, asking child's wishes and
feelings etc?

We have no policies specific to 13 year olds who may run away from
placement.  Seeking the child’s wishes and feelings and promoting contact
with parents, relatives, friends and others are general duties the local
authority holds in respect of all looked after children (Children Act 1989
Schedule 2 Paragraph 15)

 

 

If you have any information which may assist us in determining or locating
any missed information, we would be grateful if you would contact us with
details of this information, so that we can conduct a further search.

 

If you are not satisfied with the response you may ask for an internal
review.  If subsequently you are not satisfied with the Council's decision
you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at the following address:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 01625 545745             Web Address: [1]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

Tracey Robinson

Business Continuity and Information Governance Officer

 

 

Sent of behalf of:

Steve Cullen

Information Governance Manager

Governance and Policy Team

Directorate for People

Birmingham City Council

 

Tel: 0121 464 4591

Email: [2][email address]

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