Payments for Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care Agreements

The request was successful.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway 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

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 30/08/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 434329 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 27/09/2019.

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If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 434329 which was received on 30/08/2019.

Details of request: 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.

Response:

Nil return for all questions.We have no informal residence/special guardian/kinship care agreements.

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

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Sean Nealon left an annotation ()

An unsurprising response from the local authority give Scottish local authorities have no involvement in setting up (and therefore would hold no policy on) informal guardianships, residence orders or kinship care agreements.

Informal being the key word.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Payments for Informal Residence/Special Guardian/Kinship Care Agreements'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

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

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

The request was for the following
1. Payments for Informal Residence
2. Special Guardian
3. Kinship Care Agreements not informal kinship care but kinship care.
You will find that you can answer No.3 on this request.

Edinburgh City Council did well in their statutory duty in assisting the requester, they asked for clarification: Which can be found here. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Therefore as not every member of the public as degree especially not a 12 year old, in social policy: Let me help you fulfil your statutory duty under FOiSA:

If you could list the types of care agreements that are arranged by your LAC, for example informal kinship care, formal kinship care agreements including any other agreement which may have another title, as I would not like to think you are playing semantics with me?

If you could provide the payments made since 1st April 2014 until present date broken down year on year month on month .

Additionally if you can provide the number of children that appertain to the month by month payments, giving year on year totals for both payments and number of children?

West Lothian Council were exceptionally helpful to go out off their way to explain how this all works and converges with legislation.

There is no policy in relation to Informal Kinship agreements however there is Scottish
legislation around Kinship Agreements in ‘Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009’
and ‘Children (Scotland) Act 1995’.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/guidan...

Where a child is being cared for informally, and therefore not covered by the regulations, information should be available about areas such as the use of section 22 of the 1995 Act for support in kind or cash in certain circumstances; payments under section 50 of the Children Act 1975 or financial or other supports to assist kinship carers who have some parental rights and responsibilities under section 11 of the 1995 Act. This is not new, but as local authorities develop their services for kinship carers for looked after children, it will be good practice to monitor support to other informal kinship arrangements where there are comparable needs. Financial and other practical support may be vital in sustaining any kinship arrangement which needs to be addressed alongside the particular circumstances to be taken into account in considering the need for a child to be regarded as 'looked after'.

Please now answer the request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Samantha Kerr

Sean Nealon left an annotation ()

Why is Samantha Kerr contacting Dumfries and Galloway to request a review of an FOI response by Aberdeenshire Council? 🤔

McCaa, Gillian, Dumfries and Galloway Council

5 Attachments

PUBLIC

Dear Ms Kerr

 

Following your request to the Scottish Information Commissioner and their
subsequent decision issued on case 201902179 where the Commissioner’s

decision finds that the Council failed to respond to comply with the
applicant’s requirement for review within the timescale set down by the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). Furthermore, the
Commissioner has ordered the Council to comply with the requirement for
review.

 

Please find attached our response to the decision as follows:

 

Please note that in 2014/15 the kinship care policy does refer to informal
kinship care; this referred to those kinship carer prior to being approved
at the kinship panel.  This status no longer applies as  a decision was
taken to pay all kinship carers from date of placement and the
discretionary period of 12 weeks did not apply.  This payment arrangement
also meant that discretionary payments to kinship carers were no longer
necessary due to them receiving the kinship care payment from date of
placement.  The timescale of completion of a 12 week kinship assessment
still stands and presentation to the kinship panel for approval.  The
status of the kinship carer following panel will change from pre- approved
kinship carer to approved kinship carer.

 

Question 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.

 

Answer 1.

 

We do not have any informal residence orders.

 

We do not have any informal guardianship orders.  This is an English order
and one which we do not use.

 

We do not have any informal kinship care agreements.  We do however have
formal kinship care agreements in place for all kinship care arrangements
known to the Local Authority.

 

For those families whom we are involved with in a kinship care
arrangements this will be on a statutory basis and not an informal basis.
  Therefore we do not use the term informal.   The use of informal kinship
care would apply to those families living in the community who have
entered into a private arrangement and with whom there is no statutory
involvement from social work services.  This being the case we would have
no locus in such instances therefore we do not record this information.

 

Question 2

If you could list the types of care agreements that are arranged by your
LAC, for example informal kinship care, formal kinship care agreements
including any other agreement which may have another title, as I would not
like to think you are playing semantics with me?

 

The type of care arrangements for LAC are either

o Looked After Children who are in kinship Care
o Looked After Children  subject to a statutory supervision order  
o Children and Young people subject to a residence order.

 

If you could provide the payments made since 1st April 2014 until present
date broken down year on year month on month. Additionally if you can
provide the number of children that appertain to the month by month
payments, giving year on year totals for both payments and number of
children?

 

Answer 2

As per the attached spreadsheet

 

Regards

FOI Unit

Dumfries and Galloway Council

 

Disclaimer:

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted
with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual
or entity to whom they are addressed. 

 

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment)
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies.  If you
are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure,
review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is
strictly prohibited.  Please be aware that communication by internet email
is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. 
Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or
damage which may result from this email or any files attached.  It is your
responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses
or other defects.

 

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council
for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the
policy on staff use.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be
used.

 

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be
disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  For further information and to view the
Council’s privacy statement please click  [1]here

 

P SAVE PAPER - Please do not print this e-mail unless absolutely
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PUBLIC

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