Policies and Definitions (Child Services and Diversity)

Ms Segretti made this Freedom of Information request to Milton Keynes Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to seek document pertaining to:

1. Child Services Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Practices

2. Job Descriptions, Qualification requirements, training and experience requirements; for each level of employee in Child Services

3. Definition of lifestyle choices as used by Child Service officer in assessment reports.

4. Diversity Policy and Guidelines for Internal Council purposes, and Policy and Guidelines for Diversity as applied to the general community.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Segretti

Milton Keynes Council

Dear Sir/Madam

This is an automated email.

Re: Freedom of Information request - Policies and Definitions (Child Services and Diversity)

Thank you for contacting Milton Keynes Council at the following email address:

[Milton Keynes Council request email]

We try to reply to all email quickly and effectively and to help us to do this we have set up a reply system which automatically sends email to the service area directly. Consequently, you need take no further action. Our system has logged your email enquiry and you will receive a reply shortly. Please direct any further queries on this matter to [Milton Keynes Council request email].

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Spencer, Jane, Milton Keynes Council

Dear Ms Segretti

Could you please elaborate on the title 'Child Services employee /
officer'. If you can be more specific about the work area you are
enquiring about this will facilitate a response.

Thank you

Jane Spencer - Freedom of Information Liaison Officer

Knowledge & Information Team | Partnerships, Commissioning and
Performance
Children and Young People's Service | Milton Keynes Council
Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253518 | www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

show quoted sections

Dear Spencer, Jane,

In your Child Services department you have a range of staff. The term "Officers" is generally given to employees in Child Services to create a perception of some formal authority. This would cover everyone from a Manager to a front line Home Visiting "Officer".

I really can't be more specific. Consider it to be all Staff in Child Services. Either way the Policy defining terms and definitions would apply to all person employed, as definitions should be universal.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Spencer, Jane, Milton Keynes Council

Dear Ms Segretti

Thank you for your response. However, I am still not clear precisely
which area you are asking about. All council staff are referred to as
'officers' regardless of where they work and staff from many areas make
visits to homes

Milton Keynes Council has a Children & Young People's Service which
encompasses Specialist Services (Children's Social Care), Universal
Services (Early years, schools / education) Targeted Services (SEN,
Youth Offending). Your question 4 is generic to Milton Keynes Council
but the previous questions seem to about a more specific area.

As different areas within the Children and Young People's Service will
have some separate policies and procedures as well as different
qualification and training requirements I need to be clear which area of
the Children and Young People's Service you are enquiring about.

Jane Spencer - Freedom of Information Liaison officer
Knowledge & Information Team | Partnerships, Commissioning and
Performance
Children and Young People's Service | Milton Keynes Council
Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253518 | www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

show quoted sections

Dear Spencer, Jane,

Thanks for providing the range of areas. I beleive the interest will be CHILDREN'S SOCIAL CARE.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Dear Milton Keynes Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Milton Keynes Council's handling of my FOI request 'Policies and Definitions (Child Services and Diversity)'.

It has been nearly a year since the request was made.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ms Segretti

Milton Keynes Council

Dear Sir/Madam

This is an automated email.

Re: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Policies and Definitions (Child Services and Diversity)

Thank you for contacting Milton Keynes Council at the following email address:

[Milton Keynes Council request email]

We try to reply to all email quickly and effectively and to help us to do this we have set up a reply system which automatically sends email to the service area directly. Consequently, you need take no further action. Our system has logged your email enquiry and you will receive a reply shortly. Please direct any further queries on this matter to [Milton Keynes Council request email].

Please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting Milton Keynes Council.

Visit the official Milton Keynes web site at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk.

**** This email and any attachments hereto are strictly confidential and intended solely for the addressee. It may contain information which is privileged. If you are not the intended addressee, you must not disclose, forward, copy or take any action in reliance of this email or attachments. If you have received this email in error, please delete it and notify us as soon as possible.

The anti-virus software used by Milton Keynes Council is updated regularly in an effort to minimise the possibility of viruses infecting our systems. However, you should be aware that there is no absolute guarantee that any files attached to this email are virus free.****

Skeete, Chantelle, Milton Keynes Council

1 Attachment

Good afternoon,

Please see attached an initial response to your complaint regarding last
years FOI request, sent on behalf of Amanda Farr. We currently do not have
a home address for you, if you would like to receive a hard copy of your
full response please could you provide us with your address and we will
arrange this.

Yours sincerely,

Chantelle Skeete

Communications and Customer Care Assistant | Partnerships, Commissioning
and Performance

Children and Young People's Services | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253247 | | F 01908 253289 [1]www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

Visit the Milton Keynes Council web site at http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Please consider the environment and don't print this email unless you really need to

**** This email and any attachments hereto are strictly confidential and intended solely for the addressee. It may contain information which is privileged. If you are not the intended addressee, you must not disclose, forward, copy or take any action in reliance of this email or attachments. If you have received this email in error, please delete it and notify us as soon as possible.

The anti-virus software used by Milton Keynes Council is updated regularly in an effort to minimise the possibility of viruses infecting our systems. However, you should be aware that there is no absolute guarantee that any files attached to this email are virus free.****

References

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Ms Segretti left an annotation ()

I am speechless! They apologise that I'm dissatisfied that they have not responded to my FOI request made a year ago.

Shouldn't they really be apologising for NOT completing the FOI request made a year ago?

George Owell must be laughing in his grave with tears.

Skeete, Chantelle, Milton Keynes Council

1 Attachment

Good afternoon,

Please see attached a full response to your complaint regarding last years
FOI request, sent on behalf of Amanda Farr. The letter contains links to
websites for information; please see below for easy reference.

[1]http://www.reconstruct.co.uk/procedures/...

[2]http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/equaliti...

[3]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

We currently do not have a home address for you, if you would like to
receive a hard copy of your full response please could you provide us with
your address and we will arrange this.

Yours sincerely,

Chantelle Skeete

Communications and Customer Care Assistant | Partnerships, Commissioning
and Performance

Children and Young People's Services | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253247 | | F 01908 253289 [4]www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

Visit the Milton Keynes Council web site at http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Please consider the environment and don't print this email unless you really need to

**** This email and any attachments hereto are strictly confidential and intended solely for the addressee. It may contain information which is privileged. If you are not the intended addressee, you must not disclose, forward, copy or take any action in reliance of this email or attachments. If you have received this email in error, please delete it and notify us as soon as possible.

The anti-virus software used by Milton Keynes Council is updated regularly in an effort to minimise the possibility of viruses infecting our systems. However, you should be aware that there is no absolute guarantee that any files attached to this email are virus free.****

References

Visible links
1. http://www.reconstruct.co.uk/procedures/...
2. http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/equaliti...
3. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
4. http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk
file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Dear Skeete, Chantelle,

Thank you for your reply. I note that you were unable to find any referances to 'Life style choices' within your Child Services Department.

I note that 'Lie style choices' is stated by your Child Services department in reports. Could you please seek information from Sarah Green-Hurst and Vikki Blakeston to provide the definitions if what their understanding of 'life style choices' are in relation to Children's Services.

If they are unable to provide details, could you please ask and provide me with information as to why the term was used in Child Services Assessment reports but lacks any clear understandable definition in law or within Milton Keynes Policies, Practices and Procedures.

The European Court of Human Rights has determined that where a Government agency refers to terms or policies they must be clear and understandable so that a person may adjust their conduct accordingly.

If Milton Keynes Council has no definition, could you please ask your Children's Services Department how a Parent is expected to understand what your departments meaning of 'life style choices' in relation to children is, if there is no basis for the term, no definition of the term and no statutory reference to the term.

Is it possible that your Children's Services department made up the term for the purpose of demonstrating prejudice or to cause confusion to parents?

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Dear Skeete, Chantelle,

I have further searched your Policies and Procedures and am unable to find any reference to the meaning of the term 'emotional development'. It was expected that the term would be defined in your policies and would not actually require unique attention within the request.

Could you please provide any documents, definitions or policies that outline what the meaning of the use of the term 'emotional development' in relation to children, is set out clearly.

In the alternative could you confirm that the term 'emotional development' is not a defined term and that Milton Keynes Council does not recognise it's use or meaning.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Dear Skeete, Chantelle,

You provided links to your Child Care Procedures, however the procedure is dated 4 September 2010.

My request was made in November 2009. Could you please provide the policies that were in effect between July 2008 and November which would be in line with my request.

It seems a bit far fetched to reply with a policy dated nearly a year after the request! We can't predict the future that well yet!

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Skeete, Chantelle, Milton Keynes Council

12 Attachments

Dear Ms Segretti,

Please find attached a response to your follow up enquiries and the
information you asked for under the original FOI.

Yours sincerely,

Chantelle Skeete

Communications and Customer Care Assistant | Partnerships, Commissioning
and Performance

Children and Young People's Services | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253247 | | F 01908 253289 [1]www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

show quoted sections

Shayler, Pauline, Milton Keynes Council

Forwarded on behalf of Jane Spencer, Freedom of Information Liaison
Officer

Dear Ms Segretti

Your request for information (ref 112953) has now been considered and the
information requested is below:

Milton Keynes Council Children's Social Care does not have a specific
policy document regarding emotional development. Working Together to
Safeguard Children sets out how organisations and individuals should work
together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people
in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004. It
links with other documents, for example, the Framework for the Assessment
of Children in Need and their Families and is the statutory guidance
within which all Children's Social Care Departments work when assessing
the needs of children.

1. [1]Working Together to Safeguard Children -
Online Publications

1. [2]Framework for the assessment of children
in need and their

You will find links to additional sources of information within the above
documents.

If you have a complaint about the handling of your request then please
contact me. I will arrange for an internal review which will be
considered as part of Stage 3 of the Council's Complaints' Procedure.

You also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel 01625 545 70

www. Informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Jane

Jane Spencer

Performance Manager (Children's Social Care)

Performance & Business Transformation| Partnerships, Commissioning and
Performance

Children and Young People's Service | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253518 | [3]www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

From: Ms Segretti [mailto:[FOI #22469 email]]

Sent: 25 November 2010 15:41

To: Skeete, Chantelle

Subject: Re: Complaint 110213 - Internal review of Freedom of Information
request - Policies and Definitions (Child Services and Diversity)

Dear Skeete, Chantelle,

I have further searched your Policies and Procedures and am unable

to find any reference to the meaning of the term 'emotional

development'. It was expected that the term would be defined in

your policies and would not actually require unique attention

within the request.

Could you please provide any documents, definitions or policies

that outline what the meaning of the use of the term 'emotional

development' in relation to children, is set out clearly.

In the alternative could you confirm that the term 'emotional

development' is not a defined term and that Milton Keynes Council

does not recognise it's use or meaning.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Visit the Milton Keynes Council web site at
http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Please consider the environment and don't print this email unless you
really need to

**** This email and any attachments hereto are strictly confidential and
intended solely for the addressee. It may contain information which is
privileged. If you are not the intended addressee, you must not disclose,
forward, copy or take any action in reliance of this email or attachments.
If you have received this email in error, please delete it and notify us
as soon as possible.

The anti-virus software used by Milton Keynes Council is updated regularly
in an effort to minimise the possibility of viruses infecting our systems.
However, you should be aware that there is no absolute guarantee that any
files attached to this email are virus free.****

References

Visible links
1. http://publications.education.gov.uk/def...
2. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsands...
3. http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/

Dear Shayler, Pauline,

I'm having difficulty putting all the information you have provided under this request with the actual practices of your Children's Services department.

I have a report from your CS that uses the terms that have been requested as part of this FOI request, that is:

'lifestyle choice'

'emotional development'

These terms are used throughout the report as indicators that a Child is or may be in significant harm.

Yet on both matters you are unable to provide a response that has a definition and how your CS department act in accordance with your policies and procedures.

At this time, I'm left with the conclusion that your CS staff act ultra vires.

Could you please seek further advice from your head of Children's services on the use and definition of these two phrases as to:

a) are they personal terms used by a specific employee that have no statutory or operational meaning; or

b) are these terms defined and part of MKC's general operational and assessment process and if so, where are the terms defined to provide a uniform and consistent application in pursuit of law and human rights obligations.

I do need a response urgently as I am about to release a documentary that may be rather harmful in it's presentation about MKC, rather than explain why MKC staff have acted in a particular manner.

The staff will be clearly identified in the documentary including their names, their appearance at the time of the case study and their conduct during the assessment.

The question of the documentary is 'What do they mean?'

I thank you for your assistance and hope you can provide me with an urgent response so that we can use the documentary as an education and information example, rather than where it currently stands as MKC acting punitively and outside it's obligations to the Human Rights laws.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Shayler, Pauline, Milton Keynes Council

Thank you for your email, I have forwarded this onto Jane Spencer who is
the Freedom of Information Liaison Officer who will respond to your
comments.

Pauline Shayler
PA to Alastair Gibbons Assistant Director
Specialist Services
01908 253160

show quoted sections

Shayler, Pauline, Milton Keynes Council

Forwarded on behalf of Jane Spencer, Freedom of Information Liaison
Officer

Dear Ms Segretti

After further consideration of your communication of 20 December 2010, we
refer you to responses previously given which include links to relevant
information.

Jane Spencer

Performance Manager (Children's Social Care)

Performance & Business Transformation| Partnerships, Commissioning and
Performance

Children and Young People's Service | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253518 | www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

show quoted sections

Dear Shayler, Pauline,

Yes, we're read the previous information.

Put another way:

Can you confirm that the terms and phrases used, as subject to this request, by your Social Services staff are not defined in policy, statute of practice.

Can you confirm that the terms and phrases used are invoked on a subjective individual basis and that no Social Worker within MKC would have a standard to which those terms apply.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Segretti

Shayler, Pauline, Milton Keynes Council

Forwarded on behalf of Jane Spencer, Freedom of Information Liaison
Officer

Dear Mrs Segretti

MKC has answered your Freedom of Information request and refer you to our
responses previously given. In view of your enquiries having been dealt
with previously we will not respond to further correspondence on this
matter.

Yours sincerely

Jane

Jane Spencer

Performance Manager (Children's Social Care)

Performance & Business Transformation| Partnerships, Commissioning and
Performance

Children and Young People's Service | Milton Keynes Council

Saxon Court | 502 Avebury Boulevard | Milton Keynes | MK9 3HS | T 01908
253518 | [1]www.milton-keynes.gov.uk

Our vision is that all our children and young people are happy, safe,
healthy and successful and achieve their full potential in the
aspirational community of Milton Keynes

show quoted sections

Barbara Richards left an annotation ()

I'm adding this annotation because I am a survivor of the Staffordshire Pindown child abuse in a childrens "home" called Chadswell Assessment Centre, not my idea of a home, I was kept in a cell most of the time I was there, and I was only put in there as a "place of safety" after trying to run away from being raped. I am really dissapointed in the way it is made as difficult as possible for people like me to get any information to try to heal from the abuse we suffered as children.