Statistics on missing 'looked after children'.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Bristol City Council,

In Section 4, Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers it states quote: Local authorities should collect data on children reported missing from care including repeat episodes of missing from care, unauthorised absences from care placements, and other relevant data and should regularly analyse this in order to map problems and patterns. This should include identifying patterns of sexual and other exploitation.

Good practice suggests that the following data should be collected and analysed by a multi professional group:

Demographics of all children who are missing, absent or away from placement without authorisation;
Associates of the above;
The legal status of the children;
Episodes, and length of episode by child;
Numbers and themes from safe and well checks;
Numbers and themes from return interviews;
Cross match data with local information about gangs, CSE lists, home educated and missing from education lists, including information about children who go missing for part of the school day;
Consideration should be given to analysing where the child is found as this information could help identify links between missing children and criminal groups.
Analyse data by establishment and geographical area.

Data about children and young people who go missing from home, education or care should be included in regular reports to Council members, especially to the Lead Member for Children's Services and in regular reports by the local authority to the LSCB.

I would like available statistical information on the following questions:

1) How many children went missing from foster placements between 1989 -2017?
2) How many children went missing from residential placements between 1989-2017?
3) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were missing for long extended periods of time?
4) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were reported to the local news media?
5) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many have never been found?
6) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were legally under the statutory care of child protection services?
7) How many of the total missing 'looked after' children's cases were deemed preventable, and or due to negligence?

Yours faithfully,

Miss Jodie Sewell

Freedom of Information, Bristol City Council

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No Reply @ Bristol, Bristol City Council

Dear Jodie Sewell 
This is a courtesy email to let you know your Public Information
Request has been received on : 20/03/2018. 
Your unique reference number is "CRN00160837 ". Please keep this
number safe, as you may be required to provide it in the future. 
If you need to add further information concerning your case or
require an update about your response date, please email
[email address
Regards,
Customer Relations Team

"No Reply @ Bristol" <noreply@bristol.gov.uk>, Bristol City Council

You sent us a Freedom of Information request on 20/03/2018

Your request number is CRN00160837

We’ve looked at your request and you should receive a reply on or before 19/04/2018 10:59 This will be 20 working days since your original request.

The request

From: Ms Sewell [mailto:[FOI #472214 email]]
Sent: 19 March 2018 21:35
To: Freedom of Information
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Statistics on missing 'looked after children'.

Dear Bristol City Council,

In Section 4, Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers it states quote: Local authorities should collect data on children reported missing from care including repeat episodes of missing from care, unauthorised absences from care placements, and other relevant data and should regularly analyse this in order to map problems and patterns. This should include identifying patterns of sexual and other exploitation.

Good practice suggests that the following data should be collected and analysed by a multi professional group:

Demographics of all children who are missing, absent or away from placement without authorisation;
Associates of the above;
The legal status of the children;
Episodes, and length of episode by child;
Numbers and themes from safe and well checks;
Numbers and themes from return interviews;
Cross match data with local information about gangs, CSE lists, home educated and missing from education lists, including information about children who go missing for part of the school day;
Consideration should be given to analysing where the child is found as this information could help identify links between missing children and criminal groups.
Analyse data by establishment and geographical area.

Data about children and young people who go missing from home, education or care should be included in regular reports to Council members, especially to the Lead Member for Children's Services and in regular reports by the local authority to the LSCB.

I would like available statistical information on the following questions:

1) How many children went missing from foster placements between 1989 -2017?
2) How many children went missing from residential placements between 1989-2017?
3) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were missing for long extended periods of time?
4) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were reported to the local news media?
5) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many have never been found?
6) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were legally under the statutory care of child protection services?
7) How many of the total missing 'looked after' children's cases were deemed preventable, and or due to negligence?

Yours faithfully,

Miss Jodie Sewell

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Contact details we have for you
Jodie Sewell
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Thanks

Bristol City Council

"Customer Relations Team" <complaints.feedback@bristol.gov.uk>, Bristol City Council

You sent us a Freedom of Information request on 20/03/2018

Your request number is CRN00160837

Our reply to your request is:  

1) How many children went missing from foster placements between 1989
-2017?
2) How many children went missing from residential placements between
1989-2017?
I have answered question 1 and 2 together.  Please note that data
prior to 2013 is not available.  This may be due to the way data from
the legacy system was imported and then mapped to the data warehouse,
or it may reflect improved recording practice.  However, it is likely
to be a combination of both.

yearmissing foster residential
2013 3 0
2014 53 0
2015 57 0
2016 82 2
2017 82 1

3) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
missing for long extended periods of time?
I have answered this as children of all legal status and CIN status
who went missing for a period recorded as longer than six days.
Please note that recent increases are more likely to be due to a
combination of mapping data between the data warehouse and the case
management system (including the legacy system) and better recording
practice.

yearmissing numbermissingmorethan6days
2004 1
2005 1
2009 1
2011 4
2013 2
2014 13
2015 20
2016 24
2017 37

4) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
reported to the local news media?
 
We don t hold information on this that we can easily pull out.
Reporting to media would be a decision about individual children as
part of a multi agency strategy discussion when a child goes missing
and we would need to go into each record to identify the plan made at
the strategy and whether media were to be informed so this would not
be within timescales to do so.
 
5) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many have
never been found?
 
We review children that have gone missing on a weekly basis and we
have no children currently that have never been found. I don t know
how far this goes. Any children that remain missing are held by the
police so they would hold any information about children that are
still missing.

6) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
legally under the statutory care of child protection services?
This question does not make sense, but I ve interpreted it as the
number of children who went missing whilst on a CP plan.

yearmissing numberchildren
2003 1
2004 1
2005 2
2008 3
2010 1
2012 4
2013 1
2014 5
2015 14
2016 25
2017 22

7) How many of the total missing 'looked after' children's cases were
deemed preventable, and or due to negligence?
These details are understood at case level and are not recorded in
the case management system in a way we can report.  Gathering this
data would require a trawl of individual children and missing
episodes.  A recent exercise showed that it takes an average of 21
minutes per record to find information, therefore to search every
episode for every child would take in excess of 18 hours.

 

This response should answer your request in full.

If you re not satisfied with our response, or if you want to appeal
against any exemptions:

Email: [1][Bristol City Council request email]
Write to: Customer Relations (100TS), PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS

If you re still not satisfied with our response:

You can complain to the Information Commissioner. 
Find out how to do this on the Information Commissioner Office
website
 (link to [2]http://ico.org.uk/concerns)

Copyright

You do not own the copyright to any of the information we give you.
Copyright may be owned by the council or by a third party.

You are not allowed to:

·         make a copy of the information

·         use the information commercially

If you want to copy or use the information in any way you should ask
us for permission in writing first. We can t give permission if it is
from a third party.

 

Kind regards

Bristol City Council

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Bristol City Council request email]
2. http://ico.org.uk/concerns

"Customer Relations Team" <complaints.feedback@bristol.gov.uk>, Bristol City Council

Further to our response to you last week, please see amended response. 

You sent us a Freedom of Information request on 20/03/2018

Your request number is CRN00160837

1) How many children went missing from foster placements between 1989
-2017?
2) How many children went missing from residential placements between
1989-2017?

Questions 1 and 2 have been answered together.  Please note that due
to changes in databases and recording systems, the following is data
from 2013 only. 

 

yearmissing foster residential
2013 3 0
2014 53 0
2015 57 0
2016 82 2
2017 82 1

3) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
missing for long extended periods of time?

We have answered this for children of all legal status and CIN status
who went missing for a period recorded as longer than six days.
Please note that recent increases are more likely to be due to a
combination of an improved data system and recording practice.

 

yearmissing numbermissingmorethan6days
2004 1
2005 1
2009 1
2011 4
2013 2
2014 13
2015 20
2016 24
2017 37

4) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
reported to the local news media?

 

It is not possible to provide this information without searching
individual records. Reporting missing children to local media is a
decision taken on an individual basis as part of a multiagency
strategy discussion/review when a child is missing. As such, this
would take more than the 18 hours allotted for an FOI response.

 

5) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many have
never been found?

 

We review children that have gone missing on a daily basis and
according to the risk assessment. This is reported on a weekly basis
to senior leaders within the local authority. Any children that
remain missing are subject to a multiagency strategy discussion
between the Local Authority and Police.

 

On the very rare occasion that a child is not found, the case is
closed to Social Work with both Police and Social Work retaining
records of these children. This data cannot be identified through the
local authority database without examining individual records of all
children where the record has been closed and cannot therefore be
reported within the timescales allotted for an FOI response.

6) Of the total number of children that went missing, how many were
legally under the statutory care of child protection services?

 

We have interpreted this question as a request for the number of
children who went missing whilst on a Child Protection plan:

yearmissing numberchildren
2003 1
2004 1
2005 2
2008 3
2010 1
2012 4
2013 1
2014 5
2015 14
2016 25
2017 22

7) How many of the total missing 'looked after' children's cases were
deemed preventable, and or due to negligence?

Our approach to missing children, whether in the care of the local
authority or their parents is to try to understand and address the
push/pull factors that have led to the missing episode. As such, we
aim to prevent or minimise missing episodes. 

 

This response should answer your request in full.

If you re not satisfied with our response, or if you want to appeal
against any exemptions:

Email: [1][Bristol City Council request email]
Write to: Customer Relations (100TS), PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS

If you re still not satisfied with our response:

You can complain to the Information Commissioner. 
Find out how to do this on the Information Commissioner Office
website
 (link to [2]http://ico.org.uk/concerns)

Copyright

You do not own the copyright to any of the information we give you.
Copyright may be owned by the council or by a third party.

You are not allowed to:

·         make a copy of the information

·         use the information commercially

If you want to copy or use the information in any way you should ask
us for permission in writing first. We can t give permission if it is
from a third party.

 

Kind regards

Bristol City Council

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Bristol City Council request email]
2. http://ico.org.uk/concerns

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