The Social Work identification of Emotional Harm to Children – SOPs, Flow Charts, Risk Assessments, Law Enacted

East Lothian Council did not have the information requested.

Dear East Lothian Council,

Background to this FOISA 2002 request

Parents who have identified through a Data Protection Act 2018 Subject Access Request that an organisation or organisations hold false, erroneous and libellous information on them [potentially with this information being passed to the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)] may contact the Children's Services – Children & Families Social Work Department and raise a Child Welfare Concern detailing that the lies being disseminated about that parent could emotionally harm their child/children.

In short a child could be emotionally harmed by the belief that “mum is a criminal" when that is not the case.

Such emotional harm could occur when persons closely associated with the child [e.g. resident parent, neighbours, school teachers, Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates (IDAAs)] file false police reports and Police Scotland Domestic Abuse Liaison Officers (DALOs) pass on false information to the local authority Children's Services – Children & Families Social Work Department, and this Department fails in their “fact checking obligations”.

In one case in Stirling such a Child Welfare Concern resulted in a school Head Teacher being contacted. This Head Teacher may have been a participant at a MARAC and had been involved in communications leading up to the arrest of that parent at the school (which including child welfare concerns raised by the parent who was arrested outside of the school).

Clearly “multi-agency working” can be consanguineous which could lead public sector workers to be having serious conflicts of interest, especially if their actions are a consequence of earlier failures to perform their job in a competent manner (e.g. ignoring earlier child welfare communications).

To ensure the quality of performance of any professionals dealing with the paramount wellbeing of the child, within the response please advise what stringent checks and balances are in place to ensure that there is no inappropriate ethos of custom and practice approach being taken, for example the checks on the emotional well being of the child is not performed by a person who has failed in any earlier duty of care to that child or has a conflict of interest (such as any involvement in a MARAC or IRD where false information has been passed to Police Scotland).

FOISA 2002 request

Under FOISA 2002 please provide me with the information contained in your records as follows:

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Flow Charts, Risk Assessments and Law Enacted that is used by Social Services when a parent raises an emotional harm Child Welfare Concern.

Yours faithfully,

SJA Grove

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

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the Council is required to
prioritise essential services.  In view of this, it may not be possible
for us to respond to your query within the previously stated timescales. 
If this is the case then we will endeavour to update you as soon as
possible.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing
Scotland’s freedom of information laws.  The Commissioner’s office has
launched an information hub on FOI during the coronavirus Covid-19
pandemic.  It can be found at [1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid-19

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

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

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [4]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 [5]website.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    1.Inter agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh the Lothians Oct 2015 2.pdf

    0K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    1.Scottish Government National Guidance for CP in Scotland 2014.pdf

    3.9M Download View as HTML

Our Ref: 2020/733148

 

Dear SJA Grove,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2004

 

Further to your enquiry of 17 November, on behalf of East Lothian Council
I am now able to provide our response; please refer to the PDF
attachments.

 

Under the terms of this legislation, if you are unhappy with the way your
request has been handled, you are entitled to request that we undertake an
internal review.  Please note, however, that both the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information
(Scotland) Regulations 2004 only relate to the release of information. 
The Scottish Information Commissioner publishes the following guidance
about internal reviews:

 

You can ask the authority to review its decision if it does not respond or
you are unhappy with the way it has dealt with your request, for example
by:

 

·       refusing to give you the information

·       failing to reply to you within the time limit allowed

·       claiming the information is exempt

·       failing to give you advice about, and help with, making your
request

·       asking you to pay a fee that you feel is unreasonable

 

For example, if you are unhappy because you do not believe the information
you have received is accurate, an internal review would not apply.  Should
this be the case, however, please let me know and I will try to resolve
this.  If I am unable to help, I will be happy to put you in touch with
someone who can.

 

We must receive a request to review within 40 working days of the date of
this notice.  A request to review our decision must be in writing (e-mail
is acceptable) or another permanent format.  When writing, you should
include your reasons as to why you are unhappy with our response and why
you wish it to be reviewed.  Your reasons for dissatisfaction must relate
to your information request of 17 November only and should be addressed
to:

 

Customer Feedback and FOI Team

People and Governance

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

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

 

We will have a maximum of 20 working days from the date we receive your
request in order to complete our review and give you our decision.  In
order to ensure an impartial approach, an independent senior officer will
be appointed to carry out the review.

 

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 must appeal to
the Commissioner within six months of receiving the review decision.  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

Dear Freedom Of Information,

ELC are thanked for their response to this FOISA 2002 request.

Regrettably the document 'Inter agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh the Lothians Oct 2015' cannot be downloaded because of an invalid pdf format. Would ELC please send this document again or provide a link to a source?

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

SJA Grove

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

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the Council is required to
prioritise essential services.  In view of this, it may not be possible
for us to respond to your query within the previously stated timescales. 
If this is the case then we will endeavour to update you as soon as
possible.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing
Scotland’s freedom of information laws.  The Commissioner’s office has
launched an information hub on FOI during the coronavirus Covid-19
pandemic.  It can be found at [1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid-19

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

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

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [4]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 [5]website.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    1.Inter agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh the Lothians Oct 2015 2 003.pdf

    1.9M Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    1.Inter agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh the Lothians Oct 2015 2 003.docx

    942K Download View as HTML

Our Ref: 2020/733148

 

Dear SJA Grove,

 

We have re-attached the pdf document if the issue with this persists we
have also provided a copy in Microsoft Word.

 

Yours sincerely

 

William Kelley

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

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thankyou for providing the updated link, the document can now be downloaded.

Yours sincerely,

SJA Grove

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

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the Council is required to
prioritise essential services.  In view of this, it may not be possible
for us to respond to your query within the previously stated timescales. 
If this is the case then we will endeavour to update you as soon as
possible.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing
Scotland’s freedom of information laws.  The Commissioner’s office has
launched an information hub on FOI during the coronavirus Covid-19
pandemic.  It can be found at [1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid-19

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

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

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [4]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 [5]website.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid...
2. mailto:[East Lothian Council request email]
3. https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/2105...
4. Link to ELC website
http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/704/d...
5. 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 'The Social Work identification of Emotional Harm to Children – SOPs, Flow Charts, Risk Assessments, Law Enacted'.

East Lothian Council are thanked for the response and an Internal Review is required. The document entitled ‘Inter-agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh and the Lothian’ that dates from 2015 (based on the filename). Given that protection procedures have moved on in the five years since this document has been produced then it is unsurprising that the document is not comprehensive.

One of the key sentences in the document relates to emotional abuse which is what this FOISA 2002 request is targeted at and details "It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person."

East Lothian Council has not described the process for identifying and addressing emotional abuse perpetrated by one parent when false information is provided by an Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate (IDAA) at a Local Authority-held Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). This false information directed by one parent against the other (via the intermediacy of the IDAA at the MARAC) will be passed onto the Children’s Services Social Work systems and recorded. The Police Scotland interim Vulnerable Persons Database (iVPD) is the conduit between the MARAC (where the false information is produced likely by the third sector IDAA Data Controller) and the local authority Children’s Services Social Work system. The false information shared may be sensitive in nature (e.g. medical information) as defined by Schedule 8 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Will East Lothian Council provide the process for identifying and helping those children who feel "unloved" as a consequence of one parent being alienated from them when that alienated parent has identified (by one or more Data Protection Act 2018 Subject Access Request) false information held on them provided by the other parent using an IDAA and Police Scotland as the conduits and cannot go through a Family Court contact process by virtue of public authorities holding false and malicious information on them that suggests the alienated parent is a danger to their own children?

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

Yours faithfully,

SJA Grove

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

 

Please note that East Lothian Council will close for the Christmas and New
Year break on Thursday 24 December 2020, re-opening on Tuesday 5 January
2021.  If you submit an information request to us during this period,
however, normal timescales will still apply i.e. we will respond to you
within 20 working days for Freedom of Information/Environmental
Information Regulations requests.  "Working days" exclude Saturdays,
Sundays and Scottish bank holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s
Day and 2 January).

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the Council is required to
prioritise essential services.  In view of this, it may not be possible
for us to respond to your query within the previously stated timescales. 
If this is the case then we will endeavour to update you as soon as
possible.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing
Scotland’s freedom of information laws.  The Commissioner’s office has
launched an information hub on FOI during the coronavirus Covid-19
pandemic.  It can be found at [1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid-19

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

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

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [4]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 [5]website.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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

Freedom Of Information, East Lothian Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref:  2020/733148  

 

Dear Sir or Madam 

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004

 

Further to your email of 21 December 2020, on behalf of the Reviewing
Officer, please find attached East Lothian Council’s response to your
internal review request. 

 

This now concludes this matter.  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
must appeal to the Commissioner within six months of receiving this
notice.  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:  [2][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 faithfully

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

Email: [3][East Lothian Council request email]

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [5]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 [6]website.

 

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom Of Information,

East Lothian Council are thanked for their response to the Internal Review, and it is understandable that the 2014 document on child protection (CP) from the Scottish Government has led to no further update on the 2015 pan Lothian document. The 2014 CP document from the Scottish Government states that:
While this guidance is intended to act as a practical reference point for practitioners and agencies, it should not be regarded as exhaustive or exclusive. Nor does it constitute legal advice. Where they have concerns about the wellbeing of a child, users of this guidance should consider whether there is also a need to consult with others.

The Scottish Government should reasonably know that emotional abuse of children occurs through the multi-agency working as the Scottish Government funds the MARAC Development Programme (MDP). For example it is entirely possible for an Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate (IDAA) to file a false police report at a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and for this false information to pass through a Concern Hub without the Police Scotland “national Business Process” detecting the lies then the false information to be recorded on a local authority council Social Work Children & Families system, again without any checks, as the false information comes from the interim Vulnerable Persons Database (iVPD) (that was brought in for the Scottish Government's ill-fated Named Person Scheme).

The Scottish Government will be aware of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) issues with multi-agency working [e.g. MARACs and Inter-Agency Referral Discussions (IRDs)] and will know that data sharing between these participating organisations is unlawful by virtue of the types of personal data being shared, the absence of consent for the sharing and the absence of appropriate Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs) and an accurate and thorough Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) being in place.

The Scottish Government must know that this proxy emotional abuse of children is occurring involving a number of public sector organisations because of the links to Police Scotland’s ACC Gillian MacDonald as the Information Asset Owner (IAO) for the iVPD (and member of the Equally Safe Joint Strategic Board) together with the links to “key stakeholders" (e.g. those at Edinburgh Napier University) that Simon Stockwell of the Family Law Unit provides with privileged information prior to consultations and legislation. Given that this form of emotional abuse of children is not covered in the recent document ‘Consultation on the revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2020' that was used as a basis for the consultation that closed on 17 January 2021 then it can reasonably be anticipated that there will be no significant changes to the social work guidance across the Lothians.

This request will therefore be closed as “not having the information requested".

Yours sincerely,

SJA Grove

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

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the Council is required to
prioritise essential services.  In view of this, it may not be possible
for us to respond to your query within the previously stated timescales. 
If this is the case then we will endeavour to update you as soon as
possible.

 

The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing
Scotland’s freedom of information laws.  The Commissioner’s office has
launched an information hub on FOI during the coronavirus Covid-19
pandemic.  It can be found at [1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/covid-19

 

Freedom of Information Team

East Lothian Council

John Muir House

Haddington

EH41 3HA

 

Tel: 01620 827623

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

 

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

 

Details of your rights to requesting information from East Lothian Council
are published [4]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 [5]website.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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