Time spent on "Section 47 enquiry reports" in prebirth assesments

The request was successful.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

My FOI request relates to "Record of Outcome of S47 enquiries" documents from 01/08/2018 onwards by Childrens Social services in Sheffield working under the Children Act.

If possible please restrict your answers to pre-birth, "single agency" enquiries and ideally those that resulted in court orders being sought (if your record system allows for such searches). The reason for this is to exclude instances of emergency s47 enquiries as I am interested in those where the local authority had time to do a thorough investigation.

As this may require going through cases on an individual basis, please work chronologically through the cases until the reasonable time / expenditure limit has been reached.

1) Please state the number of s47 outcome documents you have checked (to show the sample size)

2) In each document, how often is the date recorded under "When did this Section 47 Enquiry Start" the same as the date on "Record of s47 Enquiries Completed". In other words, how many prebirth S47 Enquiries were "completed" on the same day they were authorised by a strategy meeting?

3) Where a prebirth S47 has been completed on the same day it was authorised, please state the number of days that had passed since the original refferal. A randomised list will suffice.

3) The section named "Recorded Feedback" says "The completed S47 Enquiries should be discussed with the child/young person and their parents/carers."
In how many instances are the recorded feedback boxes empty? (ie no feedback from parents/carers were recorded). Please reference all sampled documents (even if not completed on the same day)

3.1) Again, applying to all s47 reports - in how many cases are there no records of the parents/carers etc being "given" the report (ie how many times is the box left blank)

If you would like to add any additional comments so that the data is presented in a fair context I would welcome this. Thanks in advance to you and your colleagues for your efforts.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Pinsent

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Pinsent,

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to Section 47
enquiries which we received on 11/08/2020.

 

This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request, and will be
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The reference number
for your request can be found above.

 

Please be aware that Sheffield City Council’s response to the global
COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in resources across the Council,
meaning that we are currently dealing with a backlog of requests.

 

We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days, by
09/09/2020, but we kindly ask for your patience as we anticipate that
there may be a delay in some cases. Please do not hesitate to contact us
at the email address below if you have any queries.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Sheffield City Council

PO Box 1283

Sheffield, S1 1UJ

Email: [1][Sheffield City Council request email]

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

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Dear Sheffield City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Sheffield City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Time spent on "Section 47 enquiry reports" in prebirth assesments'.

As the legal time limit for this reponse has expired, I must request an internal review in the public interest - in my dealings with Sheffield council I am yet to see a single legal deadline that has ever been met: from GDPR requests being late by 2 months to stage 1 complaints (with a 10 day limit) taking over 8 months. I understand and appreciate you have indicated there is an expected delay due to coronavirus - however, it is unclear why a quick update has not been given and/or an extension requested - this seems achievable. As you can appreciate, I have historically been very patient with delays by Sheffield City Council - your housing department for instance is still due to respond to a medical priority application made 1 1/2 years ago, and a seperate one a year earlier. A robust investigation into this particular breach of timescales would be much appreciated.

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,

Mr Pinsent

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Pinsent

Thank you for your email in relation to FOI 2020-21-2378. Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing a response. I have spoken to the relevant service today and asked them to provide me with an update on the progress made in relation to your request. I will update you further once I have received a response.

We acknowledge that you have requested an internal review of the request, but unfortunately we cannot carry out a review of the response until the initial response has been issued.

We kindly ask for your continued patience while we work on preparing our response. Once we have issued this, you will still have the right to request an internal review if you remain dissatisfied.

Kind regards

Robert Jackson
Access to Information Officer
Information Management Team
Business Change and Information Solutions
Resources Portfolio
Sheffield City Council

Email: [email address]; [Sheffield City Council request email];
[email address]; [email address]

Postal Address: Sheffield City Council, PO Box 1283 Sheffield S1 1UJ

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Dear FOI,

Thank you very much for chasing this up for me. It makes perfect sense that you can't start an investigation into something that hasn't happened. I was under the belief that a failure to meet a deadline set out in the act could in some respect or another be considered a response. The information available on the council's website doesn't explain the finer details. I imagined that the internal review would be a mechanism to stop the council from avoiding inconvenient FOI enquiries by simply not responding. I'm not insinuating this is what has happened in my request but a quick glance through Sheffield Councils FOI requests would suggest the council can require a bit of prompting here and there.

If you (ie the council) have already considered that a failure to respond is not equatable to a response, similar to other areas of law that refer to 'acts or ommission', I am satisfied to wait for the response before the internal investigation starts. Did you manage to get a update on this? Be sure to pass on my gratitude for all efforts made on my behalf.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Pinsent

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Pinsent

Thank you for your email. I have emailed the service who are processing your request but I have not yet received an update. We are still dealing with a very large backlog of requests, which is why it is taking us longer than normal to respond, but all the requests we receive are being logged and all of them will be responded to. I apologise again for the delay. I will update you as soon as I receive a response from the service.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards

Robert Jackson
Access to Information Officer
Information Management Team
Business Change and Information Solutions Resources Portfolio Sheffield City Council

Email: [email address]; [Sheffield City Council request email]; [email address]; [email address]

Postal Address: Sheffield City Council, PO Box 1283 Sheffield S1 1UJ

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FOI, Sheffield City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pinsent,

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to Section 47
enquiries which we received on 11/08/2020.

 

Please find Sheffield City Council’s response to your request attached.

 

If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

The information provided in this response is available for re-use under
the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0. The terms of the OGL can be
found [1]here. When re-using the information, Sheffield City Council
requires you to include the following attribution statement: “Contains
public sector information obtained from Sheffield City Council and
licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your
request, you are entitled to have this reviewed. You can ask for an
internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing
[2][Sheffield City Council request email]. Internal review requests should be submitted
within 40 working days from the date of this response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you
can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please see
[3]www.ico.org.uk for further details.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Sheffield City Council

PO Box 1283

Sheffield, S1 1UJ

Email: [4][Sheffield City Council request email]

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

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