Trafficking of children and their subsequent care

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Southwark Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

Please find below an FOI request relating to the trafficking of children and their subsequent care.

Unseen is providing safe accommodation for potentially trafficked foreign migrant children. The service has been developed with local authority, police and governmental partners and is Ofsted registered. Through running this service we have become aware of some systemic barriers that fundamentally prevent children from accessing the care and protection they need.

We would like to know, for each local authority in the UK:

1. How many potentially trafficked children you have identified in the last 12 months?
2. How many of these children have been non-UK Nationals?
3. Of the children identified what type of care placements have been sought? (foster care, secure, supported accommodation, children’s home, living independently)
4. How many children in this cohort have subsequently a) remained in their original placement b) moved to a different placement c) gone missing short-term (72 hours or less) or d) gone missing long-term (over 72 hours)?

This information is being requested from each Local Authority area in the UK.
Yours faithfully,
Unseen (UK)

David Freeman, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1020350

show quoted sections

David Freeman, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request
Our reference: 1020350

Dear Miss Garbers,

Re: Your request for information: 1020350

Thank you for your request for information that was received on 14 January
2019 in which you requested:

Please find below an FOI request relating to the trafficking of children
and their subsequent care.

Unseen is providing safe accommodation for potentially trafficked foreign
migrant children. The service has been developed with local authority,
police and governmental partners and is Ofsted registered. Through running
this service we have become aware of some systemic barriers that
fundamentally prevent children from accessing the care and protection they
need.

We would like to know, for each local authority in the UK:

1. How many potentially trafficked children you have identified in the
last 12 months?

During the year 1/1/18 to 31/12/18, 33 assessments were completed on
children where ‘trafficking’ was identified as a likely risk factor.

However, this may not be exhaustive and the only way to gain an accurate
picture would be to search individual case files for this information.
There are approximately 5000 children receiving statutory social care
services a year, therefore, it would cost more than the appropriate limit
to carry out this search. The appropriate limit is specified in
regulations and for local government is set at £450.

This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in
determining whether we hold the information, and locating, retrieving and
extracting the information. Consequently, we are not obliged by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to perform this task (see section 12(1)).

This acts as a refusal notice, under Section 17 of the Act, for this
aspect of your request.

2. How many of these children have been non-UK Nationals?

Nationality data is not routinely recorded within our MIS (there is no
statutory duty to do so), therefore, nationality data would not be
available unless relevant to the safeguarding aspects of a particular
case.

3. Of the children identified what type of care placements have been
sought? (foster care, secure, supported accommodation, children's home,
living independently)

We do not retain all information on all placements sought. However, of the
33 identified, 15 children became looked after by the authority during the
year. The initial categories of placement were ‘P2’ (independent living
like in a flat, lodgings, bedsit, B&B or with friends, with or without
formal support) and ‘U6’ (foster placement with foster carer other than
family or friends, not long-term and not fostering for adoption).

4. How many children in this cohort have subsequently a) remained in their
original placement b) moved to a different placement c) gone missing
short-term (72 hours or less) or d) gone missing long-term (over 72
hours)? 

a) *Less than 10 of the 15 have remained in their original placement

b) *Less than 10 of those have since gone missing for periods up to 72
hours

c) *Less than 10 of those have since gone missing for periods greater than
72 hours

*The council has information which provides a further breakdown of the
figures as outlined in your request, but has decided to withhold this
information for the following reason(s):

Personal data of any other person (third party data) is exempt under
section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act if the information
constitutes personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act 2018) and
disclosure would breach one of the data protection principles.

Whilst this information by itself is not personal data, due to the small
number(s), in this case being less than 10, we consider that along with
other information that may be available to you it may be possible to
identify a named individual from these figures. As such, this information
constitutes personal data. Further, disclosing it would breach the data
protection principles relating to personal data.

In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this
letter acts as a Refusal Notice in relation to this aspect your request.

This response is being provided as a statutory obligation under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please note that under the Privacy and
Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 Southwark
Council ask not to receive unsolicited marketing communications.

You are free to use the response provided for your own purposes, including
any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, requires
the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for permission to
re-use this information by submitting a request to
[1][Southwark Borough Council request email]; you can find details on these arrangements
at [2]http://www.southwark.gov.uk/YourCouncil/.... Detailed advice
about the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations (PSI) 2005 is
available from the Office of Public Sector Information at:
[3]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/index.htm.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make an appeal for a review of our decision, please
write to the:

Corporate Freedom of Information Manager
Financial & Information Governance Team (2^nd Floor)
PO BOX 64529
London
SE1P 5LX
Email: [4][Southwark Borough Council request email]

If you are not content with the outcome of your appeal, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have first
exhausted our internal appeal procedure and you should contact him within
2 months of the outcome of your internal appeal.

Further information is available through the Information Commissioner at
[5]www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,

 

David Freeman
Information Governance Officer
[6][email address]

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References

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