Welfare Checklist (PLO) 2008 introduced to ensure children are placed with relatives rather than in care

Mrs L Taylor (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 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 successful.

Mrs L Taylor (Account suspended)

Dear Sir or Madam,

http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk...

December 2006 - Evidence shows children in care are being let down
and suffer more than those placed with relatives.

We are interested to see how the introduction of the PLO (Public
Law Outline) Welfare Checklist 2008 has altered the outcomes for
children.

I would be grateful if under the FOIA you could advise how many
times your Local Authority has applied for care orders via the
Family Courts WITHOUT the Welfare checklist set out in section 1 of
the Children Act 1989 being completed. The completion of the
Welfare Checklist would confirm that extended family members had in
fact been contacted prior to any application for a care order.

Whoever signs the application for a care order is responsible for
ensuring that the Welfare checklist has been fully completed,
please state who within your authority holds this position.

‘The Government recognises the importance of family members taking
care of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. We know
that a child brought up by a family member benefits from living
with someone they already know and trust rather than a stranger.
The Children Act 1989 placed a duty on local authorities to support
the upbringing of children by their families wherever possible, and
that services should be provided to children in need and their
families to enable this to happen.

There is now an increased focus on the steps that must be taken
prior to any court proceedings. Unless it is necessary to take
emergency action to protect a child from immediate harm, the local
authority must undertake various steps before initiating care
proceedings. Welfare checklist set out in section 1 of the Children
Act 1989’

Yours faithfully,

Mrs L Taylor

Clist Julie, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Mrs Taylor

Thank you for your e-mail received 15 October 2009 requesting information about care orders.

Michael Fenn in the Children's Services Department will arrange for the information to be provided to you no later than 12 November 2009.

Whilst it is the Council's policy to provide information wherever possible, I need to advise you that there are a number of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These may prevent me from releasing all or some of the information you have asked for. You will, however be informed if this is the case and why.

Yours sincerely

Julie Clist
Business Support Officer
Corporate Complaints & FOI Team
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
Room 104 Town Hall
1 Town Square
Barking
IG11 7HE
020 8227 2875

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

Clist Julie, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Mrs Taylor

Thank you for your e-mail received 15 October 2009 requesting information about care orders.

Michael Fenn in the Children's Services Department will arrange for the information to be provided to you no later than 12 November 2009.

Whilst it is the Council's policy to provide information wherever possible, I need to advise you that there are a number of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These may prevent me from releasing all or some of the information you have asked for. You will, however be informed if this is the case and why.

Yours sincerely

Julie Clist
Business Support Officer
Corporate Complaints & FOI Team
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
Room 104 Town Hall
1 Town Square
Barking
IG11 7HE
020 8227 2875

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

Fenn Michael, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Mrs L Taylor

Request for information LBBD:40369

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
is below;

I would be grateful if under the FOIA you could advise how many times your
Local Authority has applied for care orders via the Family Courts WITHOUT
the Welfare checklist set out in section 1 of the Children Act 1989 being
completed. The completion of the Welfare Checklist would confirm that
extended family members had in fact been contacted prior to any
application for a care order

Whoever signs the application for a care order is responsible for ensuring
that the Welfare checklist has been fully completed, please state who
within your authority holds this position.

The Court application forms for a Care Order (C1 and C13), do not contain
the welfare checklist. The welfare checklist was introduced by the
Children Act 1989, which came into force in 1991. The Local Authority's
initial and final statements in support of the care application will
always contain the welfare checklist, any updating statements may not
necessarily have the welfare checklist. The reason for this is that a
Court cannot consider making a Care Order for a child under the Children
Act 1989 without giving consideration to the welfare checklist, which is
contained in section 1 (3) of the Children Act 1989.

The welfare checklist does not contain any requirement for the Local
Authority to contact extended family members. However before making an
application for a Care Order the Local Authority will, if appropriate
consider whether there are any suitable members of the extended family to
care for the children.

The application for a care order is signed by the safeguarding
representative from the Boroughs legal team.

I am sorry that I was not able to provide this sooner.

If you are not satisfied with the way that I have dealt with your request
you can make a complaint by writing to the Corporate Complaints Team, Room
104, Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7HE Alternatively you can
make your complaint on-line at [1]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk or you can
e-mail your complaint to [2][email address].

If you are still not satisfied, after following our Corporate Complaints
procedure, you can take your complaint to the Information Commissioner.
Full details of how to do this will be made available on request.

If you need any more information, or if I can be of any further help,
please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Michael Fenn | Senior Information Officer

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Room B16 Civic Centre | Dagenham
| RM10 7BY

Phone: 020 8227 2619 | Fax: 020 8227 2324

Email: Michael.Fenn[3]@lbbd.gov.uk | [4]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk

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