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

Mrs L Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to North Lanarkshire Council This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

North Lanarkshire Council did not have the information requested.

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

McKay Neil, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Mrs. Taylor

I acknowledge receipt of your email which is receiving attention.

I shall contact you again when I am in a position to respond more fully to
your request.

Yours sincerely

Neil McKay

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Services

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell ML1 1AB

Tel: 01698 302 484

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Hazarika Sandra, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Mrs. Taylor,

Request for Information

I refer again to your e-mail dated 14 October 2009 seeking information on
welfare check lists for children in care.

Having investigated, I regret to advise you that the Welfare Checklist
legislation to which you refer applies only in England and not in
Scotland. Therefore, in terms of Section 17 of the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002, I must advise you that the information sought is not
held.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive
Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street,
Motherwell ML1 1AB. Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this
decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of
Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act. Such an application must be in writing
or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is
capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording
made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an
address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to
which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to
the applicant's dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local
authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant's
dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the
failure of the local authority to issue such a decision. The Scottish
Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew's

KY16 9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose. If, however, you
require further information - or I can assist in any other way - please
let me know.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Hazarika

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

North Lanarkshire Council

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell

ML1 1AB

(01698) 302232

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