UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: Sue.State@coventry.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 10:29 AM
Subject: RE: Please accept this message as a official request for information.

Dear Dave

Thank you for requesting information about what information is held on child perpetrators, which the Council received on 22 March 2014. Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You have requested the following information;

Please will you kindly tell me (A) what information the legislation & regulations require Coventry Council to collect & hold on child abuse perpetrators & (B) who your child protection policies are designed to protect children from if they are not based on this information?

You appear to be repeating very similar questions and I would like to try to explain to you the information we hold. The first thing to understand is that as a City Council we work on child protection from the child’s perspective. This means that our records centre around the individual child. We assess adults and the risk they may pose in that context. Therefore we hold information on perpetrators if they currently pose a risk to a particular child and in such a case, it is the child around whom the record would be based.

We do work closely with other agencies to ensure that information is appropriately shared where there may be a risk to children, but we are not responsible for holding a full record on all child abuse perpetrators, as I have previously explained.

I hope this helps you understand how our recording systems work and therefore concludes your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Sue State

http://www.coventry.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: Lin.Race@coventry.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Cc: Sue.State@coventry.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 4:11 PM
Subject: RE: FOI 20122532 -

Dear Dave,

As we said in our letter to you “The Council does not have a legal responsibility to hold information on child abuse perpetrators by which the Council understand you to mean any person convicted or under investigation for a criminal offence against a child.”

Policies for social work intervention where a child is at risk stem from legislation and statutory guidance not from information on individuals.

We are unable to comment on what data government (by which we assume you mean central government) may hold nor the purposes for which that data is used. We are a local authority and can only comment on our own data and policies.

I trust this clarifies our response for you.

Regards

Lin Race

http://www.coventry.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: Lin.Race@coventry.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:02 PM

Dear Dave,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Thank you for requesting information about what information on child abuse perpetrators Coventry City Council is legally required to collect & hold, which the Council received on 13 March 2014. We are considering this under the the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“The Act”).

You have requested the following information.

(1) Please will you kindly tell me what information on child abuse perpetrators Coventry City Council is legally required to collect & hold by (A) the Department for Education or (B) anyone else?

(2) Please will you also tell me if (A) Isabel Merrifield or (B) Andy Pepper have made a formal complaint to the Department for Education or anyone else in the last 12 months about what information is collected & held by Coventry City Council on child abuse perpetrators?

The Council does not have a legal responsibility to hold information on child abuse perpetrators by which the Council understand you to mean any person convicted or under investigation for a criminal offence against a child.

Such information would be held by the police. Consequently no complaints have been made as we do not legally have to hold such data.

It has been established that the Council does not hold the above information. Thus, we are unable to provide any information relating to the above, and are informing you as required by Section 1(1) of the Act, that states:

"Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request".

To advise and assist you regarding the types of information the Council does hold and regularly discloses, you may wish to view the latest Freedom of Information responses issued by the Council on our disclosure log or look at the Council's Publication Scheme and it's published reusable Open Data.

For a wider range of information about the Coventry area and to see what other organizations are doing, have a look at Facts about Coventry

If you have any other issues relating to this request please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Sue State

----- Original Message -----
From: Sue.State@coventry.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:57 AM
Subject: RE: Please accept this message as a official request for information.

Dear David Mortimer

Thank you for requesting information about what information on child neglect and abuse is collected and held, which the Council received on 21 January 2014. Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You have requested the following information;

Under the Freedom of Information Act, could you kindly supply me with the following:

(a) the council authority, council officer and the name of that officer, who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected & held by your council;

Most of our information requirements are in line with government policy as the Department for Education defines a range of information we must hold and supply to them. In addition to that a range of managers across the service define information held to enable good performance management.

The person with overall responsibility for Performance Management is Isabel Merrifield, Assistant Director for Safeguarding, Performance and Quality.

(b) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

As stated above some of the holding to account is carried out by central government as we have to supply data to meet their specifications and timescales. Performance information is regularly shared with elected Members as part of the Scrutiny process and these meetings are public. Members may, and do, request information on issues of interest and concern. Much of the data relates to individual children and so cannot be shared publically.

(c) the council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies;

Child protection policies exist across all areas of the Council. In Social Care there are specific procedures which are followed by workers. These are overseen by Andy Pepper, Assistant Director for Children’s Early Intervention and Social Care. All schools (whether maintained by the local authority or not) need to have an up to date child protection policy and this is the responsibility of the relevant headteacher along with the relevant governing body.

(d) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

Elected Members hold officers to account for the delivery of safeguarding work for children and young people in the Council. This is achieved through performance reporting, Scrutiny and specific briefings as requested. Schools are held to account by governors and safeguarding is included as an aspect of the school inspection framework carried out by Ofsted.

(e) how the function in (c) is properly discharged and held accountable for policies which would best effectively protect children from abuse if the person referred to in (a) does not collect any information on child abuse perpetration?"

The council does collect information on child safeguarding in accordance with our need to act to protect children and young people and to hold data about this activity. Information is recorded in our case management system when a contact or referral is made to us. The Council then collates this data in accordance with performance management requirements.

Yours sincerely

Sue State

----- Original Message -----
From: Sue.State@coventry.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:58 PM
Subject: RE: Request for information under the freedom of information act.

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your request for information about gender and familial relationship of child victims and offenders, which the Council received on 28 December 2013.

You have requested the following information; Please will you kindly tell me what the (a) gender and (b) familial relationship was to the child victim of offenders in substantiated child abuse cases in the area which you have a duty to protect children from abuse for the last full year which figures are available, broken down by (i) physical abuse, (ii) emotional abuse, (iii) sexual abuse and (iv) cases of neglect.

Information you have requested has been withheld from disclosure. The exemption engaged is Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("The Act"). Section 12 of the Act exempts Public Authorities from providing information where the estimated cost of compliance with the request exceeds the appropriate limit. Any estimate must be made in accordance with the limits set in fees regulations made under Section 12 (5) of the Act.

These Fees Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) allow for a refusal where the cost of compliance, for local authorities such as the Council, would exceed £450. As a guide, staff time to identify and extract this information is charged at a rate of £25 per hour.

In this case, this broad information could only be provided through accessing all child protection records relating to children in care over the reporting period (this would involve searching approximately 1000 care files) held across a wide range of council systems and it is estimated that to determine if held, identify and retrieve this information would exceed the above limit.

You have a right to make representations about the outcome or handling of your request – in the first instance this must be made in writing within 40 working days of the date of this letter, to the Council's Information Governance Team at:

infogov@coventry.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Sue State

http://www.coventry.gov.uk

Who do local authorities protect children from? 28th December 2013

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/abuse.htm