UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: childrens.services.foi@hants.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 11:05 AM
Subject: FOI - 7221 - Mortimer - Freedom of Information response

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 28 January 2014, in which you ask for the following:

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;

There is no single officer who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected and held by Hampshire County Council, as that information is collected on a case by case basis.

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

All officers are responsible to the Elected Members of the County Council, its Cabinet and Executive Lead Members.

(c) the council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies; John Coughlan, Hampshire County Council’s Director of Children’s Services and Deputy Chief Executive.

(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;

The Elected Members of the County Council, its Cabinet and Executive Lead Members outlined in (b) hold public accountability roles.

(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?"

As explained at (a), information is collected on a case by case basis and not by a single officer. Therefore this question does not apply.

I hope this information is helpful.

Yours sincerely

Anne Melesk
FOI/EIR Co-ordinator for Hampshire Children’s Services

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: childrens.services.foi@hants.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:18 PM
Subject: Please accept this message as a official request for information.

Dear Catherine King,

Please will you kindly tell me :

(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;

(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;

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

(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;

(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 perpetratration?"

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

----- Original Message -----
From: childrens.services.foi@hants.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:53 AM
Subject: FOI - 7104 - Mortimer - Freedom of Information response

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 10 January 2014, in which you ask for the following:

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 Gosport 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.

What I mean by substantiated child abuse cases are those who have been taken through the criminal justice system & found guilty of a child abuse offence. What I mean by child is those under the age of 18 years of age. What I want is information on the perpetrators of child abuse. I am not asking for any information about the child victims.

We are unable to provide the information, as it is not possible to achieve this within the timescale of 18 hours; i.e., it would take one person more than 18 hours to collate the information.

We do not record details of the “offender” on the child’s record, other than in Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) minutes or case records. A Child Protection Plan (CCP) might be issued in cases of risk of abuse, but abuse is not “substantiated” in every case. We would therefore need to manually trawl each case file to ascertain where abuse was substantiated, the perpetrator(s) and relationships. We estimate that this would take at least 20 minutes per file. There were 253 CPPs overlapping the past 12 months and so this equates to approximately 80 hours or work.

Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for Local Authorities is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

I am sorry that we are not able to help further with this request.

Yours sincerely

Anne Melesk

FOI/EIR Co-ordinator for Hampshire Children’s Services

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within 40 working days of receiving our response, and should be addressed to Head of Information Compliance, Corporate Services, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ or emailed to foi@hants.gov.uk

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Catherine King

FOI Co-ordinator

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

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

What is and who is behind the Family Law Reform Group?

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ukfamilylawreform/info

The Family Law Reform Group, as the name suggests, is a group specifically set up to campaign for UK family law reform. It is the brainchild of David Mortimer. David, a father who has been through the family court process and suffered many of the pitfalls and injustices of an outmoded legal system, has long campaigned for changes in family law to achieve justice for all, and in the hope and expectation that his sons’ sons and other fathers’ sons will never have to endure what he or they have done. That is the ethos of this Group – to build a better future for our children.

I became acquainted with David a number of years ago through a mutual contact while researching for the first edition of my legal handbook Fathers Matter. During this time I have observed his determination, perseverance and tenacity in bringing difficult and highly controversial family issues to the foreground, even though on numerous occasions it has brought him into conflict with those in a position of authority. Although David instigated the formation of the Group, he makes it very clear that he is just one part of it and the Group depends on the input of all its members to bring about radical reform which is its ultimate goal . The Group also provides support and information to anyone who needs it.

Celia Conrad, former specialist family lawyer and author of Fathers Matter.