Foster Care and Adoption

Details:

Reference Number: 5375
Request Date: 09/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The number of children currently used by the council as juvenile Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) 

Q.2 How many of those children are care-experienced (in the care system now or in the past) 

Q.3 The age of each of the children 

Q.4 The ethnic background of each of the children 

Q.5 How long each child has been working as a CHIS at the council 

Q.6 How much each child is paid/ how each child is compensated for working as a CHIS

A. We do not use CHIS's within Northumberland County Council.



Details:

Reference Number: 5548
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

 
Q.1   For each financial year 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018-present, how many S.42 safeguarding reports/enquiries have the local authorities recorded under the Care Act 2014, involving the abuse and neglect of patients under 65 years old with learning disabilities and/or autism, detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in an NHS or independent sector hospital with a specialism in assessment or medical treatment for persons with learning disabilities and/or autism? Please list the names of the care provider and the number of reports of safeguarding incidents for each.

Q.2   In connection to the above, please list the type of safeguarding enquiries/reports (as per below) for each private provider:
a. Neglect and acts of omission
b. Emotional/psychological abuse
c. Physical abuse
d. Sexual abuse
e. Medication
f. Discriminatory abuse
g. Other type of abuse as recorded by the local authority

Q.3   In connection to the above Q1 and Q2, please provide the person alleged to be responsible for the reported safeguarding report/enquiry:
a. paid employee
b. other service user
c. agency staff member
d. family member or visitor
e. outside health professional (eg doctor psychiatrist)
f. other

Q.4   In connection to Q1, please provide the number of investigations that concluded during each financial year 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018-present and the number, which resulted in:
a. non-criminal investigations
b. criminal investigations
NB. For each of the questions, if some of the hospital settings provide services for both patients over 65 and under, please refer to the ones under 65.

A.1 - A.4     Based on the information we hold, there were four enquiries under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, or equivalent enquiries under the national framework for safeguarding adults which was in place before April 2015, which fell within the scope of your query.  Details of these is in the attached spreadsheet.
Adult Social Care:   cost of care
Children & Families:   looked after children
Children & Families:   foster care and adoptions
Finance & Payments:   funding for care homes
Politics, Policies & Minutes:   Policies & Legislation
Children & Families:   Funding for care homes - TO BE ADDED
The department holding the information is that which has lead responsibility for dealing with kinship (also known as family and friends care) support and placements. 
Please note that the information gleaned will be analysed and inform the evidence gathering stage of the work of the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care.
Please provide the following information that your local authority holds: 

Q.1   Provide a link to your local authority’s kinship care policy (this may also be known as your family and friends care policy).

A.1    https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Looked-after/Fostering.aspx#familyfriendscare

Q.2   Does your local authority have a named designated lead 
manager responsible for kinship care (also known as family and friends care)? If so, what is their name and contact details, and what is the title of their substantive post?

A.2   Liz Spaven, Senior Manager - Family Placements

liz.spaven@northumberland.gov.uk

Q.3   Does your local authority have a written policy and/or procedure that sets out financial support for children in kinship care under the following arrangements, and if so, please provide a copy of the policy and/or procedure(s):
a) Children placed or living in family and friends care overall (encompassing all the different types of arrangements below)
b) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
c) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
d) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
e) Children living in private fostering arrangements?
f) Children living in kinship care informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.3   See attached document

Link to private fostering info:  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/privatefostering.aspx

Q.4    See the attached document

Q.5   Do you have a written policy about how kinship carers can access legal advice including, how this is funded?   If yes, please provide this.
If you do not have a written policy, what guidelines do you use in determining whether to pay for independent legal advice or representation for a kinship carer or potential kinship carer? E.g. an initial consultation for £x.

A.5   See attached document

Q.6    Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, what was the total local authority budget spent on all children placed or living in family and friends care overall?
Can this be broken down by total local authority spend on:
a) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
b) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
c) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
d) Children living in informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.6    See answer to question 4
 
Q.7    Please state how many looked-after children were placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018.

A.7     67

Q.8     Of the number of looked after children placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018, how many were previously placed by the local authority in: 

Q.8a)   A foster placement (or placements) with unrelated carers? 

A.8a)    8

Q.8b)    A different family and friends foster placement? 

A.8b)    5

Q.8c)    A residential children’s home setting? 

A.8c)    0

Q.8d)   Any other provision for looked-after children?

A.8d)   0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5549
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Provide a link to your local authority’s kinship care policy (this may also be known as your family and friends care policy).

A.1    https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Looked-after/Fostering.aspx#familyfriendscare

Q.2   Does your local authority have a named designated lead 
manager responsible for kinship care (also known as family and friends care)? If so, what is their name and contact details, and what is the title of their substantive post?

A.2   Liz Spaven, Senior Manager - Family Placements

liz.spaven@northumberland.gov.uk

Q.3   Does your local authority have a written policy and/or procedure that sets out financial support for children in kinship care under the following arrangements, and if so, please provide a copy of the policy and/or procedure(s):
a) Children placed or living in family and friends care overall (encompassing all the different types of arrangements below)
b) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
c) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
d) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
e) Children living in private fostering arrangements?
f) Children living in kinship care informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.3   See attached document

Link to private fostering info:  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/privatefostering.aspx

Q.4    See the attached document

Q.5   Do you have a written policy about how kinship carers can access legal advice including, how this is funded?   If yes, please provide this.
If you do not have a written policy, what guidelines do you use in determining whether to pay for independent legal advice or representation for a kinship carer or potential kinship carer? E.g. an initial consultation for £x.

A.5   See attached document

Q.6    Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, what was the total local authority budget spent on all children placed or living in family and friends care overall?
Can this be broken down by total local authority spend on:
a) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
b) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
c) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
d) Children living in informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.6    See answer to question 4
 
Q.7    Please state how many looked-after children were placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018.

A.7     67

Q.8     Of the number of looked after children placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018, how many were previously placed by the local authority in: 

Q.8a)   A foster placement (or placements) with unrelated carers? 

A.8a)    8

Q.8b)    A different family and friends foster placement? 

A.8b)    5

Q.8c)    A residential children’s home setting? 

A.8c)    0

Q.8d)   Any other provision for looked-after children?

A.8d)   0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5697
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Adoption - For each of the past 3 years: 

Q.1     How many couples/individuals applied to adopt?
A.1      16/17 = 24; 17/18 = 15; April - Nov 2018 = 6
  
Q.2     How many LGBT couples/individuals applied to adopt?
A.2      Less than 5 for each year

Q.3     How many couples/individuals were approved for adoption?
A.3      16/17 = 24; 17/18 = 14; April - Nov 2018 = 15

Q.4     How many LGBT couples/individuals were approved for adoption?
A.4      Less than 5 for each year
 
Q.5     How many couples/individuals went on to adopt a child?
A.5     ​​It is unclear if this is in relation to the above cohort of adopters approved in questions 1 & 2 therefore the info is based on the number of children adopted in the specified timeframe - the number given is families and not children adopted.

This is when the adoption order has been granted  as per the question - not when the child is placed for adoption.
​16/17 = 26; 17/18 = 16; April - Feb 2018 = 20

Q.6     How many LGBT couples/individuals went on to adopt a child? 
A.6     Less than 6 for each year
 
Q.7   What was the average wait time for approved applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.7      16/17 = 182; 17/18 = 88; April - Nov 2018 = 46

​These figures do not reflect an accurate overview due to having no context to it.  Due to it being such a small cohort, it only takes 1 or 2 applicants to have taken longer to progress through the process for individual reasons, it then impacts negatively on the average time.  
 
Q.8      What was the average wait time for approved LGBT applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.8      16/17 = 284; 17/18 = 66; April - Nov 2018 = 70

​These figures do not reflect an accurate overview due to having no context to it.  Due to it being such a small cohort, it only takes 1 or 2 applicants to have taken longer to progress through the process for individual reasons, it then impacts negatively on the average time.  
 
Q.9     What was the average age of approved applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.9      16/17 = 41; 17/18 = 41; April - Nov 2018 = 37

Q.10   What was the average age of approved LGBT applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.10    16/17 = 35; 17/18 = 36; April - Nov 2018 = 36
 
Q.11   Fostering - For each of the past 3 years: 
A.11    16/17 = 98; 17/18 = 112; April - to 19/03/19 = 64

Q.12   How many couples/individuals applied to foster?
​​​​A.12    Less than 5 for each year

Q.13   How many LGBT couples/individuals applied to foster?
A.13    ​16/17 = 42; 17/18 = 33; April - 19/03/19 = 35

Q.14   How many couples/individuals were approved to foster?
A.14    ​Less than 5 for each year

Q.15   How many LGBT couples/individuals were approved to foster?
A.15    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them
 
Q.16   How many couples/individuals went on to foster a child?
A.16    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them
 
Q.17   How many LGBT couples/individuals went on to foster a child? 
A.17    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them

Q.18   What was the average wait time for approved applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.18    16/17 = 11; 17/18 = 10; April - 19/03/19 = 6

Q.19   What was the average wait time for approved LGBT applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.19    16/17 = 9; 17/18 = 8; April - 19/03/19 = 8

Q.20  What was the average age of approved applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.20    16/17 = 48; 17/18 = 51; April - 19/03/19  = 4

Q.21   What was the average age of approved LGBT applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.21    16/17 = 35; 17/18 = 35; April - 19/03/19  = 34
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5700
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      Please could you provide a copy of the local authority’s most recent sufficiency statement for looked after children services?

A.1      See attached

Q.2      Please could you let me know when the local authority plans to publish the next update to its sufficiency statement for looked after children services.

A.2      April/May 2019 

Q.3      Please could you provide information on the following:
-  In 2018, of all of the foster carer de-registrations which were initiated by the carer, how many were offered exit interviews?

A.3     All foster carers have the option of an exit interview when they resign.  This process has been developed further since November 2018 to ensure this offer is more robust and to encourage take up of the offer.  

-  In 2018, of all of the foster carer de-registrations which were initiated by the carer, please provide a summary of the reasons for deregistering

A.3      18 de-registered
3 for health 
9 for age/retired 
6 other including - new job, relationship breakdown, adoption

-  What current estimate do you have of children who will need to be fostered as part of a sibling group both now and in future years?

A.3   Placement demand changes on a day to day basis and predicting future years is not answerable without undertaking detailed analysis of children accessing services at all levels. 

-  How many foster carers are currently able to accommodate sibling groups?

A.3   49
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5902
Request Date: 08/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Request for a copy of the documents containing the following information:
 
Q.1      Details of the lowest, highest and average weekly fee rates agreed with external suppliers of Independent Foster Care Services for the current year (2019/2020).
 
Example response as follows –
Lowest weekly fee rate = £461.28
Highest weekly fee rate = £1150.71
Average weekly fee rate = £746.51
 
Q.2      Details of the lowest, highest and average weekly fee rates paid to local authority carers.
 
(Please note that for questions 1 and 2, we do not require details of all rates paid to individual suppliers, simply minimum, maximum and average rates payable.)
 
Example response as follows –
Lowest weekly fee rate = £256.25
Highest weekly fee rate = £642.06
Average weekly fee rate = £416
  
Q.3     Details of the rates of each tier for independent fostering agencies (if there is a framework agreement in place), or confirmation that tier rates have not changed from the previous year.
 
Example response as follows -
Tier rates have not changed from the previous year
Or
Tier 1 (0-4) = £259.00
Tier 1 (5-10) = £282.00
Tier 1 (11+) = £327.00
Tier 1 (16+) = £372.00
 
Tier 2 (0-4) = £284.00
Tier 2 (5-10) = £307.00
Tier 2 (11+) = £352.00
Tier 2 (16+) = £397.00
 
Tier 3 (0-4) = £310.00
Tier 3 (5-10) = £333.00
Tier 3 (11+) = £378.00
Tier 3 (16+) = £423.004
 
Q.4     The number of looked after children in foster care as at 31 March 2019 and of those children, the percentage looked after by independent foster agencies.
 
Example response as follows –
There were 51 looked after children in foster care as of 31 March 2019 and of those children, 30% were looked after by independent foster agencies. 
 
A.1 - A.4   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5985
Request Date: 26/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Are you already a member of a Regional Adoption Agency (RAA)?  Yes/No
 
A.1    Yes

Q.2   If yes to Question 1, which authority or agency is delivering the RAA?  (Is it led by a specific Local Authority or a Private or Voluntary Agency?)  Please give us the name of the actual LA or Agency.
 
If no to Question 1, what is your plan for securing membership of a RAA within the government specified timescales (due date and authorities you are seeking to join with).  You do not need to answer any further questions after this.
 
A.2    North Tyneside are the host authority 

Q.3   Who is the designated lead officer responsible for the Regional Adoption Agency?  Name, Role and Email address please.
 
A.3    Bryan Glover is the Service Manager at ANE

Q.4   Which LA or Agency is responsible for delivering the IT solution that supports the work of the RAA?
 
A.4    North Tyneside

Q.5   Has the RAA already procured an IT system to support its work?  If yes, who is the supplier of that system? If no, you do not need to answer any further questions.
 
A.5    North Tyneside would need to respond to this. 

Q.6   Does this system provide other functionality apart from the RAA? 
 
For example, is it part of a wider social care system or is it a specific standalone solution for the activities of a RAA?  If it is part of wider system, please tell us which system this is (supplier name) and the authority whose social care system this is.
 
A.6    North Tyneside would need to respond to this.   

Q.7   If this is a dedicated RAA system only, what is the value of the contract and the contract period?  Please show the purchasing costs / implementation costs and support and maintenance costs separately.

A.7    North Tyneside would need to respond to this.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6103
Request Date: 21/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please give the name of your Local Authority?

A.1   Northumberland County Council

Q.2   How many sets of twins were taken into care between the years 2010 – 2018?

A.2   11

Q.3   How many sets of twins were separated when taken into care, whether into foster care or a care home, at any point through their care journey between the years 2010 – 2018?

(NB. please note we are asking how many sets of twins and not how many times. We are aware they could have been separated for a brief period and then reunited but please answer if separated at any point)

A.3    less than 5

Q.4   How many sets of twins were kept in a 'long term placement' or 'long term foster care' separately from one and other through their care journey between the years 2010 – 2018?

(NB. by Long-term care we mean that the care plan for the child is to remain in a specific fostering placement or care home, until reaching adulthood and leaving care, and/ or for the foreseeable future)

A.4    less than 5

Q.5   How many sets of twins have since been adopted into separate families,  after being taken into care between the years 2010 – 2018?

A.5    0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6140
Request Date: 28/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please give the number of looked after children under 16 in the care of your authority who were in supported/semi-supported accommodation placements on 31 March 2019.  
 
A.1    0

Q.2   Please could you tell us how many children aged 16 and 17 who were in the care of local authorities other than your own (ie "out of area placements") and who are living in supported/semi supported accommodation located within your authority's boundaries on 31 March 2019.
 
A.2    We do not hold information on other local authorities

Q.3   Please give the number of how many of the looked after children identified in the answer to Q.2 come from which other local authority area – giving a number of children per other local authority area that they are from.
 
A.3    We do not hold information on other local authorities

Q.4   Please give the number of 16 and 17 year olds in the care of your local authority who were in supported/semi-supported accommodation placements outside your local authority's boundaries on 31 March 2019.
 
A.4   less than 5

Q.5   Please give the number of how many of the looked after children aged 16 and 17 years old identified in the answer to Q4 are placed in which other local authority area – giving a number of children per other local authority area that they are placed in.
 
A.5   Newcastle Upon Tyne - less than 5
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6494
Request Date: 06/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The number of children placed in unregistered care provision in each of the last four financial years (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)?

Q.2    The number of unregistered care settings discovered within the authority in each of the last four financial years (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)?

Q.3    The number of children placed inside unregistered care provision by the authority who allege to have been sexually abused or exploited while inside unregistered care provision in each of the last four financial years (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)?

Q.4    The number of children placed inside unregistered care provision by the authority who allege to have been physically assaulted while inside unregistered care provision in each of the last four financial years (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)?

A.1 - A.4     Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response

For clarification, unregistered care provision refers to when a child who is being provided with some form of ‘care’ is living somewhere that is not registered with Ofsted. It is not equivalent to unregulated care settings for those aged 16+. If there is any doubt about the distinction please refer to the following Ofsted blog:
https://socialcareinspection.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/08/unregistered-and-unregulated-provision-whats-the-difference/

Unregistered and unregulated provision - what's the difference? - Ofsted: developments in children’s social care - socialcareinspection.blog.gov.uk
Today’s report from the Howard League for Penal Reform raises some important issues about the care system and children’s homes. One area of concern is provision for children that is not regulated by Ofsted, and the safety of the children who use it. I’m often asked about unregistered and unregulated provision.
socialcareinspection.blog.gov.uk

Please prioritise this request over a request currently in process  concerning respite care, if necessary.

If you are able to supply some of this information more  quickly than other items, please supply each item when you can rather than delay everything until it is all available.