Childrens Act 1989 Section 17

  1. Do you have any guidance or policy documents or other such written material in respect of undertaking assessments and providing support pursuant to section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to families with no recourse to public funds (including documents specific to this issue, or of more general application but covering this issue)?

Yes,

  1. If, please provide a copy.

http://devonchildcare.proceduresonline.com/p_no_recourse_public.html?zoom_highlight=section+17http://devonchildcare.proceduresonline.com/p_assessment.html?zoom_highlight=section+17

  1. Do you have any guidance or policy documents or other written material in relation to “Zambrano” carers (including documents specific to this issue, or of more general application but covering this issue)?

Yes

  1. If yes, please provide a copy

The guidance linked to in the response to question 2 includes Zambrano carers.

  1. Please provide me with a copy of the local protocol for child in need assessments – see the Working Together to Safeguard and Promote Children statutory guidance at paragraph 25 for the requirement to publish such protocol

http://devonchildcare.proceduresonline.com/p_cin_plans_rev.html

  1. Please provide a copy of your threshold document (see paragraph 18 Chapter 1 of the statutory guidance for the requirements to publish this document)

Threshold Tool

  1. If there is an organizational chart or equivalent document for the NRPF team please provide me with a copy (NB: I would have no objection to the redaction of names)

Assessments are completed within social work team structure. There is no organisational chart available as there is no specific team.

  1. Please provide any information sharing protocols or such documents that covers requesting and sharing information with credit reference agencies.

We would not normally approach credit reference agencies whilst completing a S17 assessment; therefore we do not hold this information.

  1. If a form is used to request information from credit reference agencies please provide a copy. If there is no form, please explain how these requests are made.

We would not normally approach credit reference agencies whilst completing a S17 assessment; therefore we do not hold this information.

  1. Please provide a copy of the consent form families are asked to sign when being assessed for support under section 17 of the Children Ac 1989.

Any assessment may result in support being offered under S17, the assessment itself is shared with the family.  If we are seeking specific information from other parties during that assessment specific consent would be sought from the family.

  1. Do you provide training to staff members on the provision of support to people with no recourse to public funds?

No specific training is given with regard to people with no recourse to public funds. They are assessed as children in need and supported dependant on need

  1. If yes, please provide details of how frequently such training sessions are run, which departments or teams attend and provide us with a copy of any training material provided during these courses.

Please see our answer to question 11 above.

  1. Have your staff members received training on Paragraph 10A schedule 3 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002?

Requests for assessments and/or support

Please see our answer to question to 11 above.

  1. Do you have a specific team that assists with requests for access to support from families with no recourse to public funds?

Please see our answer to question 7 above.  Requests for funding support therefore go through usual financial authority process.

  1. What is the professional background of the staff who carry out child in need assessments for families with no recourse to public funds?

Professional social work qualified staff

  1. Do you record all requests for s.17 support (whether made by phone or in person) even if no assessment is carried out?

Yes

  1. If yes, how many requests for an assessment were made by families with no recourse to public funds in the period between November 2016 and April 2017?

All requests are recorded on individual children’s records and the only way that a total could be provided would be by a review of all children’s records to establish if a request had been made between November 2016 and April 2017.

Given that we hold thousands of children’s records a review of all of Devon County Council’s children’s records to establish if an event had taken place between November 2016 and April 2017 would take weeks and would therefore be beyond the appropriate limit.

We are therefore not obliged to provide this information pursuant to s.18 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  1. How many assessments in respect of families with no recourse to public funds requesting accommodation and/or subsistence support were carried out in the period between November 2016 and April 2017?

Please see our answer to question 17 above

  1. How many families were offered accommodation and/or financial support following such an assessment?

Please see our answer to question 17 above

  1. In how many cases in which support was provided was the person a “Zambrano carer”

Please see our answer to question 17 above

  1. In how many cases in which support was provided did the person have limited leave to remain with NRPF?

Please see our answer to question 17 above.

  1. How many judicial review pre-action protocol letters were received in respect of a refusal to assess and/or provide support pursuant to your duties under s.17 between November 2016 and April 2017?

None

  1. How many judicial review proceedings were issued against you received in respect of a refusal to assess and/or provide support pursuant to your duties under s.17 between November 2016 and April 2017?

None

  1. In how many cases where judicial review was threatened was support provided (either pre or post issue of proceedings)?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 23

  1. What were your costs a) to your own legal department, and b) in party/party costs? Please provide a breakdown of pre- and post-judgment costs.

Not applicable, following our answer to question 23.

  1. Do you pay a set rate of financial subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds?

Devon County Council do not pay a set rate.

Any family presenting to or referred to Devon County Council who have no recourse to public funds and are possibly eligible for subsistence support under s17 Children Act 1989 will be considered in terms of possibility or evidence to suggest that there are Children In need (CIN) concerns or the potential for Children In Need (CIN) concerns.  If there is a possibility of such needs an assessment will be undertaken.

  1. If yes, what is paid?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 26.

  1. How has that figure been reached? E.g. is it by reference to Child Benefit rates, asylum support (section 4 or section 95 rates)?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 26.

  1. When was this level set?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 26.

  1. Who took this decision?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 26.

  1. Please provide copies of any reports, minutes, decision documents detailing the setting of this rate?

Not applicable, following our answer to question 26.

  1. If you do not pay a set rate of financial subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds, do you have any guidelines relating to rates of financial support

If yes, please provide a copy.

The following issues will be considered:

Individual needs of each child/family member

Guidance within the NRPF Network Factsheet entitled Subsistence support for families under section 17 children act 1989.

What the family would receive if they were entitled to benefits and support

The impact of geographical differences across Devon in terms of costs eg rural, seaside and city living.

  1. Please provide a copy of any policy or internal guidance or other written material relating to the allocation of accommodation to families with NRPF pursuant to s.17 (this includes any policies/guidance/written material relevant to the location of properties provided.)

Devon County Council is not a housing authority.  This is the responsibility of district, city or unitary council and we would therefore recommend that you contact a district, city or unitary council for further information on this area.  Contact details are available from our website at:

https://new.devon.gov.uk/neighbouring-authorities/

  1. How do you guarantee the quality and suitability of the private landlords and accommodation providers you contract with in housing NRPF families under s. 17?

Please see our answer to question 33 above.

Paragraph 10A Schedule 3 of Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

  1. Do you have any guidance or policy documents or other written material in relation to Paragraph 10A schedule 3 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002?

Devon County Council does not hold this information.

  1. If yes, please provide a copy.

Please see our answer to question 36 above.

  1. Do you expect to see an increase in requests for support when Paragraph 10A comes into force?

Devon County Council does not hold this information

  1. If yes, how do you plan to fund the probable increase in requests for support when Paragraph 10A comes into force?

Please see our answer to question 38 above

  1. How will you manage the increase in requests for support in terms of sourcing accommodation and staffing?

Please see our answer to question 38 above

  1. Which team in your Council will carry out assessments under Paragraph 10A?

Please see our answer to question 38 above