1. For each of the five financial years 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, 16/17, 17/18 What was the total number of complaints your council received about children’s social services? Please note, I’d like a breakdown for each financial year rather than a five-year total.
2. For each of the five years please state how many were A: upheld B: Partially upheld.
3. For each of the five financial years how many complaints were made about an assessment of a child or any other action taken by the council under section 17 of the Children Act?
4. For each of the five financial years how many of these complaints were A: upheld B: partially upheld.
5. For each of the five financial years how many complaints were made about an enquiry or any other action taken by the council under section 47 of the children act 1989?
6. For each of the five financial years how many of these complaints were A: upheld B: partially upheld.
In issuing our response the council have applied S12 of the Freedom of Information Act.
This means that the council does not have to comply with your request if the cost of doing so exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’, which for local authorities is 18 hours. This applies to the time taken spent locating and collating the requested information. Having collated the numbers for Question 1, of which there are 339 complaints in total. We would need to manually check each complaint to determine which, if any, fall under the relevant sections of the children’s act. It is estimated that this would take in excess of 5 minutes per case which would equate to more than 18 hours to complete.
However, for your assistance, please see the following web link which provides information regarding Children’s Social Care complaints; https://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=131.
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your request you can pursue an independent review by contacting us at the above address and your request will be considered by the Information Manager who will update you with the outcome.
You may also wish to refer your case to the Information Commissioner’s Office, details of this organisation can be found at www.ico.org.uk . Alternatively they can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.