Freedom of information response

LAC 16-18 Year Olds

Publication date: 
Thursday 9 July 2020
Request: 

1.1 How many Looked After Children (Also known as Children in Care) does the council currently have?
1.2 How many of these Looked After Children are between the ages of 12 and 15?
1.3 How many of these Looked After Children are aged 16-17?

2.1. Of these Looked After Children aged 16-17, how many are living in semi-independent accommodation provided by unregulated private providers.
2.2 Please provide the names of these unregulated private providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

3.1. Of these Looked After Children aged 16-17, how many are living in semi-independent accommodation provided by regulated providers.
3.2 Please provide the names of these regulated providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

4.1 How many Care Leavers under the age of 18 does the council currently accommodate in accommodation provided by unregulated private providers?
4.2 Please provide the names of these unregulated private providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

5.1 How many Care Leavers under the age of 18 does the council currently accommodate in accommodation provided by regulated private providers?
5.2 Please provide the names of these regulated private providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

6.1 How many Care Leavers aged 18 plus does the council currently accommodate in accommodation provided by unregulated private providers?
6.2 Please provide the names of these unregulated private providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

7.1 How many Care Leavers aged 18 plus does the council currently accommodate in accommodation provided by regulated private providers?
7.2 Please provide the names of these regulated private providers and the average cost per child per week to the council per provider?

Response: 
    1. 305
    2. 96
    3. 77

2.1       30 (includes 16 UASC)

2.2       Thurrock Council has a select list for all external placements including Post 16 Support Accommodation – Unregulated provision.   Details of the select list can be found on the Council’s website: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/our-contracts/current-contracts

Occasionally, when a suitable match cannot be made using the Select List Spot purchases are made.  Details of all Council spend can be found on the Council’s website: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/what-we-spend/payments-to-suppliers

Cost of these placements are commercially sensitive.  However, spend can be seen on above website.

3.1       None

3.2       Semi-independent provision is not provided by ‘Regulated’ providers.

4.1       None - if they are Care Leavers

4.2       N/A

5.1       None

5.2       N/A

6.1       5

6.2       Residential Group. The cost is commercially sensitive, however spend can be seen on the above website, please see payments to suppliers link above.

7.1       14

7.2       Ronti Care Solutions, St Mungos, Sanctuary Housing, Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions. The cost is commercially sensitive, however spend can be seen on the above website, please see payments to suppliers link above.

With regards to Questions 2.2, 6.2 & 7.2, the council are of the view that the release of the information in scope of your request would prejudice its own commercial interests and the commercial interests of the service provider. The reasons for this have been captured below under the public interest test section.

Public Interest Test:

The council have considered the public interest test in relation to section 43 (2) in releasing the information in scope of your request. The outcome of this is below.

  • Public interest in disclosure:
    • Accountability for spending of public money. Where a public authority is purchasing goods/services there is a public interest in ensuring value for money is achieved.
  • Public interest to maintain the exemption:
    • Releasing cost figures for a specific service may affect the company’s ability to commercially tender for the same service in the future.
    • Companies should be able to compete fairly on a level playing field. If the details of costs for services are publically available then this would put the current service provider at a commercial disadvantage should a competitor be made aware of the costs charged.
    • It will hinder the ongoing working relationship between the council and the current service provider.

Based on the above, it is the Council’s view that there is a stronger public interest to maintain the use of the exemption for section 43 (2).

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information. Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

Request reference:
FOI 10055